Everyone feels like a fraud at some point in their lives, and that’s okay


Miles Gomez, Staff Writer

You just earned your greatest achievement, after weeks of hard work and perseverance to perfect your work, it appears that victory is just in your reach. But even after securing this success you feel…empty. Thoughts of doubt and uncertainty begin to cloud your vision, a seed of hesitation planted in your mind spreads like a virus through your brain. Suddenly that trophy doesn’t appear so shiny anymore. Did you even earn it? Do you deserve it when other people worked so hard and did so much better than you? What was the point, when triumph doesn’t feel good?

Perceived fraudulence, also more commonly known as Imposter Syndrome is a mental condition in which people doubt their skills, abilities, and talents to live in constant fear as being exposed as some sort of fraud. They may think they a deceiving others into believing they are intelligent or accomplished, that everything they’ve achieved was a lie one way or another. Please take note that this article should not be used to self-diagnose potential imposter syndrome but is simply created to inform people of this phenomenon.

People dealing with Imposter Syndrome often live in this cycle called The Imposter Cycle, a reoccurring ring of self-doubt and self-loathing that can keep them from completing an ambitious or even common task. When given a new project or task, they often tend to procrastinate or push back the project to avoid having to confront the problem at hand. After the project’s completion, if it ever does get finished, there is a brief sense of relief before ‘rationalization’ comes into play. The constant belief that someone else could’ve done a better job, and that they simply got lucky completing this seemingly simple task. Anxiety increases, spiraling doubt into self-deprecation living with the feeling of being a ‘fraud’, pushing away positive feedback and drowning in their own mind telling them that they did not deserve praise. A repeating cycle that never does seem to end, and only pushes them deeper into their own pool of insecurity.

These feelings can occur anywhere, from the workplace and academics to the seemingly safe place at home, this mental state constantly makes you feel like you don’t do anything worth celebrating. Individuals with impostor phenomenon, feelings of guilt often result in a fear of success. It’s a struggle to let go of the perfectionism and unreasonably high goals one sets for themselves, but it’s not impossible.

One important thing to remember is that you are human. Not a robot or machine built for churning out perfect results for everything you do, but a person capable of your own thoughts and feelings. You may never be satisfied with your achievements and focus only on everything you messed up, but mistakes are a part of life. Nobody is the perfect model, yes, even the seemingly perfect individual who appears to be good at everything you’re not has made several mistakes throughout their life. Life is full of errors and setbacks; nothing goes as planned no matter how elaborate said plan might be. Celebrate your successes, let go of perfectionism, cultivate self-compassion, you always have room to grow.