In an ideal world, we would all be self-assured and confident women.
We won’t have moments of extreme self doubt stuffed with uncertainty and distrust.
In reality, most of us can’t shake the feeling of being inadequate. Or the fear of being found out to be incompetent than what we appear to be.
I do feel this. A lot of times.
And there is actually a term for this – Impostor Syndrome.
According to Wikipedia “impostor syndrome” is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.
They feel undeserving of their success and believe themselves to be incompetent.
This is fairly common among women. Women who feel that they do not belong where they are and don’t deserve the success that they have accomplished.
The term originated from a 1978 study of Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes of 150 highly successful professional women in various fields. In this study, they found out that “Despite accolades, rank and salary, these women felt like phonies. They didn’t believe in their own accomplishments; they felt they were scamming everyone about their skills.”
But how do you differentiate between being overly critical and just being realistic? Between being overconfident and knowing your limitations?
We all, at various moments, doubted our skills just as we believed ourselves to be just lucky in certain situations.
Is this a way that we, as women, are underselling ourselves?
Why are we so afraid to claim our achievements?
There is a classic example which a woman tries on a pair of pants that no longer fit and she says, "I must be getting fat" while a man tries on his ill-fitting pants and states, "There must be something wrong with these pants."
We tend to believe that anything that goes wrong is due to us, while men believe the contrary.
Guess who gets to sleep better at night?
Maybe we need to think more like men in this aspect and claim our achievements as a result of our own hard work.
Ladies, I hope this gives you something to think about.