What Is Imposter Syndrome?
Impostor syndrome (IS) refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.
To put it simply, imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony – you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud – like you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise.
This syndrome kicks in usually when a new job opportunity is presented, usually you will feel bombarded by thoughts like am I good enough? Can I really perform these tasks? Why have they offered this job to me?
These kinds of thoughts can avoid moving forward in your career and making you stay forever in your comfort zone, when obviously your capacities and knowledge are more than enough to succeed in your next career step.
Types of Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome can appear in a number of different ways. A few different types of imposter syndrome may include:
- The perfectionist: Perfectionists are never satisfied and always feel that their work could be better. Rather than focus on their strengths, they tend to fixate on any flaws or mistakes. This often leads to a great deal of self-pressure and high amounts of anxiety.
- The superhero: Because these individuals feel inadequate, they feel compelled to push themselves to work as hard as possible.
- The expert: These individuals are always trying to learn more and are never satisfied with their level of understanding. Even though they are often highly skilled, they underrate their own expertise.
- The natural genius: These individuals set excessively lofty goals for themselves, and then feel crushed when they don’t succeed on their first try.
- The soloist: These people tend to be very individualistic and prefer to work alone. Self-worth often stems from their productivity, so they often reject offers of assistance. They tend to see asking for help as a sign of weakness or incompetence
How to grow over it?
If you are currently in the process of a promotion, a new job or a new opportunity and these thoughts come to you, there are different alternatives you can take to ease your mind and see yourself as other people are seeing you.
In the case of a new job opportunity or promotion, you might be overwhelmed and think that you are not “good enough. In this scenario, the person/ organization that has chosen you, clearly thinks that you fit the part.
In our current world where there is fierce competition and multiple options for each role, they have seen and chosen your capabilities, and they trust what you can offer.
You can always reinforce your confidence by taking refreshment training, this way you will feel more prepared and at least you know you have done all that you can to succeed in this new chapter.
It is always hard to start a new phase of your life, let it be professional or in your life, but you cannot let the Impostor Syndrome take over.
Sometimes you just need to breathe and jump.