I know it’s another tough week for tests and you’re seeing some people walking around looking smug, as if they are not at all concerned about the exams – NOT true. Life is Great once you realize that most people are good at a few things and fake being good or confident at most others. That’s a dirty little secret of adulthood – they even have a technical term for it “Impostor Syndrome.” The truth is that we do need people to fake it as a society, it give us security to think that presidents, doctors, judges, professors, etc. actually know what they are doing. You think Mom and Dad knew what they were doing when we raised you and your brother – of course not! Faking it! Lucky for you, we made most of our worst mistakes on your brother. Oh so many, many mistakes on that guy. Truth is we’re still winging it today – we never had adult children before!
The reason it’s really important for you to realize this is because according to “Action for Happiness” one of the biggest causes of misery is the way we chronically “compare our insides with other people’s outsides”. Many people project an image of calm proficiency, while inside they’re improvising in a mad panic.
The psychologists that that coined the term Impostor Syndrome wrote that high achieving women are magnets for good old impostor syndrome. They came up with a list of symptoms high achieving woman (like you) to consider. See an article on this. Faking it.
Clues That You May Be At The Mercy Of Impostor Syndrome
- You work hard to the point of burnout, thinking that your hard work will cover up the fact that you don’t actually know what you’re doing.
- You seek approval from your boss, parents, colleagues, and friends to assure yourself that they don’t think you’re a fraud.
- You tell people what you think they want to hear instead of what you actually think, because you’re worried that what you think is actually wrong.
- You downplay your strengths and skills, because you’re worried about how people may respond if you display confidence in your abilities.
- You avoid producing work because you think, “Who am I to write this screenplay / give this advice / deliver this speech?”
So, now knowing this, go out there and confidently fake it! Well, study a little too!
Good luck on the exams kiddo.