Imposter Syndrome: lies about self-image

With graduation on the horizon, you are ready to take on the world, even if you don’t think you are.

With graduation coming up this next quarter for seniors, I’m sure many are feeling what is called “imposter syndrome.” You might feel as if you are a fraud and aren’t actually proficient in your field or you might think that you are undeserving of the praise and awards you have been given. Personally, I have also been struggling with imposter syndrome and the many symptoms. It is exhausting to say the least. Of course you can tell yourself it isn’t true, but believing and truly feeling that is another story entirely. 

The idea of imposter syndrome was first introduced in 1978 after being published in a psychology article. Since then, research published in Psychology Today has shown that nearly 30 percent of people feel undeserving of their awards and/or position. A recorded 70 percent of adults would feel this in some form at some point in their life. So what do we do about it?

First, I think it is important to recognize that this is a mentality. It is a mindset that you have put yourself in after being told that you are not good enough or being repeatedly criticized. Cognitive behavioral therapy has taught me that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all heavily connected to one another. With that being said, when we think that we are undeserving of our success, we impact other parts of our lives without knowing it. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy has additionally taught me that since these aspects of our lives are all heavily connected, by changing one we can change the others. I have used this mantra every morning to help with my mindset and thus changing every other aspect. 

“I am deserving of where I am. I am worthy of my success. I am incredible.”

While it might seem a bit self-centered, sometimes that is what is necessary to be our best self. The idea is to change your thoughts and then by default, change your emotions and behavior. Taking care of and being patient with ourselves is something that can change your whole perspective. Sometimes, loving yourself is all that you need to get through the hard times. After all, we are our own worst critic.