Google the term “Imposter Syndrome” and you will find a plethora of information on the subject. I hadn’t heard the term until recently and just had to know what it was all about.
According to Dictionary.com, Imposter Syndrome is “anxiety or self-doubt that results from persistently undervaluing one’s competence and active role in achieving success, while falsely attributing one's accomplishments to luck or other external forces.” (2022, Dictionary.com)
One article I read indicated this fear of being found wanting by your co-workers or boss, or for an author, your audience, affects up to 70% of all people. This interesting article implied that the higher up someone moved in an organization, the greater the anxiety levels over being found wanting grew.
Strangely enough, instead of thinking that number was high, I thought it was probably low. Yes, I know a few people who seem never to think they’re wrong, and don’t appear to suffer from low self-esteem. I have a theory though. It’s possible these people refuse to admit their foibles to keep thoughts of their imperfection at bay. We all deal with self-doubt in our own way.
I know some very successful people in this world, and you can learn a lot just hanging out with someone who seems to “have it all together”. One of the best lessons I’ve learned is that everyone makes mistakes. Smart, successful, talented people take the wrong path or take a wrong stance, occasionally. After all, they’re just as human as the rest of us. But what makes them unique is that they take those mistakes and turn them into lessons for moving forward.
Now if you’ve gotten to where you are in life by cheating, stealing, and back-stabbing, my friend, I cannot help you. However, if you’ve worked hard, taken the knocks of life in stride, and have attained success at some level, then I say “Bravo”. You need to enjoy your success.
Proverbs contains some of my favorite sayings. In 21:5 we’re advised, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (NIV) Be diligent, my friends. I don’t know many people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths to where they didn’t have to work for their success. Though I won’t deny those persons exist, he or she is rare.
Figure out what you want, or where you want to be, and get moving. Find someone who got there before you and follow their path if you can. If you can’t, then get out your machete and hack your way through the jungle of life until you find your own path.
Once you reach your goal, though, don’t succumb to Imposter Syndrome. Simply look back at your hard work and thank God for the blessing of being able to achieve the goal.
Have something to add to this? I’d love to hear from you.