Where did imposter syndrome come from?
Imposter Syndrome was first defined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes.
Their study, "The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention", studied a sample of 150 highly successful and educated women who struggled to acknowledge their success despite being highly respected in their fields and holding a Doctor of Philosophy.
The participants noted they felt like they were imposters, were mistakenly admitted to graduate school and were not worthy of their success. While this, of course, was not the case, the women strongly believed otherwise.
These behavioural attributes and feelings led to the term imposter phenomenon, or as we know it today, imposter syndrome.
To find out more about this study, please click here.
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How to overcome imposter syndrome?
1. Talk to someone
The first step to tackling imposter syndrome is to acknowledge the feelings and acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. Talking to someone you trust will provide you with a new perspective and help you realise what you feel is normal and groundless.
2. List your achievements
Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down all your achievements since leaving high school. Often when you're feeling like an imposter, you overlook your past successes and achievements.
Take this time to reflect on everything you have accomplished. No matter how small you may think your accomplishments are, they have brought you one step closer to your goal.
3. Change your internal dialogue
You are worthy of your merits, and to believe that, you will need to reframe how you think and change your narrative. Whenever a negative or self-doubting thought arises, replace it with a positive one.
Substituting negative thoughts with positive ones will improve your mental health and help you really believe you are worthy.
Examples of overcoming negative thoughts:
Swap "I don't deserve this" with "I have earned this"
Swap "I am not enough" with "I am good enough"
Swap "I just got lucky" with "I worked hard, and I deserved this"