Imposter Syndrome & Anxiety

So I'm ~3 months in to the FT analyst experience. I'm lucky to be in a good group for hours and culture. I have been having really bad anxiety- I haven't been being given a ton of work (neither are most other analysts, slow deal flow atm), but I really find myself anxious almost 24/7 and have been finding it hard to live like this. It's also turning in to more extreme thoughts, obviously I won't act on them, but they pop in to my mind sometimes. I do workout and that helps clear the mind, but this feeling is with me every day. It's an unusual analyst experience because I'm in a east coast satellite office and the team is small. I feel like I conveyed myself as someone else during interviews, I was extremely dedicated and confident, and I feel like that's escaping me right now. Talking to seniors and other folks I feel like they have it together so much better than me and that I didn't deserve to make it here.

Have any of you guys tried therapy/has that helped with these types of feelings? I feel like if it keeps up it will start being detrimental to my wellbeing.


Hang in there partner. We all experience imposter syndrome. I know I sure do. I am convinced that everyone has these thoughts. How I mitigate these feelings is learning outside of work, working out, and eating very healthy. Wish I could offer more insight, but I really believe that it's a battle everyone fights. You're not alone. 


Thank you man that is really comforting to hear, I know I'm not the only one but it's been a battle for me recently. Looking back I've had feelings like this for most of my life- going in to school, going in to interviews, but I keep making progress. I wish I could just be confident and relaxed, that would make my whole life so much better. It's really frustrating sometimes.

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I'm a proponent of therapy and recommend if you are struggling day to day to start finding one now. Take your time to make sure you find someone who you connect with - if not, it's worth switching. I started going a few years ago when my anxiety got to the point of overflowing into my daily life - it wasn't good, and therapy helped to reel me back in. It helped quiet that inner voice that stokes your worst fears, and while lying to your sounds objectively rational about everything. Very frustrating and often hard to combat once it gets going. 

One thing I would recommend you start doing now is to start journaling. Simply write down how you are feeling on a daily basis. You don't need to go all Rob Dyrdek on this one - boy is that a rabbit hole to go down - just record how you feel, maybe a few notes about your day, or even when you feel the most anxious. There are some things that I say to myself in my head that when written are both hilariously dumb, and clearly driven by anxiety and/or irrational. I've also found it records, and proves back to yourself, where you are both right and wrong. Your small victories are captured and all those things you worried about - well, I'd be surprised if the majority never actually happened. 


I would recommend talking to a professional. I hear it's a great option. Some of the smartest and most successful people have these feelings. Look at the Stoics. Marcus Aurelius had this same angst and he was a Roman fuckin Emperor. Reading and practicing stoicism has helped me mitigate these qualms, as well. 


I think after you pull through it it gets easier. You start to learn what is important and how to prioritize importance of tasks. You just need a bit more experience. Also you mentioned that you’re not busy, in my opinion this is part of the issue for you as it tends to be with myself. Fear of the unknown. When you’re busy you’re in it and doing it, but not knowing what will hit you and when is the worst. Then when it comes, you experience it and look back you will ask yourself “why was I so worked up? That wasn’t that bad after all.”


- See a psychiatrist (maybe get on benzos)

- Get good sleep

- Workout

- Eat healthy

- Hydrate 

- Fake it till you make it 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

I was also in a small east coast satellite office. Not easy being in a little group where you feel like you don’t have as many peers to rely upon and it can be an isolating experience. The first year is always the hardest, but it gets better. I felt the exact same way you are feeling now. I think everyone does at some point. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more because I think I had a very similar experience 


I experience this as well. I am confident in my understanding of finance but still don’t have as strong of a grasp on process / procedures or taking initiative on deliverables intuitively. I have been working for more than a year and feel incompetent at times. At times I consider seeking therapy for this and frustration with my job and the overall lifestyle that comes with the role. 


You're not alone in feeling this way, and there are people and resources out there to support you. Don't hesitate to reach out and take that first step toward getting the help you need. Your well-being is important, and there's hope for improvement and healing.

Of course we've all been through it. It's just a difficult period that you have to wait it out and try to get out all the time.


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