Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is Imposter Syndrome?…… 9
What Imposter Syndrome Feels Like……………..11
The Five Types…. 13
Chapter 2: Get to the Root of the Problem……………. 16
Why do I feel like an imposter?……………16
Getting to the Root of the Problem….. 17
Chapter 3: Know Your Imposter Syndrome Triggers…. 20
Chapter 4: Building Self-Confidence One Day At A Time……….24
Stop the Comparison…… 24
Surround Yourself with Positive People……….25
Take Care of Yourself…. 26
Be Kind to Yourself…………26
Chapter 5: Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Out… 30
What is Assertiveness?30
Tips to be Assertive………. 32
Chapter 6: Facing Failure At Work….36
Dissecting Failure…………… 37
Defining Failure… 38
Defining Your Goals……… 39
Chapter 7: Leave Imposter Syndrome at the Door…………42
Build Self-Confidence at Home……………42
Building Self-Confidence Through Self-Care…………..44
Chapter 8: Looking Towards The Future in Work and Life….47
Recognize the Syndrome………… 48
Work on the Self Esteem…………..49
Do Not Be Afraid of Failure……..49
Stop with the Comparisons……..50
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Chapter 1: What is Imposter Syndrome?
People who struggle with something known as imposter syndrome often believe that they do not deserve their achievements or the high esteem that many others may have of them. They may feel that people see them in the wrong light, or that they are given more praise and accolades than they deserve. This can cause anxiety because they often worry others will catch on and see them as an imposter, which is where the name comes from.
Someone with this disorder may feel that they are not as intelligent or competent as others may think they are. And they worry that soon enough, those around them will start to discover the truth. This is often unfounded. The person with the syndrome is usually bright and funny and does well with other people. They are not purposely trying to trick people. But when they get special recognition for something they worked hard on or did well, then they feel like they are deceiving others.
Due to this, it is common to find those who have imposter syndrome as someone who is well accomplished. Many of these individuals will have numerous academic degrees or hold a high office of some kind, often because they worked hard and deserved it, though this syndrome makes them think otherwise.
That brings up the question, why do people with this syndrome feel like they are frauds when there is a ton of evidence around them that point to their success. Instead of acknowledging their capabilities and the effort they put in, they will choose to attribute all their good accomplishments to external causes. For example, they may say that it was good timing or good luck that got them where they are.
It is often due to personality traits that someone will have imposter syndrome. Those who experience it will struggle with a few other problems, including neuroticism, perfectionism, and self-efficacy. Competitive environments are thought to lay some of the groundwork for this. You may find that those who deal with this syndrome had to deal with a lot of pressure about their grades and doing well in school from their parents.
The numbers of those with imposter syndrome is high for those who are high achievers. It is estimated that 25 to 30 percent of high achievers suffer from this. And to make it worse, studies have found that close to 70 percent of adults will experience impostorism at least once in their lifetime.
Each person will come to this in a different way. Often the biggest trigger is when the successes of the person with it are brought up to attention. This could happen in many situations including when the person gets an award, when they pass an exam, or they get that big promotion they deserve. When they are given attention for their hard work, they will feel like they are an imposter. Failure after having a string of successes can also cause someone to critique and question how smart or skilled they are.
While imposter syndrome is not an official thing that you can be diagnosed, it is something that you are able to overcome. You will need to work on changing some of your own personal mindset about your achievements and some of your own abilities, it is common for the person to feel like they do not belong much so being able to acknowledge that you do belong and to look at your own accomplishments and expertise will help you to remember that you earned a place in that environment.
Comparing yourself to another person can make this imposter syndrome worse. When you see that others are working hard and achieving great things and then you hear that you did something great, you may compare it to the others and feel like you are a fraud for being recognized. When we stop the comparison and focus on what it is that we work on so hard, it will make a difference.
What Imposter Syndrome Feels Like
These feelings of being an imposter will represent a big conflict between the way you perceive yourself and the way others perceive you as well. Even as others take the time to praise your talents, you will write them off, saying things just worked out because of good timing or good luck. Basically, you do not believe that it was your own merits that earned you the praise and you worry that others are going to realize this as well.
As a consequence of this, you will pressure yourself to work harder to avoid detection and to avoid getting in trouble. Some of the things that will cause you to work harder include:
● You want to keep others from seeing your failures and shortcomings
● You want to become more worthy of the roles that you currently have but do not believe you deserve.
● You want to make up for your lack of intelligence
● You want to ease up some of the feelings that you have over “tricking” people.
You put in all this extra work, which gets you more praise, and the cycle will just continue. These further accomplishments are not going to reassure you. You will just see them as the product of all your efforts to maintain the illusion of your success. When you get recognition, you assume that it is pity or sympathy. You will link all of the accomplishments that you have to chance, but you end up taking all the blame for mistakes that you make, even small ones. Over time, this will lead you to feel guilt, depression, and anxiety.
The Five Types
There are actually five types of imposter syndrome that you may notice. These will often reflect the internal beliefs around what competency will mean to the individual. The five main types that you will encounter include:
● The perfectionist: They need everything to be perfect or they feel like a failure. No matter how hard they work, they feel like they need it to be perfect.
● The natural genius: Because you have spent a lot of time picking up skills with very little effort, you assume that all competent people can do the same thing so there is nothing special about you. When something doesn’t come easy to you, you will feel ashamed.
● The soloist: You believe that you can handle everything by yourself. When this proves to be false, you feel that you are not worth or a failure.
● The expert: Before you have a chance to consider your work a success, you need to learn absolutely everything about the topic. If you do not have all the answers, you feel like a fraud.
● The superhero: You link competence in how well you can succeed in all the roles you hold. Failing to navigate the demands of all these challenging roles can leave you feeling like a failure.
Often the thoughts and ideas that come with this are not realistic.
You need to take a step away from all of this and really explore why you feel this way and whether you need to adjust that thinking. When we learn how to take a step back and explore how you can change these negative mindsets.Other Details
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