06.05.2021

What you should know about impostor syndrome

Munchausen by proxy syndrome Rapunzel, office syndrome and syndrome Housewives, as well as the Paris syndrome and broken heart syndrome. Variety of syndromes, known to doctors, tends to infinity. And the impostor syndrome is one of them. If you are never fully satisfied with his work, constantly doubting your own beauty, erudition, or something else, you can deal with him.

How to distinguish the impostor syndrome from a healthy self-criticism, what is it all about and why know about it really important? The answers to these and other questions are looking for below.

What is the imposter syndrome

The syndrome of the impostor (impostor syndrome) is a psychological phenomenon in which people doubt their achievements and are afraid that others will soon realize that nothing of what they have, they really don’t deserve. The doctors add that the syndrome can face any person, regardless of scope or social status. A 2011 statistics shows that 70% of people experience at least one such episode in a lifetime, and this is especially the case with women in leadership positions.

First described in medical literature in 1978, the imposter syndrome has several characteristic which help to distinguish it from self-criticism (characteristic of, for example, almost all the people in the first weeks at a new workplace).

To them, according to Medical News Today include:

  • Fear not meet the expectations. People with impostor syndrome are confident that colleagues and supervisors expect too much from them, what they are not able;
  • Attempts to avoid additional responsibilities. According to a study published in 2014, people with imposter syndrome tend to dive as deeply as possible into existing work, instead of taking on additional responsibilities, which can demonstrate what they are actually capable of. So, scientists believe, they are unlikely to voluntarily participate in a brainstorm or something like that;
  • The denial of their abilities. People with impostor syndrome deny their competence to mention the fact that behind their success are external factors, chance, or luck. They may also believe that they need to work harder than most of your colleagues to “work off” what they have received;
  • Self-sabotage. People with tendency to the impostor syndrome have low confidence and fear of failure. They are constantly engaged in an inner struggle with ourselves, where the thirst for success faced with the fear to ruin it;
  • Dissatisfaction with the work. People with this syndrome usually feel unhappy at work. Simply because they most likely have outgrown the place that took, but fear of failure prevents them to demand a raise or quit to find new opportunities. The results of the same research in 2014 show that the impostor syndrome causes them to remain in their posts as long as they do not believe that we can do something else and, moreover, it can be something highly appreciated;
  • The emotional (and professional) burnout. Intense fear of failure and need to be the best can lead such people to overload when performing certain tasks. In the study in 2011 it was discovered that often people with the imposter syndrome set themselves extremely difficult tasks. And then, predictably, are frustrated when they do not perform.
Types of “imposters” and risk factors

Dr. Valerie young (Valerie Young), working with people with impostor syndrome, suggests that there are at least five types of “imposters”. It expert (don’t feel satisfaction until he knows everything about the subject, which he will do), perfectionist (always dissatisfied with his work because every time he hopes to get the perfect result), himself a genius (easily masters any skill, but always feels a shame because it can do things others can not), soloist (prefers to work alone, believing that asking for help will show his incompetence) and superhero (workaholic, which time everywhere and always, but only because forcing yourself to do it).

While the impostor syndrome can develop in anyone, experts say that several factors can increase the risk. They include, for example, the recent success (for example, promotion), the child with a gifted brother or sister (where one child was considered exceptional, and the second – most common) or, on the contrary, intellectual superiority over peers in childhood and adolescence.

How to deal with impostor syndrome?

Despite the fact that the syndrome is not included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the majority of experts in mental health say that they regularly faced with patients exhibiting certain symptoms.

According to therapists, if you are considering a visit to the doctor, you can help yourself in multiple ways. Good work talking about it with someone who you really trust, and studying existing information on the syndrome (forewarned is forearmed). In addition, experts observe, and works well with the fixation of their success on paper. But it is equally important to learn to accept yourself with all the advantages and disadvantages. Of course it will take some time, but will pay off.

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One thought on “What you should know about impostor syndrome

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