September 29, 2022

Imposter syndrome + Gen Z: a toxic relationship

Imposter syndrome + Gen Z: a toxic relationship

Well, first of all, hello imposter syndrome, who are you and why are you here? According to Arlin Cuncic, author and psychologist, “imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.” It’s called imposter syndrome because you quite literally feel like an imposter in whatever environment you may find yourself in-- whether that be academic, social, or professional. You feel like you don’t deserve to be there, like, at any moment, someone could come and toss you out of there because you’re trespassing someplace that’s not your territory.

So, why do we feel like we’re imposters in our environment? Oftentimes, it’s a question of the generation we’re living in as students of the modern world-- Gen Z. Growing up in an environment marked by intense competition from a changing academic and professional landscape and comparison from unmonitored and therefore dangerous social media platforms, we’ve been taught to doubt ourselves, and know that there is always someone out there who is better than us at what we do.

Especially when we focus on social media, this cause-and-effect becomes clear. Birsu, RSM Psychology graduate and one of Minite’s very own High-Flyers, points out the dispositional difference perspective, a specific angle from which social media research is often conducted. What is it? “This idea is all about personal differences. People who have certain dispositions are more likely to be addicted to social media compared to people who don’t have them.” This means that if you’ve been convinced to constantly compare yourself by your digital environment (different social media platforms), you’re also a far more likely candidate for imposter syndrome. “For example, if you do not believe that you can change your future actions, then you are more likely to be addicted to social media, whereas if you are someone who is driven by their own goals and future plans, you are less likely to be addicted to it.”

There is a way out: the student solution

It’s important to make friends with fear in order to overcome it, and to make friends with someone, you’ve got to get to know them first. That’s what we did with imposter syndrome-- we sat them down at our Minite-table, and we had a talk with them. That’s what you should do, too: externalize the internal. Imposter syndrome often shows itself as a little voice in your head, and it may be difficult to separate your interpretation of yourself and your capabilities from what that little voice of disbelief tells you. Once you’ve taken yourself out of your head, whether that be through speaking with a trusted friend or mentor or writing down your thoughts on paper, you can implement the Minite-methodology to overcome imposter syndrome.

The fear that imposter syndrome instills within its victims leads them to become hesitant towards new opportunities and taking the lead, because they do not feel capable. In the Minite-book, this is when it’s time to start thinking about risks differently. As a startup, we’ve been on our own journey with risk, and we can tell you now that, in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to look at risk as an opportunity, not a scary downfall. It’s important to fail! Gen Z in particular has been conditioned into achieving perfection across all boards: academic, professional, and extracurricular… but that’s not what leads to true growth. As a matter of fact, growth and self-development happen in new environments.

“When you take chances and step out of your comfort zone, you can increase your confidence and empower your unique presence in the professional world.”

If you’re unfamiliar with something, how could you possibly be good at it? We’d like to prove to you that that’s not the point, at least not initially. Improvement is a continuous process, not a prerequisite. The fact that you’re entering an industry or career experience for the first time actually makes you an attractive candidate, because you can bring in a fresh perspective with new ideas and ways to innovate. This is why we believe in the power of student freelancing here at Minite-- when you take chances and step out of your comfort zone, you can increase your confidence and empower your unique presence in the professional world.

We provide you real career experience so that you can overcome risk and face imposter syndrome with a new mindset: I’m here to learn, not to prove myself. When you keep your head up, you start noticing the anatomy of opportunities around you-- so many ways to shine, so many unique opportunities! We match you with tasks that cater to your interests and ambitions, so that you can learn to apply yourself confidently in what you love doing. You won’t make friends with perfection, but that would be a toxic relationship anyways. We’re here to help you take risk by the hand, so that you can uncover the freedom of freelancing. In no time, you’ll see that it’s never just about showcasing your abilities-- otherwise everyone could technically be the same! What it’s really about is showcasing your abilities with confidence, that other little voice in your head that tells you you can do this and that you’re unique. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone and reflect with joy on the risks you’ve taken, you’ll shine brighter than ever before! Take a glowing career opportunity and sign up as a High-Flyer on today.

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