If you're a high achiever, you might be familiar with the feeling that even though you're doing lots of great things and have accomplished a lot of stuff, you still feel like the walls could come down any moment.

This is called the “imposter syndrome”: a phenomenon that was called out in 1978. It marks the inability to internalize the accomplishments of people that are actually smart and hard-working. People that feel this way often think that they achieved it because of luck, timing or the ability to fool others into thinking that they are more competent of skilled than that they actually are.

Some thoughts:

  • Parts of what you feel about this can be true. It is good to know where there is room for improvement, so don't discard these thoughts right away.
  • On the other hand, this line of thinking can hurt your performance, so it is good to validate it with others. It can help to make a list of your actual accomplishments, positive feedback and success stories. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a super valuable thing.