Searched for Impostor syndrome

Exposition: What is Impostor Syndrome? 


I’ve wanted to write this post since the inspiration first came. I once saw a person write “I am aware” in a space meant for complimenting yourself. I like that. I envy it; to be aware, informed, enlightened.
I learnt of the term Impostor Syndrome(IS) not so long ago.
It is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.
It’s common among high achievers. They believe their success isn’t well deserved.
I first got to learn of it when Mariam Olafuyi had an instalive session on Instagram sometime last year. Ever since then, I noticed it easily in books I read, I saw it on the internet. Simply put, I became conscious of it and discovered its been a long standing discovery.
It’s very easy to think of it as Low Self Esteem (LSE) but it isn’t. Someone asked a question on that instalive session on whether any difference existed between IS and LSE. She responded by saying they’re different. I’m paraphrasing her answer:

“It isn’t the same. I know I’m awesome. I think I’m pretty cool. I don’t doubt that. The issue is when opportunities come, I don’t think I’m best suited for them.”

Both concepts can rightly be said to be distant family relations, so far as you admit that they are different. IS doubts results produced, LSE doubts the worth of the person.
IS is also referred to as Impostor phenomenon or Fraud syndrome. One easy way to diagnose it is that while a part of you tells you that this explains that feeling you often have, another part tells you ‘No, you’re simply famzing the category, reading too much meaning into your inabilities, you probably just have poor output’.
The condition
The condition “Impostor syndrome” was first identified in the late 1970s by Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Their research showed that many high-achieving women tended to believe they were not intelligent and that they were over-evaluated by others.
IS is not rare, according to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, it is estimated to occur to 70% of people from all walks of life, both men and women experience the impostor syndrome at some point in their careers.
Another study revealed almost 75% of surveyed students at Harvard Business School also felt like they were admitted due to some failure of the admission process.
Technology is growing so fast that most of us are learning something new on almost every project we work on. And that can make you feel like you don’t have the expertise you should have to rightfully be in that position.
I saw two Ted talks that I think shed more light on this concept. The speakers didn’t for once mention Impostor Syndrome but it was, in my opinion, close to their areas of concentration.
This by Sheryl Sandberg and This by Reshma Saujani.
Impostor syndrome is more common in women. Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In said:

“Men attribute their success to themselves while women attribute it to other external factors.
If you asked men why they did a good job, they’d say ‘I’m awesome, why do you bother asking?’ If you asked women, they’d say someone helped them; or they got lucky; or they did a good job…”

Another fact is that men are more likely to apply for a job in which they meet 60% of the requirements, while women will most likely not apply unless they meet 100% of the requirements.
This isn’t to fault the male folk in any sense, its simply to highlight the extent to which women lean back and why Impostor syndrome is consequently, more common in women.
Teaching women bravery instead of perfection, will go a long way in alienating IS because then you are taught to try.
My theory is that IS has gotten enough flesh to feast on because of our approach to a failed attempt. We all think ill of an attempt which didn’t turn out well. We should rather, think well of the courage that fuelled that attempt in the first place.
When that is accomplished, it goes to say when we do in fact succeed, it would not be sacrificed on the altar of “it just happened“, “I got help“, “ I was lucky“. It didn’t just happen. You did well. You succeeded. Believe it, own it.
Some of the tips to overcoming Impostor Syndrome include:

  • Keeping a file/folder of all the compliments you recieve on the work you do. You can always consult it to forge ahead on cloudy days.
  • Admitting that its impostor syndrome that’s preventing you from trying something new, from accepting your good work. Say it. Say it and it immediately becomes less of a threat.

“I own my own successes. I wear them as a badge. I have privileges but I’ve been able to leverage them. I’ve not done much but what I have done is substantial. I celebrate my work.”

There are a million other things you can learn about impostor syndrome and how to overcome it. A few helpful links: one and two. Research some more, the internet is (well, can be) your friend. Lol.

You may be immune to this, but you have a friend who isn’t. Share this post with them and stay enlightened.
I really hope this has been of help. If it has, do share. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comment box.
Peace and Light,
Debby.

How I Use My Gratitude Journal

Hello people. I had this post written a few months ago, and I’m finally glad to publish it.

I believe I’ll be doing something good for someone by teaching them how to really see the benefits in everything that comes their way.


You need a gratitude journal.

You can have this in any form but I do have a sustainable system (after other failed attempts over the years).

My foolproof system comes in form of a phone application. Its available on for download on every phone store. Gratitude App.

My entries each day range from little things like being grateful for the succulent chicken I ate, the scent coming from my air freshener, to great things like friends who help reset my brain.

I think I’d be adding a little flavour to this post by pasting some of my gratitude entries here. Some are very personal so I willingly skipped out on them, while randomly picking others.

Lets take the above as an example. The day before had been a great day for gratitude, but that following afternoon, after waking up from my vigil rest, I was sore and averagely without gratitude entries. But like David (1Samuel 30:6), Debby encouraged herself in the lord. Sometimes, its sufficient to thank God for the good days that make you contrast the bad days as bad. Its sufficient to thank God for the joy of the previous day leading to the current day’s weariness. That’s what I did above.

February 11

Today’s an interesting holiday, yeah?
After spending some 6hours straight up working on my project and feeling afloat, I had a shower, drank Milo drink while I ate my jollof spaghetti and settled don’t to watch ‘Princess Switch’. Of course it was the best comedy for the occasion.
Such an holiday!

And today’s my mum’s birthday! And Naija’s presidential election. Sure grateful for these little benefits.

February 24

I’m grateful for the weather. It has finally drizzled here in IB. Oh the joy. Just the pleasure of working on my laptop on my bed near this window!

I’m also grateful for a new Sunday in IVCU.

February 28

What am I grateful for? The joy of blogging and reading blogs. I love my community.

One of my greatest joys in blogging is reaching people all over the world:
New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Madagascar, Belarus, Chile, UAE, Serbia, Vietnam, Italy, Nicaragua.
I imagine what rich lives they have in the ends of the earth yet reading this blog. Wawu!

March 12

I’m grateful that my exams are well spaced even though I consider them too well spaced for me to be serious.
I’m grateful for the serenity that is Imoran’s courtyard.
I am grateful that I do have a blog.
I’m also grateful and scared that it appears Qservers is working and I may move my site!

On the day above, I had spent my day studying so when it was time to enter in my journal, I didn’t have spectacular events to enter in. That’s what this journal does: it forces me to take stock and give thanks. I look around me and appreciate something. The courtyard of the library where I used to read was very beautiful so I noted that down.

My exams were well-spaced and afforded me luxury – couldn’t take that for granted. I discovered a new hosting platform for my blog too.

Random but good things.

March 14

I’m grateful that I have in abundance. I am grateful just for my clothes, for my wardrobe that is full of beautiful colours and designers. Thank you Jesus! Thank you for blessing me materially.

See this? How many times have you taken time out ‘mid-life’ to just thank God you have colourful clothes? Without them, you’d still be indebted to God, right? So what extra privilege you have to possess them. My gratitude journal helps me pick out things I daily see and just reflect on how I’m blessed to have them.

March 26

Praise the lord! Praise the lord! Praise praise praise praise praise the lorddddd! Halleluyah.
‘Eyin oluwa logo, Ogo’!

Why so happy you may ask. Simple answer – its the joy of the lord. I’ve been in worship mood o, Yoruba worship mood.
In remembering the little things, I thank God for his way of quickening my spirit to learn to obey when he speaks, my laptop did ‘erekere’ but God took control and I got my assignment out. Also my blog is working!

April 01

I am grateful for the opportunity to play the guitar not minding how tiring it was, ugh!! My fingers.

April 02

I thank God for time well spent with a darling friend, X.
I thank God for coldstone icecream
I’m grateful for a beautiful face.

April 10

I am grateful for my blog – the work it gives me and the love I have for it.
I am grateful for other christian bloggers who are sticking it out there.

April 05

Its like I totally stopped giving thanks. I’m grateful for the dinner rehearsal we had this evening. I’m grateful for the opportunity to pitch in to help.

Precious people, this entry above for example wouldn’t have been an item of gratitude but for the fact that I’ve learnt to examine my days for them. So rather than look at how some people neglected the express instruction given them and made things two times tougher, I looked at the good side of being granted an opportunity by God to pitch in. I could as well have had nothing to do with the task, but I did, and that’s worthy of gratitude.

April 16

I’m grateful for the beautiful light bulb in the dinning area. It delights me.

Yep. We thank God for light bulbs in this part of my world.

April 17

I thank God blood was not drawn from my arteries today

This is an interesting but embarrassing story so I will not share it.

But its worth thanking God for. Imagine if it had been the contrary. See? this thanksgiving journal helps insert humour at the end of my day, before sleep.

April 20

I am happy that I found Emmanuelpresents (Onimisi) blog.
I am grateful for a beautiful family and the joy of a quiet Saturday.

Thank God for discoveries. Thank him for the people around you.

April 21

Grateful for a place to call my church.
Grateful that Christ died for me and the world and we can celebrate him today.
Grateful that God is on the throne.

April 23

I’m grateful to the people who though, don’t like it so much, make out time and effort to work in teaching hospitals. Its way soo much work.

As a general rule, I dislike hospitals. I even always prayed that I wouldn’t marry a medical doctor (yep, big secret). My default attitude towards hospitals was to squeeze my face. But in reflecting on April 23, this year, I truly discovered that some of the people working there may really not like the smell either, they may not like being around sick and depressed people, but they’re doing it for good, nothing personal. Wow. (Now medical doctors are attractive. Such good heart! Okay, this is a joke). The point is that I got to make a new discovery, change my pattern of thinking and give thanks.

April 26

Grateful for the opportunity to buy what I need for law school.
Grateful for the opportunity to be a daughter to a powerful minister and be able to follow him on ministrations.

December 18, 2018

I am grateful for the ‘adimole’ I made today. It brings out my ‘Abike’ face.

Novmber 29, 2018

Ah. Today has been a precious day. I’ve smiled and frowned. I frowned at the realization that I’ve lost so much on my laptop with the spoilt hard disk.

I’ve smiled at the realization that God mercifully helped me save some work. It could’ve been worse. I’ve smiled at the realization that I’ve got God on my side. I am blessed.


I finally decided on writing this blog post the day I got a different type of compliment from a friend.

A strong love language for me is words of affirmation and I’m learning I have to give it to myself by myself too.

I have struggled in the past year and a half with varying thoughts about myself. Nothing too drastic but I didn’t always believe in myself or appreciate myself so much. I felt I was failing at some things and was quite average overall.

But with my gratitude journal, today, I do get to thank God for a long list of things that I believe about myself. Things that I actually do recognize substantially in myself, so I remind myself. And if for nothing else but this, this gratitude journal is fulfilling. (P.S: This is a proven way to battle Impostor syndrome which I wrote on here).

But then, there are more reasons why this gratitude journal has been good.

One of my pastimes is to scroll through previous entries and just laugh in contentment at funny entries, while my heart soars in gratitude to God for the people I meet and the things I see around.

You can also send a few people gratitude entries which pertains to them. E.g Grateful for a peaceful walk with XX. Grateful for my friendship with YY which brings a smile to my face. Thankful for the time of prayer which I had with GG after that insightful conversation. I smiled today because of the impact I get to have in OO’s life. Forward it to XX, YY, GG and OO.

This app has a backup feature so entries are saved to your google drive. It also has the provision for setting three reminders during the day for you to write. I hope you have fun using it, and you sharpen your gratitude culture. Have a blast reading some of my entries:

I really hope you get round to leveraging the benefits of daily gratitude. It makes your prayers richer.

Comments on any of my featured entries? Do you have other gratitude structures? Pray tell.

As always, your favourite girl,

Debby.

Blow your own mind

Heyyy guys. How are you doing? That you’re here reading again shows you’re taking at least one right step. Welcome back💙. Reading is always the way to go. To more books in 2019🍻.
Early last year, I wrote a post on books: 2018 in books; it was to give you tips for reading better in 2018. Towards the close of last year, I thought to myself: Debby, you’re no longer giving out tips on reading because just how many books are you yourself reading?! (The impostor syndrome post guys). I know people that read double what I read, so what? I have a lesson to share. In that eureka, here I am writing again on the importance of reading (I just can’t help it. It’s from my heart).
I have a whole lot ahead of me in the future, but where I am now, I am grateful for it. To be frank with you, a bulk of it came through reading or other forms of learning. I see people’s reaction in certain instances and I see mine(inserts grave modesty), I ask myself what the distinguishing factor is and I know its wisdom.
I remember seeing a tweet once where someone asked people to comment on the things they were most happy about themselves. One blogger wrote “I’m glad that I’m aware”. Just like that. Aware. Not aware of abc or xyz. Aware. I think that is beautiful. I never forgot since then and I hope to always be aware. Plain awareness is on a whole deeper level. It is a conscious living birthed through a constant desire to learn.
That’s what this post is about- learning by all means.
My guess is I could’ve read an additional twelve books to the number I read last year if I had gathered the time I spent listening to podcasts, audio bible, audio books, Christian messages ( videos included) and turned them on to books. I could’ve. I’m glad I didn’t though. Why? It isn’t about the number of books you cover, it is about the knowledge, and if you can glean it through other sources, by all means go ahead. I had an explosion both reading and listening. Go out on a limb to learn and not just to get to the last page of a book.
The aim Is knowledge, guys. Knowledge. When you know, you are empowered anywhere you go. For Christians, it is the Holy Spirit who breathes on the knowledge(resources) you already have and turns it to wisdom. That’s the secret. Have you read the exchange of the debtor woman in 2 Kings 4: 1 – 7? Vs2:

Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.

The little jar of oil which she regarded for nothing was the catalyst for her miracle of abundance. You must always have something that can be leveraged upon. So guys, challenge yourselves. Know some more this year, do better in learning by listening and reading. Ask questions, observe. You’ll be richer for it. Awareness will always make the difference.
From the depth of my heart, this is my first message to you in 2019. Read. Listen. Learn. Stay aware. Blow your own mind.
As always,
Love and light.