So you finally reached a point in your life where you’re starting to feel accomplished, successful, and competent! You’ve worked hard, honed your skills and taken advantage of your opportunities, when suddenly it hits. A persistent and internalized fear comes over you that this is all wrong and somebody is going to find out you’re a fraud and call you out on it! You feel like you don’t belong in this role and the only reason you got here is by luck or circumstance. What just happened?!
You’ve been struck by Imposter Syndrome. This phenomenon was first described by psychologists Suzanne Imes and Pauline Rose Clance, who coined the phrase. It generally affects high achieving individuals who find it hard to accept their success and achievements. They feel that they are undeserving of the recognition and status they are receiving. Despite evidence of their competence, they seem to think they have somehow fooled people into believing in them and then feel guilty about it.