I think all of us have heard the term "imposter syndrome" once or twice throughout our lives. Maybe you don't know this term, but I can promise you that you have been a culprit of imposter syndrome yourself. You know that feeling that you get when you walk into an office full of people in fancy clothes, and you get this voice in your head that says, "you don't belong here, people are going to find out that you are a fake." Maybe you experienced this as a kid when you were getting back your report card, and when your friends asked you how you did, you responded with "oh, not very well" even though you made the honor roll.
"Imposter syndrome" is a phrase that I did not hear until I entered the developer world, but it is a feeling that I have experienced multiple times throughout my life. Personally, it made me feel a bit better when I found out that even people that are as great as Albert Einstein felt imposter syndrome. He felt as though his accomplishments did not deserve as much recognition as they were getting. He also called himself an involuntary swindler, meaning that he was only as successful as he was because of sheer luck. He felt like a fraud, or some would say an "imposter." Yup, that's right, it just hit you. "I have felt this way!" Yup, everyone has, at some point, experienced this feeling.
You may have realized this by now, but this thing we call imposter syndrome is not a disease or abnormality. This feeling has been studied widely among people of all different gender, race, age, and occupations, and that's right; all people, in every category, have experienced imposter syndrome. These feelings are not more or less common in people who already suffer from self-esteem issues, depression, or anxiety.
The best way to combat these feelings is by talking about it. Talking about imposter syndrome can seem like an odd thing to do. Many studies have shown that we all have this feeling of imposter syndrome, but are too afraid to talk about it because of the fear that we are the only ones feeling this way. This feeling is so familiar that we even have a term for it, called "pluralistic ignorance." Sadly, this feeling stops many individuals from applying for jobs or sharing great ideas that would otherwise help them to excel. Sometimes, even after talking to a mentor and receiving good feedback, it is difficult for the feelings of imposter syndrome to ease, but hearing a mentor talk about their experience with imposter syndrome can make all the difference. The same thing goes for talking to your peers, talking to one another about imposter syndrome, may be helpful for everyone. Sometimes, just recognizing that others feel this way is the most beneficial.
In conclusion, there is no way to get rid of imposter syndrome completely, but talking about it and recognizing our feelings is the best way to face imposter syndrome head-on. Even though it may sound cheesy, having an open conversation with your peers and mentors about how they have experienced, or may currently be experiencing, imposter syndrome, can make everyone feel at ease. Walking away from this, I want you to know that no matter how you feel, you are strong, you are capable, and don't let these feelings hold you back.