Impostor Syndrome

The Silent Saboteur

Do you feel overwhelmed and under pressure to perform?

Worry that you will be found out as having given the wrong impression about your capabilities?

Do you feel exhausted from trying to present yourself as accomplished and confident?

Do you wonder if you will ever “get there” and feel like you have finally arrived and belong with your successful colleagues?

If you answered yes to any of these statements, you may be suffering from a self-defeating mindset known as Impostor Syndrome or Impostor Phenomenon (IP). This mental health condition was identified by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes who observed highly-accomplished women feeling undeserving of their success. These professional women attributed their achievements to external factors and seemed unable to give themselves credit for all that they had accomplished. Later studies confirmed that men experience Impostor Syndrome too.

Individuals who experience impostor feelings often suffer with anxiety and tend to over-perform in compensation for their perceived shortcomings. In an effort to avoid revealing any ‘evidence’ of their lack of competence, they work extra long hours, striving for perfection, setting impossibly high standards for themselves.

As leaders, they may find it difficult to delegate, keep too much work for themselves and have difficulty providing constructive feedback to others. Being promoted to higher levels of responsibility and decision-making may bring on more anxiety and fear of not deserving their promotion or performing to expectations and have them feel even more nervous and isolated.

I have experienced Impostor feelings myself and know the persistent apprehension, the pain of doubting myself and the discouragement of wondering if I would ever feel authentically competent.

After you have completed the quiz and totaled your score, schedule a 30-minute Strategy Session to review your results. You will come away with one thing you could do to move forward with greater recognition of and confidence in your abilities.

“Impostor Phenomenon (IP) is a real condition that often has serious consequences. It may emotionally choke its sufferers to the point at which it derails their career.“
– Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D.