Weighed Down By The Imposter Syndrome? You’re Not Alone
Imposter syndrome is when someone feels like they don’t deserve their success, when they feel like an imposter in their current role — when they feel like they just don’t belong.
Psychologists have found that women feel the imposter syndrome more than men. Among the successful women who have felt like imposters are Emma Watson, Kate Winslet and Maya Angelou. “When I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable,” Watson has said.
We spoke to a few women about whether they feel like imposters even after achieving success on their own merits.
Ritu Soni Srivastava, founder of weight loss app Obino, says that the imposter syndrome definitely exists more amongst women, and that women aren’t really able to accept and claim their own success and therefore, always attribute it to someone else.
“One of the most common things that you will hear successful women say is ‘I was really lucky! I had a supportive family, a great boss, a wonderful mentor…” and so on and so forth in the same vein.
At times, when people say complimentary things to me, I get an amazed feeling and then an acute feeling of shame, as if I am pretending to be someone else and taking credit for someone else’s accomplishments. And strangely enough, this feeling has grown more acute with age, as if with maturity, comes the realisation of how incidental success really is.”
Bestselling author Rashmi Bansal says that she doesn’t feel like an imposter, however, she is sometimes taken aback when people call her a celebrity. She says there is a difference between feeling like an imposter and being over confident.
“I feel one should remain grounded. I am the same person I was when I hadn’t written bestselling books. I know I am not perfect. But I have the ability to communicate in a certain way.”
She says that it is true that women talk less about their achievements.
“I would hope work speaks for itself. But sometimes, we have to say what we are doing. Women entrepreneurs give a lot of credit to other people.”
So what are you waiting for? Don’t be afraid to own your success!