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  • Writer's pictureKhadija Owusu

Am I good enough? - Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

A term we often hear, a feeling that is often familiar.

The previous week at work was probably one of the most challenging. From rotating to a different specialty, to feeling very overwhelmed by managing complex cases at a junior level, imposter syndrome hit like a ton of bricks and left me feeling quite emotional. Once it hits, it sets you off in a downward spiral of several thoughts leaving you in doubt of your very own deserving of being where you currently are or working in that particular role (in my case, pertaining to my role as a doctor). Specifically for me, the thoughts I had were ‘Can I really do this?’, ‘Am I even doing a good job?’ and ‘Do I truly belong?'.

'Can I really do this?' 'Am I doing a good job?' 'Do I truly belong?'

So how does one deal with or manage imposter syndrome when it comes knocking on your door?

  1. Re-affirm and remember

When the thoughts of imposter syndrome come, I instantly place myself in battle mode. I feel I must defeat or clear every negative thought with a positive one. A positive affirmation highlighting to me that I must not let this frame of mind consume me. The following affirmations are what I repeatedly tell myself:

  • I am good enough

  • I do deserve to be here

  • And most importantly, I am trying my best

On the flip-side, imposter syndrome can serve as a reminder to take that long awaited quick trip down memory lane. To look at how far you have come. To remember the journey and what it took for you to reach this very moment. I am a strong believer of everything happens for a reason. God has placed you in this particular role or position, intentionally.

No one else can convince you you're good enough. Only you can do that.

2. You are not alone Imposter Syndrome is a common feeling shared amongst most. Seek some comfort in knowing that you are not the only one that has felt this way. As a result, so many people will have their own ways of dealing with it. This will help whilst you are figuring it out and developing your own management strategy.

Everyone feels like an imposter sometimes, and that's okay.

3. Talk to others Nothing beats being able to share and discuss something that has happened to you with your trusted colleagues, friends or family. Talking about it alone provides an immeasurable sense of relief. Gaining the additional perspective is also very key, another bonus. And finally, these trusted individuals know who you really are and what you’re capable of. They will serve to re-affirm and reassure you, and most often, more than you do for yourself.

'The more comfortable you become with sharing your feelings, the more powerful you become.'

4. Your efforts do not go unnoticed Earlier I mentioned feeling quite emotional at the time. What triggered me to reach that point was not due to the direct negative effect of imposter syndrome. It was in fact a senior colleague (from a different team) that I had been working with on this particular case who stated ‘I know this must be quite challenging for you, especially at your level. But I wanted to let you know that you’re doing a great job!’ Sometimes, that is all it takes to make the dark cloud over our heads disappear. The assurance that you are indeed doing the right things. However, you will have times where you feel your efforts are not seen; that doesn’t mean you should stop making them.

You may not think it or feel it, but you are doing a great job!

The above are a few of my tips for dealing with imposter syndrome. What are some of yours? Feel free to share some of the ways you manage imposter syndrome.

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