The imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convicted they are frauds do not believe they deserve all they have achieved. Do you know someone who exhibits such symptoms?
In my experiences, I do come across some people who walk around unsure about their credentials and whether they can back up them up and question what it is that they bring to the table. I notice this more during conferences in particular to the extent that some people do not want to engage with others, for fear of being exposed. Once they are engaged though and upon listening to other ideas, they realize wow, I am actually good at this.
I had a friend on campus who was a natural leader; who had the grace to inspire people and evoking hope was prevalent in her aura. This is a skill that was honed in her through life in the schools she had attended before. However; she always held back and let others take on key roles on projects. She was happy playing second fiddle and when I think about it, perhaps this was it. The Imposter syndrome held her back and I hope she overcame it and that it is not a deterrent in her progress through life.
I believe this can be attributed to the pressures in society and that we should therefore try to be at peace with who we are and make those around us comfortable with expressing themselves. Once we start opening up about our experiences or know how, we realize that there is a lot we can actually bring to the table.
Let us endeavour to support those around us and encourage them to step out of their fear; to recognize their gains and to congratulate them for these. This could inspire their esteem and work for the greater good of all within society. Until we speak again, I am your host Mitchell Odhiambo. Welcome to a man’s world. To get a female perspective on this, be sure to catch Mercy’s post HERE