Albert Einstein once said “The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as involuntary swindler”.
Can you relate to this?
Do you ever wonder:
Why anyone would want to listen to you?
If feeling like a fake will ever stop?
If everyone feels like an imposter?
Why you feel alone?
How exposing it can be to talk about your areas of development?
Why you discount your skills and achievements?
Imposter syndrome is very real to those who have experienced it. It is part of being human.
It is also part of being someone who has morals, standards, ethics, a desire to strive for the best outcomes, and who wants to do their best in their professional and personal lives.
The problem is that as long as we are striving to do the best we can, we will have these feelings. That is not to say “stop trying” – it is imply to say “how can we live with it?” so we don’t feel held back in our lives.
At PsychWorks Associates, we want to share our psychological understanding of a positive mindset to help you be more aware of what imposter syndrome is, why it develops, and how to think differently when we feel these feelings.
But, why is it that Imposter Syndrome can be so debilitating?
First, here’s some science about imposter syndrome:
A definition of Imposter Syndrome is:
Imposter syndrome is higher in those who grew up in critical households, high achieving households and those households with high aspirations, but low support.
Males and females experience it, but more women do overall. There is also a racial bias where BAME individuals are more likely to feel it.
74% of solicitors experience it and 71% of care/health professionals report feeling like a fraud.
There are 5 types of imposter: The Perfectioninst, The Soloist, The Natural Genius, The Expert, and The Superhuman.
Having active imposter sydrome thoughts can lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
OK, but how do you know if you or your colleagues need some help with managing their imposter?
Always being plagued by feelings of self-doubt
Working hard to make up for incompetence/ineptness
Holding back or making excuses
Using charm or perceptiveness to cover up a sense of intellectual
Procrastination so you stay in the comfort zone
Not finishing to avoid any feared negative judgements
Self-sabotage so there’s always a reason in the back pocket as to
why something failed
Frustrated or regretful about missed opportunities
Envious of others’ achievements
A constant sense that you will be found out any minute now