Secret impostors club
by Julia Bornkessel
At some point you will notice: you will see that I am not good. That I'm just playing something for everyone here. I'm not good. Maybe I'm just good at showing off that I'm good.
That I got this job was just luck. My clients see more in me than there really is. And someday I'll be blown. And everyone will know: I am an impostor.
Do these thoughts sound very familiar to you? As a creative person, you have often played out these scenarios in your head.
Outwardly in front of your customers you radiate great self-confidence, you are the concentrated competence. But you are sure that at some point they will find out what you really are: a facade.
However, this is completely normal and is called impostor syndrome.
And don't worry: you are not alone in this.
The phenomenon was discovered by two researchers from Georgia State University in the late 1970s and is particularly common in women and creative people.
How do you know if you suffer from impostor syndrome?
Signs that you are affected by this phenomenon are e.g. that you are constantly afraid that your disguise as a competent person will be blown and that you will be discovered as an idiot.
Perhaps you are also looking for reasons for your success in external circumstances? You think it's a coincidence that you just got this assignment as a model for this job. Maybe someone was sick and you were just within reach?
Another sign that you have this syndrome may include Be that you downplay your performance in front of yourself and others and argue that others could easily do that performance, if not better.
Is the imposter phenomenon a mental illness?
No, that's why psychologists also define it as a phenomenon. It is called an impostor phenomenon because it is not yet a disease, but rather a stressful thought pattern.
Why this phenomenon can prevent you from progressing
These chronic self-doubts can prevent us from taking on new challenges. Maybe you cancel a good job because you are afraid of the challenges, think that you are not up to this job. This can stall your career.
But there is also good news: you can do something about it.
What can you do about your insecurities?
Talk to others about your fears. That you say it makes the problems a lot smaller. Other people can show you that your fears are irrational and show you your strengths.
Accept compliments. You deserve it and therefore don't have to belittle it.
Keep thinking about your successes and what you have already achieved. These can often be small things, but they have a big effect on yourself.
Reflect on what it took to get to where you are now. You would never have done that by accident. Your talent and skills have brought you forward.
Also reconsider your language. Small words like "maybe", "actually" relativize our opinion, our skills and our successes. Try to adapt your language and avoid these words as much as possible. You didn't try to do something, you did it.
Always remember: you are in good company. Not only you struggle with this syndrome. Many famous artists suffer from it. The more successful, the higher the risk of falling into this thought trap.
The unfair thing about it? Real impostors don't have these thoughts. Those who can't do anything aren't afraid to attract attention.
Remember, if you feel like an impostor, you probably did something right!