Let's talk about Imposter Syndrome

In the sea of links that are shared in my group chat, @Vichu shared a link. Link
A quick skim through the article and everything that I read checked off.

  • Sudden loss of confidence - ✓
  • Comparing yourself to others - ✓
  • Worrying about how you are perceived - ✓✓
  • Undermining your own achievements - ✓
  • Uncharacteristic levels of perfectionism - ?
  • Crippling fear of failure - ✓
  • Discounting or not internalising praise - ✓
  • Procrastinating when you usually gravitate to action - ✓ ✓

When I start to introspect when these thoughts started to cripple inside me, it was after moving to Germany!

But how do I know these feelings are because of my syndrome or of something that I actually fail to do?

Problem Imposter Syndrome General performance Issues Why? Stop Watchout!
1 Sudden loss of confidence The key here is a sudden loss in confidence. Loss in confidence is usually due to multiple reasons. But it is also predominantly due to intimidation and a fear of thinking "Not worthy enough"
2 Comparing yourself to others
3 Worrying about how you are perceived I've seen this is seen in someone who is very self conscious and especially someone who is a new environment or in a different culture. There is a need to be "accepted" or be perceived "normal" in the new environment
4 Undermining your own achievements Definitely due to imposter syndrome
5 Uncharacteristic levels of perfectionism
6 Crippling fear of failure
7 Discounting or not internalising praise Definitely due to imposter syndrome. It is extremely important to know your worth, and success -> motivation is a feedback loop. So if you want more success, make sure you internalize praise that feeds in motivation
8 Procrastinating when you usually gravitate to action If none of the above are true in your case, then this could be just a performance issue!

Let's talk about Imposter Syndrome among culture swappers

Hypothesis 1: The white man's burden:

Growing up in India, white man's burden is common place. Probably it was a 300 year old colonial hangover, but it was very much present. As a culture, Indians look up to the west, in validation of thier own achievements, in validation of anything superior or authentic. A culture where anything from the west is superior and approved by foreigners' is a mark of trust. Why? Probably the colonial hangover.

This is something which sticks with you for longer. Though you constantly try to reaffirm the utter stupidity of this, 20 years of this stigma is quite difficult to remove.

Hypothesis 2: The upbringing

The way one is brought up can inadvertently fuel imposter syndrome, as societal expectations and familial influences shape one's self-perception. If upbringing emphasizes perfection or unrealistic standards, individuals may develop a fear of being exposed as a fraud. Constant comparison to perceived family norms or achievements can intensify the imposter syndrome, hindering self-confidence.

Additionally, a lack of validation or acknowledgment for personal accomplishments during childhood may lead to a persistent belief in one's inadequacy. Overcoming imposter syndrome often involves reevaluating these ingrained perceptions and embracing individual growth and achievements.

What's my point:

I guess Imposter syndrome is definitely a genuine psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their own abilities and fear being exposed as frauds despite evidence of competence. It often stems from internalized pressure, societal expectations, and a lack of acknowledgment for accomplishments. To overcome imposter syndrome, individuals need to recognize and challenge negative thought patterns, acknowledge their achievements, and cultivate self-compassion. Embracing a growth mindset, seeking support, and reframing success as a product of effort and learning can help in effectively dealing with imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome

My personal experiences of imposter syndrome, linking it to factors like cultural validation and upbringing. Ther is a need to recognize negative thought patterns, acknowledge achievements, and cultivate self-compassion to overcome imposter syndrome.