Basarilarinizi ufak seyler, ben yapabilirsem herkes yapabilir diye yorumluyorsaniz; is yerindeki en ufak bir hatanin herseyi ortaya cikaracagi ve bu alanda aslinda yetersiz oldugunuzu herkesin anlayacagini dusunuyorsaniz; geldiginiz noktanin sansa, tesadufe veya dogru zamanda dogru yerde olmaya baglli oldugunu dusunuyorsaniz belki sizde Impostor Sendromu vardir.
Yeni ogrendigim bu sendrom cok ilgimi cekti. Asagida Ingilizce copy-paste var ve dilim dondugunce anlatmaya calisacagim. Valerie Young bu alanin uzmani.
Anlattiklarina gore bu sendroma sahip insanlar ne kadar basarili olurlarsa olsunlar hep yetersiz olduklarini, diger insanlari soyle ya da boyle kandirdiklarini dusunur ve giydikleri maskenin bir gun dusecegi korkusuyla yasarlarmis.
Bu tip insanlar mukemmeliyetci, derslerine odevlerine veya topluluk onundeki konusmalarina abarti seviyesinde iyi hazirlanirlarmis. Ilk seferde en iyi yapma gayretinde olurlarmis. Biraz iskolik biraz da hirsli olurlarmis. Isin kotusu yukariya dogru atilan her adimda korkulari biraz daha artar “iste simdi foyam ortaya cikacak“ diye uykulari kacarmis. Daha fazlasini vermeden edemezlermis ama daha fazlasini verince insanlar daha cok beklentiye girecek diye iyiden iyiye strese girerlermis. Bu insanlar basariya layik olmadiklarina ve bulunduklari yeri hak etmediklerine inanirmis.
Bu insanlar her alanda bilgi sahibi olmak icin inanilmaz bir ac gozluluk sergilerlermis. Bir gun lazim olur diye her seyi ogrenmek isterlermis. Yine de cok emin olmadan ya da bu bilgilerini son anda teyid etmeden bir sey soylemekten cekinirlermis.
Bir teklif aldim. O gunden beri aklimda surekli yankilanan cumleleri siralayayim: “Iste yolun sonuna geldin, burasi b.ku yedigin yerdir. Adamlar seni secmek zorunda kaldilar cunku baska hic duzgun basvuru olmadi. Sen onlar icin kotunun iyisisin. Onlari kandirdin, hic bir sey yapamayacaksin, kendini rezil edeceksin. Senden baska herkes bu isi gayet normal ve duzgun yapabilir. Zaten iste bir sey de yok ama sen bunu bile eline yuzune bulastiracaksin. Simdiden calismaya basla. Oku okuyabildigin kadar, sana sorabilecekleri butun sorular icin hazirlikli ol, bilgi edin. Sakin bir yanlis yapma aptal durumuna dusme. insanlar senden buyuk beklentilerde bulunmasinlar. Cok iddiali gorunme, itiraf et yapamayacagini! En sonunda kovulacaksin zaten. Yerine bir aday bulur bulmaz senden kurtulacaklar. O maasi da hak etmiyorsun zaten. Sana cok o, maas coksa beklenti de coktur, yandin! Her kurusunu hak etmek icin deli gibi calismalisin.“ Bu ise yeni egitim doneminde baslayacagim, yani Subat ayinda. Her gun bugun telefon gelecek beni ise almaktan vaz gectiklerini soyleyecekler diye dusunuyorum. Cok berbat bir duygu, susmak bilmeyen beynimde yankilanan hep ayni cumleler, ayni hisler.
Olayi o kadar abartiyorum ki, duyan da basbakan oldum sanacak! Dandik ogretmenlik iste ama ondan bile odum patliyor. Milli piyango cikinca huzurum kacar diye ikramiyeyi kabul etmeyen biri ile ayni duygulari paylasiyorum yani. “Lazim degil, alin teklifinizi geri“ diyesim geliyor. Bunu dusunceleri yenmenin yollarindan biri de writing theraphy imis. Yazma terapisi, su anda kendime bu tedaviyi uyguluyorum!
Hic bir sey degismedi!
Ben hapi yuttum!!!
Do you dismiss your accomplishments as “no big deal” or “If I can do it, anybody can”? Do you agonize over even the smallest flaws in your work or beat yourself up when you make a mistake? Do you feel crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your “ineptness?” When you do succeed, do you think, “Phew, I fooled ‘em this time but I may not be so lucky next time.”
If so join the club.
What you’ve just seen is the “Impostor Syndrome” in action. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, you feel inadequate to do the work you’re fully capable of performing. Instead you believe they are somehow “fooling” other people into thinking you’re brighter and more capable than you “know” yourself to be. Deep down you feel like an impostor, fake, and fraud.
The fact is you’re pretty smart. I don’t necessary mean “book smart,” although there’s a good chance that you have at least one degree. In fact you may have two or even three. Some might consider you a high achiever, although it’s unlikely you see yourself that way.
You’re the kind of person who likes to know everything you possibly can about the subject at hand before stepping out there. After all you’re not about to risk speaking up in front of others, going after that plum assignment, or selling yourself as some kind of expert unless you’re totally prepared. I’m not talking here about doing your home work. I’m talking about needing to know 150 percent.
And when you do make a mistake you have a really hard time forgiving yourself. After all, in your mind it’s your failures that really count… so you avoid them at all costs.
Which means you’re probably somewhat of a perfectionist. Not only do you like to get everything just right, but you like to do it right the first time. No first drafts or dry runs for you. You’ve got to nail it right out of the gate. Of course you also have to make it look easy.
That’s not to say that you’re a stranger to hard work. Just the opposite.
You’re probably prone to over-preparing and you may even be a bit of a workaholic. But when it comes to buckling down to tackle the things that really matter – finishing your thesis, starting the big project, acting on that great business idea – you are a master procrastinator.
After all what if you pour yourself into it only to find out you’re not up to the task? Or, worse, what if you actually manage to pull it off… the more you achieve the more they’ll expect it. And if you don’t know how it you did it the first time, how can you possibly repeat your success?
Sure you’ve done pretty well so far. Some may even see you as quite accomplished. But then again you can probably explain all that right? “The stars were right.” “It was a small candidate pool.” “I just had good connections.” No wonder you often feel like you’ve managed to somehow fly under the radar screen undetected and it’s just a matter of time before you’re “found out.”
Dr. Valerie Young
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “One of these days people will realize I don’t know as much as they think,” then you are in excellent company!
Liz Bingham, managing partner Ernst & Young , once thought to herself: “What are you doing here? What do you think you’re doing? You’re going to be found out.” Academy Award winning actress Kate Winslet confided: “I’d wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and think, I can’t do this; I’m a fraud.” Fellow actor Don Cheadle shared a similar sentiment: “All I can see is everything I’m doing wrong that is a sham and a fraud.”
Needless to say, the list of people who sometimes worry about being uncovered as an impostor is as impressive as it is long. Having to live with a nagging fear of being “found out” as not being as smart or talented or deserving or experienced or (fill-in-the-blank) as people think is a common phenomenon. So common, in fact, that the term “Impostor Syndrome” was coined to describe it back in the 1980’s. Indeed, researchers believe that up to 70% of people have suffered from it at some point. Myself included.
Focus on the value you bring; not on attaining perfection.
Impostor Syndrome is the domain of the high achiever. Those who set the bar low are rarely it’s victim. So if you are relating to what I’m sharing, then pat yourself on the back because it’s a sure sign that you aren’t ready to settled into the ranks of mediocrity. Rather, you’re likely to be a person who aims high and is committed to giving your very best to whatever endeavour you set your sights upon. A noble aim to be sure.
But giving your best is not the same as being the best. Likewise, there’s a distinct difference between trying to better yourself and being better than every one else. Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome requires self-acceptance: you don’t have to attain perfection or mastery to be worthy of the success you’ve achieved and any accolades you earn along the way. It’s not about lowering the bar, it’s about resetting it to a realistic level that doesn’t leave you forever striving and feeling inadequate. You don’t have to be Einstein to be a valuable asset to your organization and to those around you. Nor do you have to attain perfection to share something with the world that enriches people’s lives in some way.
Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once said: “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’re going to find me out.’ ” Fortunately for all of us she has never let her fear of being ‘found out’ stop her from putting pen to paper and sharing thoughts that have expanded our hearts and enriched our lives.
Own your successes. You didn’t get lucky by chance.
Those who often fear being “found out” have a tendency to attribute their success to external factors – like luck or a helping hand. Unsurprisingly, women tend to do this more often than men who are are more likely to attribute their successes to a combination of internal factors, such as grit, talent, brains and sheer hard work.
High achievers tend to focus more on what they haven’t done versus what they have. Take Dr. Margaret Chan, Chief of the World Health Organization, for example. She once said: ”There are an awful lot of people out there who think I’m an expert. How do these people believe all this about me? I’m so much aware of all the things I don’t know.”
But just as we must take responsibility for our failures in life, we must also take responsibility for our successes. Minimizing them serves no-one. So if you sometimes feel undeserving of your success, try writing a list of all the key things you’ve accomplished over the last 5 years. I would hazard a guess that even the fruits of your last 12 months’ effort will help you to see how well deserved all your success.
Cease comparisons. They’re an act violence against oneself.
Author Iyanla Vanzant believes that “comparison is an act of violence against the self.” Comparisons are always subjective, often biased and rarely helpful. Acutely aware of how hard we’re working to keep our head above water and fulfill expectations, we often mistakenly assume others are getting by more effortlessly. The reality is that many many people are stretched and struggling just like you. Perhaps not in the same way, but in their own way, with their own unique set of challenges, insecurities and internal struggles.
Too often we fall into the trap of comparing our insides with others outsides; our weaknesses with others strengths. We say to ourselves, “If only I could speak with the confidence and humor of John,” “If only I could decipher a P&L as fast as Ruth,” or “If only I was as creative as Susan.” Meanwhile, all the Johns and Ruths and Susans are thinking: “If only I was as good with the details, or navigating the politics, or creating strategy, or fostering collaboration” as you!
Hold firm to ambition. Risk outright exposure!
Fear of being “found out” can sabotage success on multiple fronts as it drives us to settle for less than we want and steer a wide berth from situations that might expose our inadequacy and unworthiness. Yet while our fears urge to us to stick with what we know we’re good at – where risk of being uncovered is minimized – letting fear sit at the helm in life is a surefire recipe for a life of lackluster mediocrity.
As I wrote in Stop Playing Safe, “While playing safe removes the immediate risk of exposure, it opens up the greater risk of never knowing just how capable, deserving and “more than” worthy you truly are.” It’s why, as Sheryl Sandberg has declared so loudly in her book Lean In, women must “lean in” to new challenges. It’s why, regardless of gender, we must all dare to lay our pride and vulnerability on the line, particularly when our fears are urging us to play safe.
It takes courage to take on challenges and pursue aspirations that leave you wide open to falling short, losing face and being ‘found out.’ But when you refuse to let your doubts dictate your choices, you open new doors of opportunity and discover just how much you can really do. Even if you never accomplish all you aspire toward, you will accomplish so much more than you otherwise would have. In the process you’ll come to realize that the only impostor you ever had to worry about is your fear of people thinking you are one.
Margie Warrell is the best-selling author of Stop Playing Safe (Wiley) and Find Your Courage (McGraw-Hill). Stay connected on Twitter , Facebook or sign up for her free Live Bravely! newsletter at www.margiewarrell.com.