In a previous article, we talked about imposter syndrome and how it specifically impacts Black women. In this article, we’ll explore where imposter syndrome comes from.

Imposter syndrome can have various origins, often stemming from a combination of personal, societal, and psychological factors. Some potential sources include:

Perfectionism Culture: Growing up in an environment that emphasizes perfection and places unrealistic expectations on achievement can lead to feelings of inadequacy if those high standards are not consistently met.

Comparisons: Constantly comparing oneself to others who seem more successful can foster a sense of not measuring up, even if the comparisons are not accurate representations of reality.

Early Experiences: Negative feedback or criticism during childhood or formative years can contribute to a person doubting their abilities and feeling like they’re not good enough.

Impression Management: In a world where people often present only their best selves on social media and in public, it’s easy to feel like everyone else is excelling while you’re struggling, even though that’s not the full truth.

High Achievers: Ironically, those who achieve a lot and experience success can still feel like impostors, as they worry about living up to their past accomplishments or fear being exposed as not as skilled as people believe.

Personality Traits: Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism, anxiety, or a tendency to self-criticize, can make individuals more susceptible to experiencing impostor syndrome.

It’s important to note that imposter syndrome is a common experience that many people face, regardless of their actual competence. Recognizing its potential sources can be a step toward managing and overcoming these feelings.