Cope with imposter syndrome in healthy ways

Feeling+like+you+are+a+fraud+is+a+common+feeling+among+people%2C+especially+those+that+put+pressure+for+themselves+to+be+perfect+all+the+time.+

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Feeling like you are a fraud is a common feeling among people, especially those that put pressure for themselves to be perfect all the time.

Sasha Anand, Features Editor

Do you have difficulties accepting your accomplishments and acknowledging your skills?

According to the American Psychological Association, “Impostor phenomenon occurs among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud.”

It usually affects people that put too much stress on themselves to be perfect all the time, in all aspects of their lives. Imposter syndrome is not an official mental illness, yet many people suffer from the feelings associated with it.

A lot of you may have had these feelings recently with midterms and with the news of school remaining mostly online next semester, combined with the stress of wanting to go above and beyond. 

Here are some ways that you can work through those sensation of feeling like something you’re not.

Accept that no one is perfect (even you). This will probably be especially hard for those  with imposter syndrome but it is important to realize that no one is perfect. You will make mistakes and things will not always go your way. You can’t control everything that happens in your life.  

Confide in a friend. It’s okay to talk about the emotions you are experiencing, yet it may be hard at times. That’s why you should pick a person or small group of people to talk to, people close to you that you know you can trust. 

Find a mentor. Find a person like a teacher or an older colleague and go to them for advice when things get tough. This can help you gain another perspective on the situation, making it easier to decide what to do next while also helping you go through the varying emotions you may be feeling at the time. They can give you the support that you need on a more professional basis.

Mentor others. Once you find a mentor yourself, and if you feel like you have learned to deal with your imposter syndrome feelings, you can learn how to teach others about something that you are skilled at. Seeing yourself next to someone who knows next to nothing about what you’re teaching them makes you see how truly successful you are, not a fraud like you think you are. 

Imposter syndrome is a feeling that takes time to get over and it may be something you have to deal with your whole life. Whatever the case may be, know that you are not alone in these feelings and that there is hope in overcoming this issue.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California