Feeling like an imposter is exhausting – emotionally, psychologically and even physically. Constantly being worried that you will be found out as a fraud and never feeling good enough – even though in reality you are good or event great at what you do – takes its toll. No wonder so many people ask me if I have found a ‘cure’ for imposter syndrome.
Author: Maryam PashaMaryam's work specialises in designing unique and innovative experiences and events to communicate ideas to new audiences – especially around social issues like immigration and women’s rights, but also in the fields of technology, sustainability and social entrepreneurship.
When I was 12, my family moved to New York. It was exciting and a big adventure and it fundamentally shaped who I am today. This was not to say that moving at such a critical age wasn’t without its challenges. I went from being at the top of my class in London to failing in New York. I was in a whole new system and I wasn’t until my final year in high school that I was again able to master how to be ‘successful’ in the American education system.
The voices in my head – my gremlins – are brutal. And they have been saying this same thing to me for years; when I was in university, applying for jobs, running large events, speaking in public. They took every opportunity to remind me that I was one mistake away from being found out as a fake – as an imposter.
One of the fears of many people with imposter syndrome – including me – is that we are not superstars. I often feel like only superstars will make a difference in the world and that only superstars are valued in the work place.
I was asked to give a talk at TEDxUCLWomen 2015 about imposter syndrome. It was a brilliant experience and my first time talking about my own experiences in public.
Imposter syndrome is like a secret society – everyone is a member and no one talks about it. I’m writing a book about imposter syndrome and I’d really like your help!
Gremlins are those small but powerful voices in your head that tell you nasty stories about yourself. They say things like “you will never be successful”, “no one will ever love you”, “you don’t deserve to be happy”…