Imposter syndrome is the tendency to think and feel that you’re not good enough despite knowing that you are.
While people with imposter syndrome understand intellectually that they are not in fact frauds, they feel like it nonetheless. And no matter how much success they achieve, they tend to devalue it and exaggerate their weaknesses or faults.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome?
Devaluing successes and strengths: Ironically, people who suffer from imposter syndrome understand intellectually that they have many strengths, and frequent successes or achievements. But they tend to devalue or diminish those successes. They often downplay their importance or attribute them to purely external factors like luck.
Exaggerating failures and weaknesses: At the same time, people with imposter syndrome often spend a lot of time and energy thinking about and analyzing their mistakes and failures. They exaggerate the relative importance of their failures, imagining that even small mistakes are the beginning of much bigger catastrophic failures to come.
Dwelling on past mistakes: When people with imposter syndrome do inevitably make some mistakes, a hallmark is that they tend to dwell on them and ruminate about them, often to the point of obsessiveness. They’ll frequently find themselves going over a mistake at work while they’re at home eating dinner or in bed trying to fall asleep. In other words, they have a hard time accepting and letting go of even very small mistakes in the past and keep those mistakes front and center in their attention.
Worry about being “found out” and revealed as a fraud: A final common sign of imposter syndrome drone is social anxiety. Specifically, people who feel like an imposter often spend a lot of time and mental energy imagining what other people think of them—especially, what other people might think if they realize how much of a fraud they think they are. This leads to high levels of anxiety and anticipatory guilt and shame
What Causes imposter Syndrome?
Find out in the next post!