Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraudsyndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. (Wikipedia)

I’ve written about this before in an instagram post with the picture above, talking about how happy the picture makes me because it reminds me of an interview I went for, if you’re not familiar with the story here it is.

I took a chance and applied for a job at Harley Street after working as a radiographer in the NHS. The hospital I was working at said they had no money to promote me to a higher band even though I was qualified for it (I felt like they just didn’t want to). I was working to the bone with no recognition, the shifts were getting longer, there was so much nepotism, the managers were really not that great either. The job came up on Reed and I decided to just apply for it, it was for a senior radiographer and I was still a band 5 (junior banding), I was qualified for it, because I did a postgraduate certificate in Molecular Imaging and Nuclear Medicine, but I had little to no experience in what they were advertising. I applied with the thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ Anyway within a few days I got a call asking me to come in for the interview. I got the job straight after the interview with a significantly higher pay, less hours and a more reasonable and predictable working week (no on call, no night shifts, weekends and bank holidays off!), they would train me up on the things I didn’t have much experience in and I would be working in a team with others who had been doing the job much longer.

I honestly couldn’t believe my ‘luck’, I always felt like my life was a series of flukes. I passed school with straight A’s, I got a 2:1 in my degree, I passed my driving 1st time, I always felt like I wasn’t ‘actually’ good enough and I was in fact an imposter. I felt like somehow I had convinced everyone around me that I was better than I actually was, that I gave them the impression I knew more than I actually did.

I never knew this was a legitimate thing and I always thought I was the only one that felt this way until I saw a post about it by Ascia on instagram, where she spoke about how she felt like she had imposter syndrome. After talking to some girls on my instagram page I realised this is really common especially with women. Men tend to actually think they are better qualified and experienced than they are, I mean…Donald Trump?

Even now when I go for makeup and hijab styling jobs, I get really nervous and always second guess myself, ‘Will the client like what I’m doing’ ‘Do I really know what I’m doing?’, ‘What if they realise I’m not actually that good?’ After my first couple of eCommerce photoshoots where the models would tell me I did a great job on their makeup and that I was as good as other well established makeup artists I just felt like ‘is it just a fluke?’

But what I need to remember is that everything I do, everything that I am is because Allah blessed me, that I worked really hard to build my skills and improve in any job/career that I did. I need to remind myself of the times I did struggle. I also need to remember to stop comparing myself and what I can do to other people, because I think the ‘imposter syndrome’ feeling comes a lot from comparing myself to other people and not appreciating what I can do. Social media makes that harder, always looking at what other people in the same field as you are doing and thinking you need to ‘reach’ that when in fact you’re in a completely different lane to them.

So if you get this imposter syndrome feeling know that you aren’t alone and that I hope you start to believe in yourself, because you are good enough, this isn’t just a fluke, you deserve to reap the benefits of the struggles you went through and all the hard work you put in. (I’m great at giving other people advice I should be taking myself lol).

Do you ever get this feeling? Would love to know.