Imposter Syndrome is something that all sorts of folks struggle with. Even some of the most successful and knowledgeable folks you might know or look up to have their moments. How can you overcome it?
What is Imposter Syndrome? The article I just linked to really explains it well: “imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud—like you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise.”
I think it’s especially common in niche areas (be it Witchcraft, artistic disciplines, or academic subgroups) for several reasons.
- The community tends to examine itself a lot, unfortunately sometimes with a more competitive or critical eye than may be necessary or even healthy. It’s hard not to see that sort of stuff happen to others and not internalize it as well.
- It can be hard to really mark progress or success in tangible ways – what sets the benchmark? How many years of experience, what KIND of experience, what’s really art, shifting goal posts, comparing disparate paths, new research always coming out, etc – all of these things make for an amorphous measuring stick. How do you really know where you’re at?
- In areas that dwell heavily in the spiritual, the mysterious, the oathbound, etc – there can be a sense that surely there’s something you don’t know that’s really obvious, even though you’ve done your due diligence. The “What DON’T I know?” can nag at you even if the list of “what I DO know” is extensive.
- Another reason is headgames – bad faith actors such as power (or money) hungry “teachers” to competition-minded peers can shake your foundation.
So in this 6 Minutes of Witchcraft episode, I answer a viewer question (thanks Raven!) about dealing with imposter syndrome in Witchcraft. I think you could also apply my advice to all areas of your life where you might encounter imposter syndrome, but of course here the reference is Witchcraft-based.
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