Episode #27: On impostor syndrome, deserving success and finding happiness

(Photo above by Faik Akmd / Pexels)

Today’s episode is about impostor syndrome, or feeling like you don’t deserve success or happiness.

Technically, impostor syndrome is not a psychiatric disorder but studies show that impostor feelings are experienced by 70% of people at some point in their life. These feelings can be caused by internal factors, like personality traits, and external factors, such as the environments we experience, as well as institutionalized discrimination.

However it shows up in your life, feeling like you don’t belong or don’t deserve success or happiness is something Buddhism directly addresses. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate affirmation of the dignity of each person’s life, and the purpose of practicing Buddhism is to develop a state of genuine happiness, both for ourselves and others.

Today’s episode addresses all this and more, through the story of Aide Aguirre, a young woman who started practicing Buddhism at 24, simply to generate hope for her own life.

(You can also listen to Buddhability on AppleSpotify, or wherever you get podcasts.)

Cheat Sheet

2:20 Aide’s experience growing up undocumented

10:35 What she had resigned herself to

15:17 The feelings of impostor syndrome she experienced in college

22:55 Why Buddhism resonated with her

27:15 How she started chanting

32:58 How her vision for her life started to change

36:45 How getting COVID-19 pushed her to pursue her dreams

43:14 Her journey to graduate school

51:29 Advice to anyone struggling with the feeling that they don’t deserve success or happiness 

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