The term imposter syndrome is coming up more and more frequently within the games industry in the recent years, and describes the feeling of self-doubt, inadequacy and feeling as though you’re about to be ‘discovered’ as a fraud.
We’ve seen imposter syndrome discussed throughout various creative industries and academia, affecting those at the highest of seniority within their field.
People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are not deserving of their accomplishments, and they have somehow stumbled their way into success rather than having earned it.
Signs of imposter syndrome:
- Consistent negative talk about self worth
- Inability to accept accomplishments
- Obsessing over mistakes and failures
- Feeling of never being good enough
- Overwhelming feeling of being “discovered” as a fraud
- “It’s down to luck”
How it affects us
– Feeling like a fraud can manifest into overworking, self-sabotage, holding back and procrastination
– Reduces willingness to speak up in group settings
– Less confident going for opportunities you could get
Out of workplace
– Hobbies e.g. trials for sports, music etc
– Comparison to others
How to counter it
- Recognise feelings when they emerge
- Talk about it
- Note down proof of your success
- It’s normal not to know everything and you are constantly learning – which is good!
- Reframe failure as learning opportunities
- Refrain from comparison to others
Stop comparing yourself to others! You don’t know how others have accomplished things or the obstacles they have faced. Everyone’s situation is different.
Look for the wins. What went well? Where did you make a difference?
Listen for praise. Thank people for it – don’t dismiss it!
Go for it! Take the opportunity – there might not be another chance.
We talked about imposter syndrome with Patron and esteemed games industry veteran Shahid Kamal Ahmad on the Safe Space Podcast – where Shahid talks about his own experiences with imposter syndrome. Click here to listen to the episode!