The Imposter Syndrome

I recently learnt something about myself I didn´t know, that regardless of the how awesome I think I am, sometimes I tend to underestimate myself and sort of dismiss positive feedback given by peers, or friends.

So there I was, having a wee glass of red wine with a great friend of mine, when we performed this feedback exercise where both answered to one another some questions about how we feel about each other. When we got to “What would you change of me?” she answered “well, nothing much, except that you tend to underestimate yourself, you know, you might have some of the “Imposter Syndrome””.

Umm… I will talk about the “Dunning-Kruger effect” later, so, let´s just avoid this wee detail for now, shall we?

Explained by Wikipedia (and its reliable sources which have helped scholars all over the world to complete and finish their research papers), the Imposter Syndrome is:

“… a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.” (True story, here´s a link and everything)

So don´t be arses and donate some quids…

Apparently, according to what this syndrome is, the appropriate therapy is to face the fact that it is affecting you, and learn that you are underestimating yourself and your accomplishments in life. One of the best ways to do so is by matching what you positively relate with success to your triumphs, then you´ll realize of how awesome you are.

I´ve been doing this for the last six years, and it took me some time to find out that I was on the right track, and that I was accomplishing great things due to my experience, intelligence and charisma. However, I didn’t know that there was a syndrome for what I had, I just got my friends´feedback on this and thought “This isn´t luck, you bloody earned it, with hard work and doing the right things”.

So, with this entry, I´d like to encourage you to do the same, look at the bright side, and take compliments and positive feedback as they come, never say “thanks, but…”, never, you earned it.

I don´t know if this is related with the topic, I just like Dilbert a lot.

Ps. On other things that also matter, I´m a huge fan of John Irving´s work, his writing style is absorbing and vivid, letting you wander into his complex mind and unfinished business through his obscure but kind hearted characters.

Ps2. My favourite book? The first one I read from this lad, “The Fourth Hand”, give a chance.

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One thought on “The Imposter Syndrome

  1. Pingback: Just the Uncle | Tacos and Politics

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