Friday, January 6, 2012

I have a syndrome

I was fascinated today when I opened an email in my personal account. It was advertising a webinar, but as I read the words, I started to wonder if someone was playing a joke on me. The webinar being advertised in the email talked about a syndrome I had never heard of, but the symptoms sounded very familiar.

The webinar is about Impostor Syndrome, and as I read what it was, it answered a lot of lifelong questions for me. Impostor Syndrome is basically an irrational belief that nothing one accomplishes is because of their own effort or expertise, but more likely because of luck or being able to "fool" their way through.

A few months ago, in response to a writing challenge, I wrote a post entitled The imposter. I have always felt like this, and the possibility that this is because of a syndrome is incredible. I am interested in it because of my own feelings, but also as a Gender Equity Trainer, I am wondering how closely tied to Attribution Theory this syndrome might be (note to self: do some research on this).

I researched a little and found an informative article from Forbes that describes the syndrome entitled Feeling Like a Fraud: Living With Impostor Syndrome. After reading it, I realized that I have let these feelings hold me back for a long time. I have resisted opportunities that have been placed before me for fear that someone will finally figure me out.

I'm not sure what to do with this information, but I have always believed that fully understanding a problem is the first step to solving it. This news actually has me feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time.

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