As well as anatomy, I love peoples behaviour and quirks, including my quirks and insecurities. Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong, that you weren’t good enough, or thought to yourself just before an important presentation “who am I, I shouldn’t be here.” The international journal of behavioural science estimated that over 70% of people would experience impostor feelings at some point in their life, and I am definitely one of them.
Impostor syndrome is the idea that it is only good luck that has got you where you are and not due to your hard work and skills. People with impostor syndrome often feel like a fraud.
Impostor syndrome, or phenomenon, was first described by psychologists Suzanne Imes, PhD, and Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, in the 1970s. Initially, when it was first studied, they thought it was unique to women; however, a variety of research has shown that men suffer from impostor syndrome as well.
Common traits in people who experience impostor syndrome are Perfectionism, setting extremely high expectations for yourself—trying to be superman or superwomen in all aspects of your life. I tick these boxes, and there came a time when I had to stop.
It took me a long time to realise my behaviour and admit it.
Then I was relieved to hear other people say “oh yes, I feel like that sometimes,” including people around me that I admire. I felt human. It is important to know this syndrome isn’t uncommon, and you can learn to enjoy your successes and not be so critical of yourself when it doesn’t work.
The biggest thing has been for me to celebrate successes instead of just quickly moving on to the next challenge. Asking for help and accepting help. Being ok with — good enough, instead of putting my ideas to one side because they weren’t 100%, because let’s be honest, if you are a perfectionist they’re never going to be 100%. Being able to say I am going to run with this idea because it is good enough is a huge relief, and the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Learning to recognise your expertise, noting what you do well, and not comparing yourself to others.
Finally, know its ok to feel this way at times, and you are not the only one.