The Anti-Confidence Syndrome That’s Crippling American Girls

Have you ever been at the pinnacle of personal success, at a spot in your life where you are on top of your A-Game and should be looking down and marveling at your accomplishments…only to feel like you’re actually still failing, that you should be doing more, that you are not enough? That you are living life as a fraud?

Yeah, me too.

It would almost be a blessing to feel that alone, not accompanied by the persistent gnawing feeling that someone is on to you, that all of your success is about to be taken away once everyone finds out what a phony you are…even if you’re not a phony at all.

In my life, since middle school, I’ve watched countless girls–including myself– devote themselves to a million things, and excel in those many things, but still belittle themselves and insist that they could be doing more. There’s a feeling of luck–that you were lucky this time, that you caught a break– and it takes all the accomplishment and hard work off of you.

That, dear friends, is impostor syndrome in a nutshell.

You could be the most qualified, brilliant, wonderful person out there…but you still think it’s a fluke that you’re succeeding in life, be it socially, academically, or professionally.

But you’re not alone in that feeling.

Women, more than men, feel as if they’re fakers. They’re perfectionists who attempt to be all and yet wonder why no one has stopped them yet. They can be your roommate or Meryl Streep…everyone and anyone around you could be feeling like a fraud, just like you.

But you’re not a fraud–and that’s the important thing to remember.

With finals coming up, as well as possible grad applications, job applications, and any other important life event, it’s not surprising if you feel extra tense if you’re extra nervous that the mask will slip and everyone will see you as you are. Having to prove yourself, over and over, can do that.

But you are proving yourself. It’s not luck or fate if you accomplish something wonderful. That was all you, girl. Own it.

And while you’re at it, harness your impostor syndrome for good. Let it push you at times, but don’t let it control you. Can you possibly be doing better? Maybe–but you don’t have to prove that to anyone. You don’t have to show everyone around you why you deserve the space you occupy. You can choose to, but you don’t have to.

Be kind to yourself and don’t feel like you must prove yourself now. You have time to show how impressive you really are.

You don’t have to fake it til you make it. You made it. You are genuine.

Celebrate that, and know you’re not a fraud–you’re doing the best that you can.

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