When you’ve been successful, it can feel like you aren’t allowed to complain. But just because you are a high achiever doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it all on your own. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Science, an estimated 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at one point in their life.* And seeking support now can help you own your success and improve feelings of self-worth.
There are many reasons you might struggle with imposter syndrome, each one as valid as the other. We live in a culture in which overwork has become the norm: you’re expected to have your phone on all day, and there isn’t a clear boundary between work and outside life. Even when you know you need a break, you might worry people will find fault with that decision. Or you may have an internal drive to be successful that makes prioritizing your self-care feel like you are “wasting time.”
Imposter syndrome is especially prevalent among women and people of color—individuals whose accomplishments are often met with doubt or incredulity from the outside world. We’re seen as undeserving of certain achievements, or we’re told we were only promoted because of our sex or race. That external pressure—the constant demand to prove yourself—often increases as you work your way up the ladder, reinforcing any internal doubts you may have.
Regardless of your sex, gender, race, or ethnicity, the inability to internalize your own skills and successes makes it hard to advocate for yourself. And if you can’t feel safe enough to take risks or secure enough to articulate why you deserve a job or promotion over someone else, it becomes harder to accomplish your goals.
Fortunately, with the right guidance and support, you can free yourself from the internal blocks that are keeping you stuck and learn to accept your accomplishments and feel good about what you’ve done.