What the Heck is Imposter Syndrome?

Man with mirror mask on

At one time or another, we’ve all felt like frauds or imposters. It is something you hear women talk about more often than men due to the fact they are constantly doubting their success or abilities. When you are not paid the same as your male counterparts or given the same opportunities, you begin to doubt or blame yourself for the lack of growth in your career.

This can also play out when you’re receiving accolades, like being named to Forbes Top 200 PR Agencies in 2021 or Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch…instead of reveling in your hard work and subsequent success, you’re stuck thinking, “man, I really have everyone fooled.”

Imposter Syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.

According to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 82% of the population faces feelings of imposter phenomenon at some point during their career. 82%! Guess the good thing is, you’re definitely not alone in feeling “not good enough.”

According to a recent Healthline article, there are actually five types of imposters. 

The Perfectionist

This guy 👆🏽 demands perfection in every aspect of their life, and since perfection is not attainable, you can imagine how well this is gonna work out for them.

No matter how hard you work at something, you will never feel it is good enough and consider yourself a failure. You will get to the point where you just won’t try new things because you can’t do it perfectly.

The Natural Genius

You basically excel at everything, much to the annoyance of those around you. You’re the person who picks up languages, skills, and processes immediately with little to no effort.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. When you are unable to grasp something immediately, you feel ashamed, embarrassed and label yourself a fraud.

The Rugged Individualist

You don’t need anyone’s help; you’re self-reliant and independent.

Relying on other people is a weakness. Success should be achieved independently; otherwise, you fail your own high standards.

The Expert

You start every sentence with “actually” because you know everything there is to know about everything, and you pride yourself on it. You can never know enough, and you are convinced you should have all the answers.

If you can’t answer a question or encounter a subject you don’t understand, you see yourself as a fraud and failure.

The Superhero

You consider yourself Captain America due to the fact you succeed in every role you’ve ever held – student, friend, employee, parent – you name it. You can do it all, and you make it look SOO easy.

You are constantly taking on more responsibilities to prove to yourself you can navigate the demands placed upon you. You push yourself to the limit, frequently to the detriment of your mental and physical health.

Does any of this sound freakishly familiar? 82% of us suffer from Imposter Syndrome, and we’re pretty sure the other 18% just haven’t admitted it yet. 

Success doesn’t require perfection. If we were all perfect, the world would truly be boring. You’ll never achieve perfection, so it certainly isn’t a failure when you don’t reach it.

The world is tough enough without beating yourself up, too. If you’re in search of a hardworking, integrated team you can trust to cheer you on, we’re always here to give you a pep-talk.

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