This is part 2 in a series on Imposter Syndrome. To read part 1, click here.

The ultimate buzz kill. One day you’re high on life, excited about your future, the next day you lose all confidence, questioning everything you’ve ever done.

We’re talking about Imposter Syndrome. No matter how successful you get, you will deal with the symptoms of feeling less than, or not enough.

And they’ll come more frequently the higher up the ladder you climb, since you’re adjusting to the new height.

It may feel wrong to be there, like you don’t belong.

Social media doesn’t help. Actually, it makes Imposter Syndrome all the more prevalent.

You’re scrolling along, seeing what everyone else is doing, and then that one photo gets you. They’re so much farther ahead than I am.

First, you feel happy for their success. Then, jealousy sets in. You start thinking about how you aren’t as pretty/important/special/lucky/happy/dope as them.

You want to crawl into your shell.

What brings this on? It’s not just the scroll. Imposter Syndrome is bred from somewhere deeper.

So, what triggers Imposter Syndrome?

What Triggers Imposter Syndrome?

There are 4 triggers for Imposter Syndrome.

1. People Pleasing

What you related to as a child, and how you chased ideas of success in order to please those around you. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, and if you feel like you aren’t as ahead as you “should” be in life, doing everything perfectly, then you feel like you’re letting them down, and therefore yourself down. We don’t want to be rejected.

2. FOMO

Fear of missing out. You want to be in the know all the time on the things that matter to you. And if you ever feel like you’re missing out, you feel irrelevant and inferior.

3. Comparison Trap

We desire to be like others who reflect our idea of success. And we compare ourselves to them in whatever way. We don’t want to be on the losing side of life.

4. Freshman Fear

When we’re new somewhere, we are at a disadvantage for what we know and how we fit in. We’re finding our place in the newness. And depending on how you view your ability to fit in, will determine how fast you can get over the “culture shock.” We don’t want to fail in public and be humiliated.

All forms of mental clutter.

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Like we talked about before, Imposter Syndrome is believing you’re not enough. Like you lack in some way.

And not feeling like we belong or like we’re accepted causes anxiety.

How do your scrolls go? How often do you feel envious of those you follow? And for what? Next time you’re on social, take notice.

What emotions fall on you within a 15-minute period? Happiness? Sadness? Curiosity? Jealousy? Insecurity? Judgment? Self-doubt?

If it’s causing Imposter Syndrome to creep in way too often, you can consider decreasing the time you spend on social.

Imposter Syndrome sets in early. It’s not something that just came on as you’re starting your career. If you have it bad now, you’ve always had it bad.

Your upbringing (including parents, siblings, friends, teachers and schoolmates) played a major role in how you perceive yourself today. We’re influenced by our surroundings and in our formative years, if we weren’t sure about how we measured up, then we were always chasing validation to feel like we belonged.

If you weren’t chasing validation, you were chasing to influence the masses. Either way, it translates to whether we are living our purpose.

Speaking of purpose, read the next part of the series here.

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