Updated: May 1
by Siona Chibber
Have you ever felt out of place? Whether it comes to your job, hobbies, or talents, there are times when we all feel unconfident in our work. Imposter Syndrome is a warped mindset where we feel unsure of our accomplishments. Oftentimes people feel like they’re not performing well enough, or they are not on the same level as those who may be doing similar work. This psychological concept can be present in schools, in your workplace, or even in your personal activities. It is completely normal and very common.
This is an epidemic that is facing many young people in the workforce today. In a world where newer jobs are being created, people are struggling to find what exactly they're good at and how to tackle that topic for the rest of their life. A constant push and pull full of undermining our own expertise, feeling less than zero, and so on.
I personally began to struggle with this in my freshman year of college. Ever since middle and high school, I knew that I had a deep passion for writing. I love to get my thoughts out on paper and share them with the world. Once I started to publish things online and make my work more public, I began to feel self-conscious about my work. Was it good enough? Do I deserve to share these pieces with people? Do I even like writing anymore? These thoughts circulated in my brain for months. Even as I changed my major to public relations and got more involved in PR-related work and extracurriculars, I still felt off. Even if I attended a PRSSA meeting or talked with other peers with this major, I still did not feel confident in my work.
Luckily for me, that changed when I went to another meeting and heard a recent DePaul graduate speak about their own experiences with Imposter Syndrome. They were working at a great agency and achieving their goals, while still struggling with these thoughts. It was comforting to see someone else who was successful going through the same thing I was.
I admit that I still continuously struggle with it here and there, but I’ve reached out to others and learned to find better coping mechanisms. My goal is to share this with others so people feel less alone. In doing so, I hope that students can feel more comfortable and confident in their work and passions in life without the sense of guilt looming over their heads. Some things to consider are focusing on your own work and your own personal achievements, not others. Your career isn’t a game of comparison nor is it a competition. We are all going at our own speed in our own directions. Remember, you’re not alone in having these thoughts! Plenty of people experience them regardless of the amount of success in their life or how famous they are.
This article goes into more depth about the different types of Imposter Syndrome as well as numerous ways to deal with them. It is a great resource to use.
As I am navigating through college looking for internships and careers, I remind myself to not be defined by this mindset. The best thing to do is to talk to people who support you and write down your personal thoughts and goals.