Buzz about the Impostor Syndrome is upon us. Selling books, doing talks, vlogs.
Straight to the point. This is not a syndrome at all. It is evolutionary achievement of human race. It is catapult meant to help us be better versions of ourselves. Yes the symptoms are present, but IMHO they do not form a syndrome. Bear with me, just read on.
Author Rob Conery writes: “The syndrome has affected approximately 70% of the population worldwide however often goes unrecognized.”
Doesn’t that statistic actually tell us that 70% of the population is normal, while other 30% actually suffers from a syndrome. Like kitten on the right, one which trips to be Siberian Tiger. I name it the Siberian Kitten Syndrome.
Let me explain where my opinion comes from. I have been involved in Martial Arts from age of 6. As qualified instructor teaching for past ten years. I am running my own school for past seven years. But still, even today, when it is time for real violence, I get hit by “fight or flight”. For example when somebody walks in the class and obviously wants to fight, to hurt me or diminish my authority in front of the students. Even with all this training, when things get real, the whole roller-coaster of stress + tunnel vision + adrenaline rush + big muscles get shake impulses. Thoughts kick in: “Am I ready? Will he beat me? Maybe he is not alone? Maybe he is packing a knife?” But then when the “work” starts, all is back to normal, and I swim like a shark in the water.
There is a reason why all this exist. It is the achievement of evolution. Tunnel vision gets you focused so brain processes only immanent threat which is what matters at that moment. Adrenaline raises pulse, gets you on your toes, shaking of big muscle groups actually warms them up and gets them ready for the fight or flight. In the world of violence, who ever doesn’t experience this mechanism at certain level, is a psychopath. It is safe to say that only mental person just goes into death or alive situation like taking a sip of tea.
Back to the feeling of being impostor. It is comparable to described above. That is mechanism meant to help us become better versions of ourselves. That is the feeling that will get you to go trough your notes one more time. That is the drive that will get you to review all slides in the presentation one more time. That is the drive… and it is good, you just need to get on with the work and swim like a shark.
So, instead of making newest buzz business out of sincere and realistic professionals, like kitten on the left, will somebody please deal with 30% of those with Siberian Kitten Syndrome? How can somebody think he is perfect pro. That hers design is always right. Or that his calculations are always correct. That hers decisions are always legit. That is just out there. Those are the “psychos” of professional domain. Somebody needs to sort out that syndrome, to show them the real mirror.
And you, 70% of normal people, you are doing just fine. You are seeing correct mirror. We aren’t perfect, we can all know more or do better. But you do not have any syndrome. Learn more, recheck the notes, fine proof the presentation once more, ask others verify your calculations, to help you. And thanks for all the good work!