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2020 and 2021 unceremoniously brought in deaths and loss of livelihood of millions across the world. As a result, many end up questioning their abilities and wondering if they were ever good enough for anything. Needless to say that it was catastrophic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and it was bound to have taken a toll on many.
Emotionally, humankind together is at their lowest, and it is in these situations impostor syndromes hit hard. People go through a non-stop emotional downturn after they have lost their jobs, family, and friends. As a result, many end up questioning their abilities if they were ever good enough for anything.
What makes it tougher to deal with impostor syndrome today is people lack awareness, support, and guidance. Even in most cases, people seem to have no idea if they suffer from any impostor syndromes. Yes, impostor syndrome has its type. While the consensus is still unaware of the signs of impostor syndrome, people are waking up to its existence and impact on our well-being in recent years.
And here, you can read why it has become tougher to deal with impostor syndrome. But before that, let's get you introduced to what impostor syndrome is and its type in a nutshell.
Impostor syndrome is a fraudulent feeling that arises from one's own achievements and accolades. For instance, people appreciate your work in the office, and suddenly a feeling kicks in and tells you that you don't deserve them. You start thinking that while they are praising you now, soon they will find out that you are a fraud. Such feelings of inferiority and self-doubt can be termed impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome mainly arises from our fears and lack of self-confidence. It can be divided into five types as per renowned researcher Dr. Valerie Young's book – The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. They are:
Perfectionists are individuals who set for themselves sky-high expectations, and when they make small mistakes, they think of themselves as a failure.
They are the individuals who don't believe in taking breaks. They will work for longer hours and do everything they can to succeed. They live with constant doubt of having to prove themselves as the "real deal."
The soloist strongly believes that asking for help means that they are incapable and, therefore, a failure and fraud.
They are skilled individuals who are so accustomed to doing things with ease that once they feel challenged or fail at something on the first try, they dig themselves into self-doubt and shame.
The experts are individuals who continuously seek validation through processes like certifications to make themselves feel qualified. If you look at all the types, many will find themselves relatable to more than one type of impostor, and the majority will be able to put themselves in at least one type.
If I have to sum the answer to this very question in just one word, I will say, "Social Media."
The advent of social media was seen as a blessing, and it still is. After all, it brought the whole world closer in one place called the internet. It was something unbelievable that happened, perhaps, like the Big Bang Theory. However, in this blessing lurked a demon that eventually started creeping up on many of us.
From just texting and sharing photos, social media has evolved to the age of "Influencers." Influencers are present everywhere, and while there are so many good parts to having them, the bad ones outweigh them. Yes, it may seem like a biased opinion. Still, this culture of celebration where we idolize unrealistic expectations, such as the show "Keeping up with the Kardashians," makes us feel shallow and fake.
All those glittery images of the perfect pictures, beautiful dresses, and pretty smiles only leave many of us questioning, "If there's something wrong with us or else why aren't we happy like them." And to add to our existing misery, we have beauty filters and photoshop to make us feel worthwhile. As a result to overcome impostor syndrome becomes more difficult.
The worst part of this influencer era is that we put on ourselves such high expectations of looking good, feeling good, and being good that ultimately the line between fake and real fades away. In fact, people start living a fake life thinking it to be a real one, and end up suffering even more.
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