COVID-19 has thrust many of us into new roles. Some of us are now full-time remote workers, some of us are stewards of virtual education, some of us are unemployed, some of us are bakers, some of us are Zoom aficionados (some of us are not) — and a lot of us are questioning whether we’re doing a good enough job “keeping up.”
Feelings of self-doubt can sometimes trigger impostor syndrome — a sense that you’re not really as smart or capable as people think you are, despite clear evidence to the contrary. For example, a prize-winning novelist experiencing impostor syndrome may think he just got lucky that people liked his first book or a medical student may worry that it was a fluke she made the cut for her class.
“Internally, we all feel doubts, apprehensions, ambivalence and insecurities,” said David Dunning, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who researches human misbelief and self-doubt. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, he explained. It’s just that we don’t typically reveal those doubts to other people — and they don’t typically reveal theirs to us, and therefore, we don’t necessarily see that a lot of people are going through the same thing as we are, Dunning said.