Seventy percent of young people experience Impostor Syndrome. People who experience Impostor Syndrome are high achievers unable to internalize and accept their success. Hence, they often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability and fear that others will eventually unmask them as frauds.
Millennials and impostor syndrome
Millennials are most likely to experience it because of :
- technological advancements within their lifetime,
- societal pressures,
- social media comparisons, and
- also because of their parents.
They are members of the trophy generation, raised by parents who send mixed messages — alternating between over-praise and criticism. It becomes obvious why the generation also called Generation Stress is most likely to experience Impostor Syndrome.
Though millennials are the largest generation in America’s workforce, many feel they still have “something to prove”, that they must validate their talent, credentials, and accomplishments.
Unfortunately, Impostor Syndrome is not limited to the office. For millennial professionals who are also parents the opinion of others matters greatly.
About seven-in-ten parents want their own parents to think they are doing a good job raising their children. Eight percent of millennial moms even said it’s important to be “the perfect mom“, according to a report by Baby Center. Parents of younger children also feel more personally responsible for their children’s achievements or lack thereof.
There will always be colleagues, friends, even strangers whose unwanted comments trigger moments of inadequacy, but luckily there are steps millennials can take to reduce the moments in which they experience Impostor Syndrome:
- The first thing to remember is it’s just a form of fear and worry. Acknowledge it.
- Periodically reflect on successes, and consider failures learning opportunities.
- Stop comparisons to colleagues and friends.