You have plenty of accomplishments in life, yet you somehow feel like it’s not real or like it happened as a fluke. Impostor syndrome is about feeling like you’re a big phony in all that you do, like you aren’t really good enough. Here are 10 signs you might be struggling with it.
You feel like a fraud. Perhaps the most significant sign of impostor syndrome is that you feel like a big phony. You perceive that what you’re saying and doing isn’t real. You feel as if you’re playing a character in a movie or pretending to be someone else. You think that others see a false image of you rather than seeing the real you (the you that you think is super flawed).
You struggle to accept compliments. When others compliment you, it feels like they’re lying. They couldn’t possibly be talking about you in that kind way. The compliments bounce right off of you. You’re used to being self-deprecating in response to praise rather than just saying “thank you.” You may feel like if someone thinks you did something well then they’re going to expect that from you next time and that’s terrifying.
You overwork. You feel like you need to make up for your lack, like you’re just not doing enough. You overwork in an attempt to feel like you’re accomplishing what you set out to accomplish and you often end up burning yourself out in the process. A lot of this comes from that feeling like a phony, like you have to work extra hard to measure up to your colleagues.
You tend towards perfectionism. It has to be the best of the best or it’s no good at all. As a perfectionist, you hold yourself to incredibly high standards that are totally unattainable. If you fall short even a little bit, you feel like a huge failure. Any small mistakes make you question yourself as a human being. Because you have such high expectations of yourself, you often have a hard time starting things.
You regularly compare yourself to others. Nothing you do is good enough, especially when you compare yourself to those you perceive as better than you. You compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight-reel. Only seeing the best of a person and comparing it to your worst. This makes you feel small and demolishes your ego.
You have a huge fear of failure. You do everything with caution, thinking that the whole structure’s going to collapse onto your head. You think that failure is inevitable because your negative self-talk is so prevalent. The thought of failure absolutely terrifies you. It cripples you and makes it difficult for you to get things done. Imposter syndrome feeds on your deepest fears and this is a big one.
You focus on what’s lacking. Instead of noticing all of the awesome things you’ve accomplished, you hone in on everything that’s wrong with a situation. You gave a stellar 20-minute speech and only tripped up on your words once. Rather than focusing on the entirety of the speech, which was awesome, you focus on that short moment where you messed up a little bit.
You’re set on the idea that you aren’t good enough. Imposter syndrome whispers constant doubt and negativity into your ears. One of the loudest messages you get is that you just aren’t good enough, that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. It tells you that you couldn’t possibly achieve anything good because you’re such a piece of crap.
You say your success is from luck. It’s very common for you to say that something resulting from hard work was pure luck. You attribute your success to luck as if you didn’t even have a hand in the matter. Your perception of your abilities is super skewed because you just don’t think you’re enough.
You have a hard time with perspective. You struggle to see the bigger picture. You fail to see all the areas you’ve grown in and instead you hone in on all of your mistakes. You also have a difficult time seeing the positive aspects of life, especially when it comes to your own life. Others can help you regain perspective, but at your core, you struggle to maintain it.
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