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The Dreaded Imposter Syndrome

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

The four amazing women above have one thing in common.... They have all experienced the gut wrenching feeling of the dreaded imposter syndrome. And they are not alone, a lot of people especially people of colour and even more specifically women of colour go through this.

I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they're going to find out now.' I've run a game on everybody and they are going to find me out. - Maya Angelou

If one of the most brilliant of women can feel like this none of us is immune.

This is exactly how I felt from the moment I started my foundation training year as a trainee pharmacist. This is after 4 years of university education and working in a pharmacy for most of this time. But this felt different. My workmates look to me for advice, most of which I can navigate, even with that little voice of self doubt at the back of my every thought train. No matter how much I would blend in and all the right words I would say, I would still feel out of place. But thanks to my support system I learnt that confidence is built slowly with little building blocks.

Here are 5 things that have helped me cope and helped me slowly overcome this feeling:

  1. Separate fact from feeling and recognise the triggers

  2. Continue to strive for excellence but forgive yourself for the mistakes that happen taking them as lessons instead

  3. Talk to other people in your position - This is one of the things that have kept me going, my friends from university in the same situation as me, I must say they have managed to validate my feeling and pick me up more than a couple of time

  4. Stop comparing yourself - comparison is the thief of joy - value your own strengths and respect your own potential and you will realise you have a lot to offer

  5. Reward yourself - this gives you validation from within and helps you recognise your excellence

Both men and women experience imposter syndrome but studies show that women are more affected. Wonder why....?

Dr young describes five types of imposters

  • The perfectionist - You demands perfection in every aspect of life (remember perfection is not a realistic goal)

  • The natural genius - Most things come easily and if something doesn't, you feel ashamed and embarrassed

  • The rugged individualist or soloist - Can't ask for help - accepting help doesn't mean you have failed

  • The expert - You have answers to everything - Remember you can't know everything about everything

  • The superhero - You juggle many roles and succeed in all of them - Take it easy.... you are only human

Success doesn't require perfection, therefore give yourself some kindness and compassion to help you attain a realistic outlook and if you continue to struggle...... a therapist can help ☺️

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SM Reign

This is a blog about little things that bring joy, happiness and laughter

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