Do you wake up every morning feeling a little bit off...like you have something to prove even when nobody is watching? You might have imposter syndrome.
A term coined in 1978 by Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes, psychologists, Imposter Syndrome categorizes people who are considered high achievers, that have little to no way to internalize accomplishments or compliments.
1. You always feel out of place, whether its in a group of strangers or your closest friends.
It's really hard for you to get comfortable, and sometimes you don't even have the courage to say anything, you just continue on, trying to fit in even though you feel like you don't belong.
2. No matter where you are or what you're doing, you feel like you have to prove yourself.
This belief is rooted in the simple fact that you feel like you don't deserve anything that you get.
3. You believe that no matter how hard you work, there is always more work to be done.
Your days never end, and that isn't because of the pressure your job puts on you...it's because of the pressure you put on yourself.
4. You always feel like you're running behind your expectations of yourself.
Your early successes set you up for big expectations, that being said, the expectations come from within. Most people around you are proud of you, they hail you as one of the most successful and interesting people they know, but you...you can't even imagine why they think that.
5. You constantly compare yourself to others.
No matter what you do, somebody else is doing more. Sometimes you can even feel other people working harder than you, doing more than you. It's a horrific feeling.
6. No matter what accomplishments you meet, and what accolades you receive, you feel like you don't deserve them.
Nothing is ever a win when you feel like an imposter.
7. You feel like there are never enough hours in the day.
Working hard is an understatement for you. Some days you work long after everyone else at your job or school has thrown in the towel. And worse than that, you work against everyone's best wishes.
8. Proving yourself becomes your number one priority in any job, friendship or relationship.
Since you view yourself as an imposter, it's necessary for you to want to prove yourself at every single turn. You believe that nobody will trust you or want to be your friend without your undying perfection.
9. You make yourself loyal and available to people even if they don't extend you the same courtesy.
Loyalty is extremely important to you, probably because you feel like nobody offers theirs in return. So, you put yourself out there as a martyr of sorts, and let yourself fall on the sword, because you feel like you don't deserve anything more.
10. No matter how many people tell you differently, you see yourself as a failure.
While you may look like a successful over-achiever to most, you can't escape that sinking feeling in your gut that you'll never become a legend. You'll never do enough, and there is never enough time. This is the feeling that lends imposter syndrome to those of us who have anxiety and depression, because for some reason they all go hand in hand.
I read an article about this in the New York Times and I thought to myself, "Oh my God, this is the term I have been looking for."
If you're anything like me, you understand what these feelings can do. How do you cope? Any suggestions?