Month: April 2015

Imposter Syndrome –Wilful Submission to Self-doubting

Raghav phoned his old buddy to share good news he’s just got – “Hey Deepak! Raghav this side. Dude I saw your exam’s result. Congratulation, buddy! You cracked it with flying colours!

Taken aback at the news, Deepak answered back “Thanks mate for the news! That’s really great! I never thought I would crack that tough ordeal (exam). Seriously, I never expected this sweet upshot. I think I am lucky to have passed the exam. I thought I won’t make it.

“What are you talking about, man? I know you fared so well because of your talent. Why the hell you bring luck into this? It doesn’t have to do with your success. You earned it.

“No Raghav! Believe me. That’s happened just because of my luck. I was literally hopeless. I am just clueless now if my luck would favour me next time!

and then Raghav heard over the phone the deep sigh, apparently the thin sound of breathing of his old buddy. The conversation, especially the way his old good friend underestimated his talent and attributed his luck to his current success startled him. Raghav had gut feeling that his old pal was in the servitude of IMPOSTER SYNDROME!

……………………….

No! Imposter syndrome doesn’t mean a syndrome of being someone else. However, the implication with the affected one or the patient (subject) exudes the personality flaw of falseness, duplicity and meek submission to subject’s fate/luck. My familiarity with imposter syndrome is, you know… newfangled! The term never rang my ears until recently when it caught my attention from an internet article. I am a writer, so, everything about the term that I read, believe me – almost got me off the hook!

Glad I was to know about it and saddened I became after realizing how ignorantly I nourished this devious fear inside me. What is imposter syndrome? Is it disease? Is it mental lunacy? Is it psychological disorder? What the hell is it? Well this could be anything or nothing…largely depends on the way you see this.

As outlined, imposter syndrome is someone’s inability to value their own accomplishments/talent. The fear-stricken, luck-driven and “I am a loser, I have no life” type of guys self-doubt themselves, their accomplishments, their talent and everything about them under the stupor/influence of imposter syndrome. Weird? Perhaps! But that weirdness is worldwide. So, you may not stand corrected if you interpret it as a worldwide epidemic. Figuratively, though! For starter – imposter syndrome is psychologically defined to be someone’s inability to internalize his/her accomplishments, or when someone reaches at the mental stage where they self-doubt their own talent, achievements, virtues or personality and academic attributes. The feeling of inadequacy caused by egomania-triggering hormone is the prime suspect of this esoteric psychological disorder.

THE AFTER-EFFECT

During the onset of imposter syndrome, the sufferer becomes critically doubtful about his own confidence and talent to cope up with his existing situation. For instance, the sufferer may be exceedingly talented at handling a mathematical problem or he might be having enough pluck to face the large number of audience and deliver speech. However, the imposter-syndrome-affected guy will self-doubt – “What if I fail? People’d mock me.

The irony is, these guys are damn Einstein (genius) in the opinions of their friends, family or perhaps even for the whole world! Their talent may be acknowledged far and wide. However, for them – it’s always questionable! The worst outcome of the syndrome – the patients underrate their own accomplishments achieved out of hard labour. Tend to credit the achievements to unseen lucks.

Fatalist?

Yup, that could be the possibility.

In fact, the likelihood of being a nut job fixated and in constant servitude with the lingering thought of having fake-personality is the accentuated sign of the disease in patient. They believe they are fake and their unmasked-self could be ripped off by someone who beats them at their own game! The tendency to attribute accomplishments to luck/destiny/fortune is the potent sign of the mental/psychological disease.

Miracle is the buzzword for them to say the least. For this reason, the sufferers self-doubt whether or not they would succeed next time as they believe luck may not be so merciful second time.

CURIOUS CASE WORLDWIDE

Regardless of not being the acute mental disorder, imposter syndrome, nevertheless, happens to be a curious case for psychologists worldwide. The recent studies suggest imposter syndrome is usually sufferer’s reactionary attitude towards a situation. Speaking otherwise, environmental conditions or surrounding environments could be the case of imposter syndrome in a patient until he/she is not in contact with these environments with strong likelihood of triggering or abetting the episode of the disease.

Tolerance and counter measure for imposer syndrome depends on the personality scale or patient’s capability of tackling the onset of the disease. Strong willed, healthy and positive-minded are too tough guys for these disorders to affect them adversely.

Who’s prone to imposter syndrome?

Could be anyone very successful, in limelight, known by many, seen and acknowledged far and wide. And – the achievers! Though the mainstream studies indicated the growing sign of imposter syndrome in successful women more than their male counterparts. However,recent studies contrarily challenge the mainstream conclusion, saying even males experience the onset of the disorder. In a nutshell, those with inability to deal with their own scepticism and self-doubting egomania are prone to imposter syndrome.

Count me in, too

You know me well. No? Al right! So, my name is Pawan Kumar Jha. I am a writer. I write blogs, articles and topical content over different subjects ranging from real estate, healthcare, technical, non-technical, meditation, spirituality, divinity, psychology etc. Let me reveal that I do have imposter syndrome. I self-doubt, underestimate my talent.

Most opportunities I just blew because of imposter syndrome. I declined job offers promising me relatively better salary package as I underestimated myself and showed pathetically dismissive attitude on my ability. I self-doubted whether I could fit in or not. I am trying hard to recover out of it. For this, I read books of motivational quotients, to realize myself better. Besides, I indulge into activities like morning walk and enough sleep as they were recommended as the strong proponent to help someone fight against imposter syndrome.

Writing – Boring Only When You Run Out Of Ideas To Write About

I keep writing in abeyance provided I run out of ideas, the quality thoughts! I have been assertive in advocating the importance of having quality materials for a writer, as they are requisite essentials determining the quality quotient of writing. In the absence of quality materials, writing is nothing but the funny outcome of some nonsensical or unreadable piece of garbage.

It’s like seeds. The quality of seeds you sow determine finally the quality of harvest you reap later. And if you do not have quality seeds, you do not have quality harvest. Quality materials or inspiring thoughts are the lifeblood for any writer, be it author, novelist, article writer or blogger. I, for one, ensure presence of these quality materials in my mind before I start to write something.

These materials do not necessarily mean to be of super quality or unique, but as I believe in the maxim – ‘have something to say not to say something – I, therefore feel completely disinterested, reluctant to write anything. In fact, I do conjure up myself as someone with the steadily growing convulsion of “Ah! What the heck I am doing now!” when there is nothing good in my mind to write about, to talk about.

Writing, for me, is the depiction of my inward personality as most of the thoughts that I externalize through writing are the result of my thoughts manufactured out of my inward sentiments. And when there is nothing to say specifically, I tend to quit on writing.  For me, the growing aversion towards writing in the absence of good ideas is something relatable to impression of my outward personality – self-reserved, shy, introvert and a kind of “Al right guys, if you believe that shit, go ahead. I am better being myself” guy!

The bottomline – I am so unwilling to talk when I have nothing specific or good to say (well, I do talk nonsense. Common I am not spiritually pure sort of Buddha guy).

That’s the writing all about, for me! NO IDEAS, NO WRITING!

“Do you ever feel the growing sense of inertia for writing?” I was asked once, albeit the exact wording of the question escapes from my memory now.

“Yes. I feel inertia for writing when I do not have good idea to write about. For writing, I must have something in mind to externalize. Without ideas, the spirit of writing is almost dead to me.”- was the short and straightforward answer.

Writing – Brevity Is The Essence

Writing to me is like seeing myself into the mirror and appreciating the reflection according to the standard of my judgement. You can say that’s one of the most important personality aspects of mine. It’s been almost five years since I am into writing. If I am to include the school days where teachers would often assign me topics for essays, I concur I have been writing for many years, since the days of my schooling.

When I started writing commercially as a SEO writer, I was instructed to write content with placement of keywords more than necessary. Over-stuffing keywords was order of the day. However, time changed and content marketing witnessed rapid transition by the advent of guidelines, suggestions and prohibitory steps taken by search engines (Google’s Panda, Panguin) in their respective efforts to improve standard of content and to safeguard reliability of their source.

I have been writing since Blackhat and Whitehat SEO tactics prevailed and which were resorted by most to increase traffic counts on their websites, fetch backlinks and earn revenues. Back then writing from the perspective of earning required me to flow with the time, and therefore, I succumbed to the demanding situations. However, writing for SEO in those days was like writing for content mill…perhaps search engines were not technically evolved as they are now.

However, the thing which remains unplugged from my conscious reasoning faculty of mind was the style of writing. Times gone by since I started to write, yet this style of writing has been a lingering thought.

The style was – BREVITY!

Why does brevity matter? Why should a writer follow brevity?

Brevity improves comprehension: Scientists proved we human beings possess no balls in tolerating (let alone comprehending) extremely verbose and lengthy piece of writing. We skip it over out of freaking annoyance. On the contrary, brief writing always emerges in limelight. People love it as paves quick comprehension of the subject being presented in text.

Brevity empowers writing – Something said in few words is relatively more sought-after and readable stuff as compared to the one expressed in textual diarrhea. Most importantly, concision in writing empowers it remarkably. You will always find the stark difference of impressiveness between the write-up with words-extravagance and the one with briefness in precision.

What kind of brevity matters in writing? Is it shortness of sentence or paragraph that matters?

If you ask me, I’d say brevity matters both in terms of shortness of sentence and briefness of entire content in an article/blog. To be more precise, a sentence less than 10 words or an article between 500-600 words defines brevity.  The length of a sentence may exceed of what’s being recommended if the syntax is meaningful and it stands to reason. However, short sentence must be followed besides maintaining concision.

Note: Thoughts expressed here are representation of writer’s personal standpoint.