By Julianna Alyssandra A. La Rosa
It fascinates me as to how an FPS (First Person Shooting) game flashes back to me a psychological phenomenon that people aren't talking about enough, but 70% of people experience it even at one point in their lives. Recently, Valorant makers released a lore about the agents finding out about the duality of the game's universe—which may be related to the in-game objective of planting spikes or Radianite—and explains why there can be double agents in opposing teams. An impostor, as they may call it.
It reminds me of a very familiar phenomenon, which is called Impostor Syndrome (also known as The Impostor Experience, The Fraud Experience, or The Fraud Syndrome). It was first coined by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and Dr. Suzanne Imes in a 1978 clinical setting. They noticed a number of successful women having a similar set of insecurities in which they fear they'll be identified as frauds or unworthy of recognition amidst their successes. Some people may think that their accomplishments or successes are the results of mere luck, and some may think it's just a pure effort from overworking. But to be clear, Elizabeth Cox of TED-Ed stated, "...it is not a disease or abnormality, and it isn't necessarily tied to depression and anxiety or self-esteem."
Kills, deaths, assists, or KDA reflects a player's game performance usually in PVP games, in which here, we talk about Valorant. It acts as the "criteria for judging" in terms of how good a player is in a certain match, but not the entirety of a game—which usually is the subject of opinion from everyone, especially from someone with an Impostor Syndrome. When I play and get to 1 VS 4 or 1 VS 3 opponents and win, I would think of it as a ping difference or just some beginner's luck. Oftentimes, I play because I expect myself to do better, because I should. I should never be a bottom fragger, I should never lose, I should always hit the headshots or nothing else—because why else should I play if I'm not good at it? The match that happened a week ago should not happen again because that's not how I should play.
According to Dr. Kelly Vincent from Valerie Young's The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, there are 5 types of Impostor Syndrome:
The Perfectionist - the "I should never fail"
The Superhero - the "I can always work more"
The Expert - the "I should always learn more"
The Natural Genius - the "I should be able achieve this"
The Soloist - the "I can do this on my own"
If you're personally attacked by these, it's completely okay. I consider myself checking all the boxes of all 5. It's not also limited to highly skilled or successful individuals, but to those who also doubt their capabilities in private. Pluralistic Ignorance is a term similar to Impostor Syndrome in which individuals doubt privately, but believe that no one else thinks this way because no one is talking about it. Impostor Syndrome, as well as Pluralistic Ignorance, may hinder people to share ideas and skills, as they believe that they are not good enough to be the sources of those, and might be perceived as fake.
So how can someone with Impostor Syndrome cope up? Unlike those agents in Valorant who defeat their impostors by literally shooting, Valerie Young clears up the fact that we have our unconscious mind telling your rules that are always composed of "should", "always", or "never"—which can be found numerously above, describing a person's "rule" when in contact with Impostor Syndrome. In coping up, we should leave some mental bookmarks and highlights every time we hear that little voice, and be aware that it is a red flag that should be avoided.
I want to remind you that every flaw you think you have, or every downfall you encounter is a part of you as a being, learning and progressing. With that, you can be aware that as you fail to see the flaws and downfalls of everyone around you, they are also beings just like you, whose flaws and downfalls are also not seen by everyone. But it doesn't conclude that you cannot be better, or cannot fail. You are you, as a living being in this world, built for all of us to grow.
Impostor Syndrome is always open to be talked about, since being aware that what we have that kind of feeling sometimes has its own term of "Imposterism" or just Impostor Syndrome, we can learn more on how we can build confidence to admit it, in order to combat it every time it shows during Valorant matches, or while looking for a sus crewmate in Among us, or just simply while being congratulated for receiving a Dean's Lister recognition. Self-work is tiring, but it's what we aim for in our lives' crosshair placements.
Your work is enough, you have talents, you are able, and you are capable.
Julianna Alyssandra “Cheeky” La Rosa is a Broadcasting Student from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She hopes for the radio booth in front of her, and hopes for empowerment of the self among youth.
YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.