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「何謂『冒名頂替症候群』?」- What Is Imposter Syndrome and How Can You Combat It?


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Even after writing 11 books and winning several prestigious awards, Maya Angelou couldn't escape the nagging doubt that she hadn't really earned her accomplishments.
儘管寫了 11 本書並多次贏得知名獎項,馬雅·安傑洛依然無法擺脫惱人的自我懷疑感,總認為那些贏得的成就她實在是當之有愧。

Albert Einstein experienced something similar. He described himself as an "involuntary swindler" whose work didn't deserve as much attention as it had received.
愛因斯坦也有類似感受。他形容自己是「無意識的騙子」,認為自己的成果其實不值得那麼多關注。

Accomplishments at the level of Angelou's or Einstein's are rare, but their feeling of fraudulence is extremely common. Why can't so many of us shake feelings that we haven't earned our accomplishments or that our ideas and skills aren't worthy of others' attention?
安傑洛和愛因斯坦成就非凡,很少人能與之並肩,但他們體會到的冒名欺騙感卻相當普遍。為什麼我們這麼多人會無法擺脫這樣的感覺:認為自己擔不起所獲得的成就,或認為我們的想法和技術不值一顧呢?

Psychologist Pauline Rose Clance was the first to study this unwarranted sense of insecurity. In her work as a therapist, she noticed many of her undergraduate patients shared a concern: Though they had high grades, they didn't believe they deserved their spots at the university. Some even believed their acceptance had been an admissions error.
最早研究這種沒來由的不安全感的是心理學家 Pauline Rose Clance。 她在作為一名治療師時,發現她的許多大學生病人都有著相同擔憂:儘管他們成績優異,卻不相信自己值得進大學就讀。有些人甚至認為他們之所以錄取是因為行政疏失。

While Clance knew these fears were unfounded, she could also remember feeling the exact same way in the graduate school. She and her patients experienced something that goes by a number of names—imposter phenomenon, imposter experience, and imposter syndrome.
雖然 Clance 知道這些擔憂都是沒有根據的,卻還是記得她讀研究所時也有過完全一樣的感受。她跟她的病人所經歷的感受有很多稱呼--冒名頂替現象、冒名頂替感受,及冒名頂替症候群。

Together with colleague Suzanne Imes, Clance first studied imposterism in female college students and faculty. Their work established pervasive feelings of fraudulence in this group.
Clance 跟她的同事 Suzanne Imes 合作,首先研究女大學生和教職員的冒名頂替狀態。他們的研究成果確立了在這個群體中,冒名欺騙感相當普遍。

Since that first study, the same thing has been established across gender, race, age, and a huge range of occupations, though it may be more prevalent and disproportionately affect the experiences of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.
在那第一份研究之後,同樣的冒名欺騙感也在不同性別、種族、年齡,以及廣泛職業中確立,儘管這種欺騙感可能在一些代表性不足或弱勢族群中更為普及,且影響力不成比例地高。

To call it a syndrome is to downplay how universal it is. It's not a disease or an abnormality, and it isn't necessarily tied to depression, anxiety, or self-esteem. Where do these feelings of fraudulence come from?
將這種欺騙感稱作症候群,其實低估了它的普遍程度。它不是一種疾病或異常,也不必然會跟憂鬱、焦慮、或自尊有關。這種欺騙感是怎麼來的呢?

People who are highly skilled or accomplished tend to think others are just as skilled. This can spiral into feelings that they don't deserve accolades and opportunities over other people. And as Angelou and Einstein experienced, there's often no threshold of accomplishment that puts these feelings to rest.
技術精湛或成就卓越的人傾向認為其他人能力也那麼好。這讓他們陷入一種感覺,認為他們並不比其他人更值得獲得讚美和機會。而如同安傑洛和愛因斯坦經歷到的,這種冒名欺騙感並不會因成就達到某種高度而平息。

Feelings of imposterism aren't restricted to highly skilled individuals, either. Everyone is susceptible to a phenomenon known as pluralistic ignorance, where we each doubt ourselves privately but believe we're alone in thinking that way because no one else voices their doubts.
此外,冒名頂替感也不侷限在能力好的人。每個人都很容易受到一種「多數人的無知」現象所影響 ,私底下自己懷疑自己,卻以為只有自己這麼想,因為沒有其他人說出他們的自我懷疑。

Since it's tough to really know how hard our peers work, how difficult they find certain tasks, or how much they doubt themselves, there's no easy way to dismiss feelings that we're less capable than the people around us.
因為我們很難真正知道我們同儕到底付出多少努力、到底認為某個工作多難、或到底多麼懷疑自己,所以沒有一種方法能輕易消除這種不如旁人的感受。

Intense feelings of imposterism can prevent people from sharing their great ideas or applying for jobs and programs where they'd excel.
強烈冒名頂替感可能會讓人不願去分享好的想法,或不敢去申請能有突出表現的工作或計畫。

At least so far, the most surefire way to combat imposter syndrome is to talk about it.
至少目前為止,要對抗冒名頂替症候群,最有可能成功的方法是將這種感覺說出來。

Many people suffering from imposter syndrome are afraid that if they ask about their performance, their fears will be confirmed. And even when they receive positive feedback, it often fails to ease feelings of fraudulence.
許多深受冒名頂替症候群困擾的人,害怕如果詢問別人他們表現如何,他們的擔憂就會被證實。而且即使他們得到正面回饋,也經常無法減輕冒名欺騙感。

But on the other hand, hearing that an advisor or mentor has experienced feelings of imposterism can help relieve those feelings. The same goes for peers. Even simply finding out there's a term for these feelings can be an incredible relief.
但另一方面,當他們聽到指導者或導師也曾有過這種冒名頂替感,心情卻能得到舒緩。聽到同儕這麼說也一樣有幫助。就連單純知道這種感受有個名稱,都能讓人釋懷不少。

Once you're aware of the phenomenon, you can combat your own imposter syndrome by collecting and revisiting positive feedback.
一旦意識到這種現象,你就可以透過取得或重新檢視正面回饋來對抗自己的冒名頂替症候群。

One scientist who kept blaming herself for problems in her lab started to document the causes every time something went wrong. Eventually, she realized most of the problems came from equipment failure and came to recognize her own competence.
有位科學家曾因實驗室的問題而不斷責怪自己,後來她開始紀錄每次事情出錯時原因。最後,她了解到大多數的問題都來自設備故障,進而認可自己的能力。

We may never be able to banish these feelings entirely, but we can have open conversations about academic or professional challenges. With increasing awareness of how common these experiences are, perhaps we can feel freer to be frank about our feelings and build confidence in some simple truths: You have talent, you are capable, and you belong.
我們可能永遠無法完全抹去這種感受,但我們可以開啟對話,討論學術或專業領域上的挑戰。當越來越多人意識到這些感受其實相當普遍,也許我們就能更自在而坦然地面對自我感受、建立自信並接受一些簡單事實:你有天賦、你有能力,而且你當之無愧。

  • 「平息、停止」- Put Something To Rest

    And as Angelou and Einstein experienced, there's often no threshold of accomplishment that puts these feelings to rest.
    而如同安傑洛和愛因斯坦經歷到的,這種冒名欺騙感並不會因成就達到某種高度而平息。

  • 「侷限在」- Be Restricted To

    Feelings of imposterism aren't restricted to highly skilled individuals, either.
    此外,冒名頂替感也不侷限在能力好的人。

  • 「...也一樣」- The Same Goes For

    The same goes for peers.
    聽到同儕這麼說也一樣有幫助。

  • 「對...坦誠」- Be Frank About something

    With increasing awareness of how common these experiences are, perhaps we can feel freer to be frank about our feelings and build confidence in some simple truths: You have talent, you are capable, and you belong.
    當越來越多人意識到這些感受其實相當普遍,也許我們就能更自在而坦然地面對自我感受、建立自信並接受一些簡單事實:你有天賦、你有能力,而且你當之無愧。

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