Dealing with Imposter Syndrome as a University Student/Early Career
Whether you are a first year student or starting on the path of an early-in-career, it is common to experience feelings of imposter syndrome aka the anxiousness you get when you feel like you’re not “successful” enough, and it causes you to doubt yourself and your competence. As we enter the second half of 2023, you may be worried about what your future looks like… Will you graduate with the GPA you want? Will you land the internship you need? In these times of high pressure, we can’t help but compare ourselves to those around us who seem to be “succeeding” in life. We often forget that they are likely facing these feelings too, and are simply not talking about it, because who wants to discuss their flaws and self-doubts?
However, there is hope! You can beat imposter syndrome with these 3 tips below.
Build meaningful connections
It is important to build meaningful connections, whether it be with fellow classmates, coworkers, friends, family or even professors. Find a close circle of peers you trust to discuss these feelings with. We are usually our own worst critics, and isolating ourselves from others can be problematic because it causes us to spiral further into our feelings of self-doubt. Challenging these feelings requires you to take a step back to become more objective and consider the cold hard facts. Acknowledge your feelings and then examine where they are coming from. By understanding the root causes of your imposter syndrome, you can reframe your thoughts and put them into perspective. Try to face these feelings as soon as you can, so that you don’t get caught up in a vicious cycle of negativity that affects your mental health.
Celebrate your Successes
Remember to be kind to yourself. Think of all the accomplishments you’ve had so far and remind yourself that you’ve been working hard! Recognize that all your milestones, big and small, should be celebrated! In the moments when you are comparing yourself to those around you – wondering why you were not chosen for that internship or why you were not elected for an executive position in a student club – remember that life and “success” are not as straightforward as you may think… Everyone has their own unique journey. If anything, you are still young and have lots of time to achieve whatever you set your mind to. The world has always been (and will always be) a competitive place… Don’t let this fact deter you from persevering and achieving your own greatness!
Letting go of perfectionism
Oftentimes, those who suffer from imposter syndrome are high achievers and/or perfectionists who need things to be absolutely perfect. But… No one is perfect! Life is full of unexpected challenges – from macro factors like the state of the economy and job market to micro factors like having to retake a course. Acknowledge that you can only control what you can control and lower all that pressure that you’ve placed on yourself. Maybe even take a step back and reevaluate your goals. You don’t need to give up on your goals, but you could always consider other paths and possibilities to get to where you want to be. Be proud of the journey – what truly matters is that you have put your best effort into it!