What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is a trending topic that might seem unusual or random for many of us prowling the internet. Most of us might not be aware of what it is, but when Davina McCall came out admitting she suffers from imposter syndrome, it got us furiously googling the term.
For those of you who still can’t quite grasp what imposter syndrome is, take a look at our quick definition: imposter syndrome is the continuous inability to accept that one’s success has been deserved or achieved as a result of one’s efforts or skills. Or, in a simpler form, imposter syndrome makes us believe that we don’t deserve success because we didn’t put the effort in to achieve it.
Are you still misunderstanding the term or you think that you might suffer from this condition? If so, keep reading this blog to learn more about imposter syndrome, how it affects us and the ways that you can overcome it. With the right knowledge, tools and tactics, you can stop suffering from the delusion that your success is undeserved.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Have you ever been surrounded by loved ones and had the overwhelming feeling that they will discover you’re a fraud? These feelings are shared by an estimated 70% of people who have suffered from imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. Imposter syndrome can affect anyone; marketing managers, medical students and even actors and executives, male or female. There’s no limit to the type of person who might feel undeserving of their success.
Imposter syndrome makes a person feel like their accomplishments and success has only derived from luck, and not because of their talent or qualifications. It was first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanna Imes who theorised that it was mostly women who were affected by imposter syndrome. But more recently, research has shown that imposter syndrome is not limited to women.
The Types of Imposter Syndrome
There are different types of imposter syndrome which people can suffer from. ‘Perfectionists’ set extremely high expectations, and even if they meet almost all of these goals, a small mistake will result in them feeling like a failure.
‘Experts’ need to be aware of every single piece of information surrounding a topic before beginning a project based on it. They continuously look for new certifications or training to improve their skills and knowledge, and they won’t apply for a job unless they meet all of the criteria listed.
They might be hesitant to speak up in a meeting or ask a question in a class because they are afraid of getting the answer wrong. As a result, those suffering from this type of imposter syndrome can miss out on good job opportunities or spend money on qualifications that they don’t necessarily need.
When a ‘natural genius’ struggles to work hard in order to accomplish what they desire, they will then feel undeserving. As they are used to learning new skills easily, when they have to put maximum effort into achieving something, their brain will convince them that they are an imposter.
‘Soloists’ need to accomplish tasks on their own as they feel if they ask for help, they aren’t up to scratch. Meanwhile, a ‘Superman’ and ‘Superwoman’ push themselves to work harder than those around them to prove themselves not to be imposters. They need to succeed in all aspects of their lives, from work to relationships and feel stressed when they are unable to accomplish something.
How Can I Overcome Imposter Syndrome?
If you feel like you suffer from imposter syndrome then there are a few things that you can do to be able to let go of these thoughts and feelings for the foreseeable future. The first thing that you need to do is acknowledge and criticise your thoughts, looking at how they help or hinder you. Once you have categorised them, you can recognise certain thought patterns as something to be ignored in the future.
Another way that you can be rid of imposter syndrome is to speak with a therapist. A therapist will be able to provide you with an in-depth look at imposter syndrome that you may be unaware of. Therapists will have experience with imposter syndrome so they can provide you with advice and tactics that will help you overcome the symptoms. They will also be able to educate you on what are healthy, rational thoughts, and what thoughts are being controlled by the imposter syndrome.
Are you looking for a therapist in the North West? Check out my website today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can help you overcome your imposter syndrome. Whether you suffer from imposter syndrome, depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue, I can help you understand your mind’s condition so that you can look towards a brighter future.