“Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments, and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.” – Wikipedia
I started reading Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg this week. At first I was a little skeptical, because I don’t particularly see myself as a feminist and don’t always agree with those ideals. However, after reading the second chapter, I am hooked.
In the second chapter she talks about women “sitting at the table” and “feeling like a fraud”. I agreed with all the behaviors she was describing that women do, but it wasn’t until she explained “impostor syndrome” that I truly connected. I could not stop reading!
She goes on to talk about her first time hearing about this phenomenon and how it felt like someone was finally explaining exactly how she had been feeling. I felt the exact same way reading this. She was describing me.
I have been feeling like I am “fooling” people and “getting lucky” as my business grows. I attribute my success to everything but my talent and knowledge. Giving myself credit feels wrong, so I dismiss it. This is my impostor syndrome.
I have been so afraid to be overly confident that I have literally undersold myself. I have literally told people that I don’t know what I am doing, but I actually do. As I continue to read this book I hope to work on this feeling. I hope to find ways to be more confident and not feel like a fraud. After all, “It’s time to cheer on girls and women who want to sit at the table”, Sheryl Sandberg.