Are you an overachiever? You may want to learn about the psychological phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome . It can affect any one of us, in any profession, whether you’re a graduate student or a seasoned executive.
Imposter syndrome is the feeling of perceived fraudulence. Symptoms are feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that exist regardless of your experience or education. People who experience imposter syndrome tend to work harder and hold themselves to a higher standard to the point where it can affect their emotional well-being and, ultimately, their performance overall.
Not all who suffer from this syndrome are exactly the same , here are the 5 competence types:
The Perfectionist sets themselves up for failure every time. Since perfection is an unrealistic goal for almost anything, the Perfectionist will criticize themselves or feel ashamed for even the smallest error.
The Natural Genius takes on new efforts with ease and probably always has. Believing competent people can handle anything, they are hard on themselves when they can not.
The Rugged Individualist or Soloist believes they can handle anything on their own and, if they can’t, they feel unworthy. Asking for help admits their inadequacies and may reveal them as a failure.
The Expert learns everything about every topic. They feel the need to be able to answer every question and when they can’t they feel like a complete failure.
The Superhero connects their competence to being great at ALL roles in their life; personal and professional. They push themselves to succeed at all these roles because if they don’t they may be perceived as a failure.
No matter what your specific profile might be, you are not alone, studies show that 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in the career. Also, keep in mind there’s a big difference between sometimes being unsure of your abilities, which is natural, and feeling unworthy by secretly doubting yourself, your talents and abilities that doesn’t align with how others view you. Let’s start today by giving ourselves a break and accepting our capabilities.