What Exactly Is Imposter Syndrome And How To Not Feel Like An Imposter?

What Exactly Is Imposter Syndrome And How To Not Feel Like An Imposter? March 31, 2023Leave a comment

Have you ever felt as if you didn’t fit in? Like your friends or coworkers are going to find out you’re a liar who doesn’t deserve your job or achievements?

You feel like an imposter.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome (IS) is a psychological state in which you believe you are not as capable as others believe you are. While this concept is most often attributed to intelligence and success, it also has connections to perfectionism and the social environment.

Despite the fact that the imposter phenomenon isn’t a recognized disease in the DSM, psychologists and others agree that it is a very genuine and distinct sort of intellectual self-doubt. Anxiety and despair are frequently associated with impostor feelings.

When was it first documented?

The imposter syndrome was first recognized in the United States in the 1970s, when two psychologists, Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance, saw it frequently in high-achieving professional women. Doctors Clance and Imes began to notice that women in high-achieving professions experienced more self-doubt, ineptitude, and worry about not performing well in the future than their male counterparts around 1978.

But later it was found that both females and males were facing this issue over time.

Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome manifests itself in a variety of ways, including:

1.     Feeling as if success is unattainable

2.     Despite exhibiting competence, you feel incompetent

3.     Fear of failing to meet someone else’s expectations

4.     Feeling as if your prior triumphs and hard work were all luck Feeling as if you’ll never be able to perform at the same level again

5.     Receiving praise or congratulations makes you feel uneasy

6.     Being dissatisfied with recent achievements

7.     Feeling pessimistic about your chances of success

8.     Feeling under constant pressure to achieve or be better than before 

9.     Having emotions of inadequacy that make you feel agitated, anxious, or depressed

Types of Imposter Syndrome

There are various varieties of imposter syndrome that contribute to its overall definition. Each subtype is described by a distinct sort of person who suffers from imposter syndrome. Examples of imposter syndrome include:

1.     The Perfectionist

Perfectionism and imposter syndrome go hand-in-hand. Perfectionist aspires to be their very best, regardless of the cost to their mental health. These people are classic “perfectionists” who set impossible expectations for themselves. When they fail to meet a goal, they have considerable self-doubt and worry about not measuring up. Whether they realize it or not, this group can be control freaks, believing that if they want something done perfectly, they must do it themselves.

2.     The Soloist

The soloist represents a person suffering from imposter syndrome who has tremendous difficulty asking for help from others. Perhaps they believe that others are not as capable as they are, or that they must demonstrate their worth by productivity. They believe that asking for help exposes their deception. They evaluate their own worth depending on their productivity.

3.     The Superhero

The superhero portrays a person suffering from impostor syndrome who frequently battles with job addiction. These individuals may feel inadequate in comparison to their coworkers and continue to push themselves as hard as they can, regardless of the implications for their mental, physical, and emotional health. They associate competence with their capacity to achieve in any role they play, whether as a student, friend, employee, or parent. Failure to successfully handle the rigors of these roles, in their opinion, indicates their inadequacies.

4.     The Natural Genius

The natural genius is someone who not only suffers from perfectionism but also strives to attain lofty goals on their first try. These people feel worthless, guilty, and ashamed if they do not accomplish a task or achieve a goal on the first try.

5.     The Expert

The expert represents a person who, although being incredibly knowledgeable, never feels good enough. If this person does not know an answer or has knowledge in some areas, they may feel less experienced than their coworkers.

How to overcome it?

Stop comparing. Concentrate on measuring your own accomplishments rather than comparing them to those of others. Comparing your own life to a meticulously curated influencer’s social media page, for example, is a trap for feeling like you don’t measure up.

Examine your abilities. Make a realistic assessment of your abilities if you have long-held views about your inadequacy in social and performance situations. Write down your accomplishments and strengths, then compare them to your self-evaluation.

Stop fighting your feelings. Don’t resist your feelings of not fitting in. Instead, learn to lean into and accept them. Only by acknowledging them will you be able to begin to untangle the core ideas that are holding you back.

Face your doubts. When imposter feelings arise, consider whether any facts support these thoughts. Then hunt for proof that contradicts them.

Realize no one is an expert. Stop focusing on perfection. Enough doing the task at hand and appreciate the outcomes of your hard work. Learn to celebrate and reward yourself.

Talk with someone who can help you. Individual counseling can be quite beneficial for many persons who have impostor sentiments. A psychologist or other therapist can provide you with tools to assist you to stop the loop of imposter thinking.

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