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Imposter Syndrome

I’m sure we’ve all been plagued by the thought that we aren’t enough; unfortunately, this common occurrence can be so destructive to our positive mindsets. Whether it be about school, extracurriculars, or simple daily tasks, it can often be so easy—for our generation especially— to slip into the mindset that we could be achieving more, working more, and doing more, and our accomplishments don’t belong to us. We have a very fitting name for this fickle friend: Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is a pattern of thinking in which individuals doubt their accomplishments or talents, and fear being exposed as not as successful as they appear. People with Imposter Syndrome see themselves as a “fraud,” barely giving themselves credit for their successes and accolades. Thus, Imposter Syndrome can decimate mental health, and be a detriment to students as they move their way through high school, college, and beyond. Today, I’m going to hep you explore some tricks of the trade to overcome Imposter Syndrome, and break the binding chains of self-deprecation.

One simple way to help combat Imposter Syndrome is through writing down and capturing your accomplishments. Either a professionally designed book or simple binder will work just fine; fill the book with paper copies or written explanations of all of your awards, acts of community service, honor society recommendations, college acceptances, and records of all other moments in your life that you felt marked success. Having tangible representations of these accomplishments can help to make them feel even more real and important, and can serve as an important tool to turn back to when you find yourself slipping away into the imposter slump.

Another important way to avoid Imposter Syndrome is to constantly bolster your self-confidence. Self-esteem and confidence play a major role in the Imposter Syndrome, though not quite in the way they should. Getting a gratitude journal, or simply a pack of post-its is all you need; by writing one thing about yourself you are proud of can again give you a physical representation of the incredible things you’ve done. Stick those post-it notes on the mirror and provide yourself with some positive affirmations to your success. Doing this activity daily can help you to consistently remind yourself of all of your accomplishments.

One final way to avoid Imposter Syndrome involves those around you: don’t compare. When you hear all of your friends comparing grades, awards, or test scores, refrain from chiming in, and encourage them to do the same. In not comparing who did better or worse, not only can you aid yourself in feeling better about your success, but keep your friends from feeling that same sense of failure. Often we are influenced by those around us, and we hear others talk themselves down, we can quickly spiral into feeling the same. Congratulating others and keeping quiet during GPA debates can be key in finding a sense of peace.

Using such important tactics as these, and various other self-confidence techniques, you can find victory over your imposter syndrome, and be the you you are meant to be.

-Skylar Sena

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