All of us, at one point or another, have questioned our capabilities and competence. Maybe you’ve wondered how you got hired and handed big job responsibilities. Or, maybe the fact that you keep getting promoted keeps you up at night. You might even think it’s only a matter of time before you’re found out, called into your boss’ office and told that your time at the organization has come to a swift end. In fact, research reported in a NY Mag article published this week suggests that “if you haven’t had a moment in which you were buffeted by these sorts of fears, you’re in the minority.”
This is so common that it’s called imposter syndrome. Although there’s a lot of recent and good information out there on what it is, why it’s problematic, how to get over it, and why it’s getting in the way of your success, it’s a phenomenon that’s still causing many stress.
As awful and uncomfortable as it is, it’s unlikely that if you suffer from it, you’re suffering every moment of every day. On the flip side of that, it’s also improbable that you’ve never momentarily felt like a fraud. If you’re wondering just how bad you have it (if at all), you can now click here take a short test over at NY Mag.
If your score reveals a bad case of imposter syndrome, don’t freak out; it just means you’ve got work to do on your self-confidence. It’s imperative to your career—and to your own well-being—that you learn to embrace and accept your accomplishments as real and not a result of random error. And because it “has been linked to various mental-health problems, including depression,” talking to a healthcare professional may be something to consider.
Just remember: Occasional questioning of your accomplishments is pretty run-of-the-mill. But if you suffer from these feelings more often than not, then it’s time to find a fix for your own sake. You may not realize it now, but feeling good about who you are and being proud of the work you’re doing sure beats fretting about the fact that your co-workers secretly think you’re a fraud. Trust me.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author