As children, my parents made us sit in rapture at the top of the stairs awaiting an official start to Christmas morning. Until the ripe old age of thirteen, we weren’t allowed in the family room until beckoned. What I’m certain was merely a peacekeeping tactic on their end created a seemingly unbearable sense of anticipation for us. Our minds raced and hearts beat faster at the thought of unwrapping toys, feasting on cinnamon buns, and drinking our body weight in sparkling cider. That day was always uninhibited bliss.

As happens with many aspects of growing older, luster fades. Those enchanting sentiments dissolve into taxing responsibilities: A need to purchase the perfect gift, craft the most delectable meal, and host an unforgettable holiday party. Each year brings with it unique pressures or difficulties which dull our childlike enthusiasm.

When I decided to try my hand at freelance work earlier in the year (Goodbye, Boring Cubicle was really helpful), one of the first things I did was reach out to other young women in the area who were successfully doing it.

I met up with a smart, friendly woman named Rachel who runs a business that focuses on freelance content creation. Of the many things I made note of during our coffee date, one of the most interesting and helpful was the importance of identifying and overcoming my “Imposter Syndrome”.

I had never heard of this physiological phenomenon before. Original studies have found it to affect women more often than men, though nobody is safe from feeling it regardless of sex, race, or background.

So, what is it?