Imposter syndrome is the feeling of never being good enough, or that you’re only successful because you’ve managed to fool people into thinking you’re competent. It’s a common experience, especially among high achievers, and it can be really debilitating.
There are different types of imposter syndrome, each with its own set of symptoms and causes. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of imposter syndrome and how to deal with them.
What Is Imposter Syndrome And How Does It Manifest Itself
Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough, even though you have proof that you are? That’s imposter syndrome. It’s when you doubt your accomplishments and feel like you’re going to be exposed as a fraud, even though you’re not. Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in a number of ways.
For example, you might:
- Feel like you’re not qualified for your job, even though you have the skills and experience.
- Doubt your abilities, even when you’ve been successful in the past.
- Second-guess yourself all the time.
- Compare yourself to others and feel like you’re not as good as them.
- Avoid taking risks for fear of failing or being exposed as a fraud.
- Imposters feel like they’re just faking it until they make it – that they’re bound to be exposed as fraud eventually.
If you have imposter syndrome, it doesn’t mean that you are actually an imposter. It just means that you need to work on building up your self-confidence. Remember that everyone feels like an imposter sometimes. You’re not alone!
5 Types Of Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a term used to describe a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy, despite evidence that indicates the contrary. This phenomenon is particularly common in high-achieving individuals, who may feel like they are constantly being tested and that one mistake could lead to them being exposed as fraud. There are five main types of imposter syndrome:
1. The Perfectionist:
There are different types of imposter syndrome, and one of them is perfectionism. People with perfectionist imposter syndrome constantly strive for perfection and set impossibly high standards for themselves. They believe that anything less than perfect is a failure. As a result, they are never satisfied with their accomplishments and always feel like imposters.
People who suffer from this type of imposter syndrome often find it difficult to give themselves credit for their successes. They may also be quick to blame themselves for any mistakes or setbacks.
If you suspect that you might have perfectionist imposter syndrome, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I always strive for perfection?
- Do I view failures as personal failures?
- Do I put unrealistic pressure on myself to succeed?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be suffering from perfectionist imposter syndrome.
2. The Superwoman/Man:
People with this type of imposter syndrome have a strong sense of justice and feel compelled to help others. They’re often perfectionists who set high standards for themselves and others. They also tend to be highly critical of themselves and others. While their intentions are good, their constant need to be perfect can be exhausting for those around them.
This person feels like they have to be competent in everything they do and can never ask for help. They often work long hours and take on too many tasks, leading to feelings of stress and guilt.
- Do you feel like you have to work twice as hard as everyone else to prove yourself?
- Do you feel like you have to put on a brave face and act like everything is okay, even when it’s not?
- Do you feel like you can never relax or take a break because someone else might do your job better than you?
- Do you feel like you’re constantly under pressure to be perfect?
- Do you feel like you can never let your guard down or show any vulnerability, for fear of being judged or laughed at?
3. The Natural Genius:
The natural genius type of imposter syndrome is characterized by setting impossibly high standards for oneself and being unable to accept anything less than perfection. People who suffer from this type of imposter syndrome judge themselves harshly based on their ability to get things right on the first try.
When they’re not able to do something quickly or fluently, their alarm bells start ringing. This can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and a constant fear of being exposed as fraud. Natural genius types of imposter syndrome often have trouble finishing tasks and may avoid taking on new projects altogether.
Characteristics of natural genius imposters:
- They set high standards for themselves and feel like they have to be perfect.
- They judge themselves harshly if they don’t get things right on the first try.
- They’re afraid of being found out as a fraud.
- They feel like they have to know everything before they can act.
- They often doubt their abilities and feel like they’re not good enough.
Here are some questions that can help you figure out if you natural genius:
- Do you feel like you have to put in a lot of extra effort to be successful?
- Does your success feel underserved or fraudulent?
- Are you constantly plagued by doubts and fears that you are not really as smart as people think you are?
- Do you feel like a phony or fraud when you are around other successful people?
- Do you feel like a failure when you don’t live up to your own high standards?
4. The Expert:
The expert type of imposter syndrome is characterized by individuals who feel like they are not knowledgeable enough, despite being experts in their field. These individuals often doubt their abilities and feel like they are frauds. They may be highly successful, but they still feel like they are not good enough.
This can be extremely crippling and can prevent them from reaching their full potential. Individuals who suffer from the expert type of imposter syndrome often have very high standards for themselves and are extremely perfectionistic. They may also be highly self-critical and have difficulty accepting praise.
This individual is convinced that they know more about a topic than anyone else, even if they don’t have any formal training or experience in the area. They often find it difficult to learn new things or accept constructive criticism.
Ask yourself these questions if you doubt that you are suffering from imposter syndrome:
- Do you feel like you are constantly pretending to be an expert?
- Do you find yourself constantly doubting your own abilities?
- Do you feel like you are not good enough or knowledgeable enough to be an expert?
- Do you feel like a fraud, or that you are not really qualified to do your job?
- Do you feel like you are the only one who is faking it?
5. The Lone Wolf:
There are various types of imposter syndrome, and one of them is the lone wolf, or soloist, type. This type of imposter syndrome is characterized by people who prefer to work alone and are not comfortable in team settings. They may feel like they are not good enough or that they will be found out as frauds.
As a result, they may avoid team projects or prefer to work on their own. Lone wolves may also be perfectionists who are afraid of making mistakes. They may put immense pressure on themselves to be perfect, and this can lead to anxiety and stress.
This person feels like they don’t fit in with other people and doesn’t have any close friends or confidants. They often feel like an outsider in their own life and are hesitant to reach out for help or support.
These questions can help you identify if you are suffering from this type of imposter syndrome:
- Do you feel like you need to be perfect or know everything?
- Do you feel like you can’t ask for help or that you’re burdened with too much responsibility?
- Do you feel like you’re the only one who can do the job right?
- Do you feel like success is all or nothing, and that any failure reflects poorly on you as a person?
- Do people tell you that you work too hard or take on too many things?
10 Signs That You Might Be Experiencing Imposter Syndrome
If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “I’m not good enough for this,” or “They’re going to figure out that I don’t belong here,” then you might be experiencing imposter syndrome. Here are 10 signs that you might be suffering from imposter syndrome:
- You’re constantly second-guessing yourself.
- You feel like you’re always one step behind everyone else.
- You’re afraid of being found out as a fraud.
- You downplay your accomplishments.
- You attribute your success to luck or timing.
- You feel like an impostor in your own life.
- You’re scared to take on new challenges.
- You doubt your own abilities.
- You feel like you’re not worthy of success or happiness.
- You’re stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and negative thinking.
If you can relate to any of these signs, then it’s possible that you’re experiencing imposter syndrome. Remember that you are not alone and that everyone goes through moments of self-doubt and insecurity.
The important thing is to not let imposter syndrome stop you from living your best life. Pursue your dreams and goals, and don’t let anything hold you back!
Impact Of Imposter Syndrome On Personal And Professional Lives
Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people doubt their accomplishments and feel like imposters in their fields. Even when they’re successful, they feel like they’re just faking it and that sooner or later they’ll be exposed as frauds. This can have a huge impact on both their personal and professional lives.
On a personal level, imposter syndrome can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. It can prevent people from pursuing their goals and dreams, and cause them to doubt their own capabilities. This usually leads to a vicious cycle: the more someone doubts themselves, the less likely they are to achieve success, and the more they feel like an imposter.
Professionally, imposter syndrome can interfere with job performance, networking, and career advancement. People with imposter syndrome are less likely to take risks or put themselves out there, for fear of being exposed as a fraud. They might not apply for that dream job or pursue that big project because they feel like they’re not good enough. As a result, imposter syndrome can hold people back from achieving their full potential.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome imposter syndrome.
22 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome
If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, here are 20 ways to overcome it and achieve success anyway.
- Acknowledge your imposter syndrome. The first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to acknowledge that you have it. Recognizing the symptoms of imposter syndrome can help you understand that your feelings of inadequacy are not based on reality.
- Understand what imposter syndrome is. Imposter syndrome is a condition in which people feel like they are not good enough or qualified for their success. It is often characterized by feelings of self-doubt, impostorism, and insecurity.
- Accept compliments graciously. One way to combat imposter syndrome is to accept compliments graciously. When someone pays you a compliment, resist the urge to downplay your achievement or dismiss the compliment altogether. Instead, say thank you and move on.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Another way to overcome imposter syndrome is to avoid comparing yourself to others. Remember that everyone has their own unique talents and abilities, and comparing yourself to others will only make you feel worse about yourself.
- Focus on your successes, not your failures. When you’re feeling impostorish, it’s easy to dwell on your failures and beat yourself up over them. But Dwelling on your failures will only make you feel worse and will not help you achieve success. Instead, focus on your successes, no matter how small they may seem. This will help you remember that you are capable of achieving great things.
- Create a success list. Creating a success list can help you understand that your imposter feelings are not based on reality. To create a success list, simply write down all of your accomplishments, big or small. This can be things like getting a good grade on a test, landing a new client, or completing a project on time. Seeing your successes written down in front of you can help remind you that you are talented and capable.
- Speak kindly to yourself. One way to overcome imposter syndrome is to start speaking kindly to yourself. This means avoiding self-criticism and instead practicing self-compassion. When you make a mistake, instead of berating yourself, try to be understanding and forgiving. This will help you overcome imposter syndrome by building up your self-confidence.
- Find a mentor. Finding a mentor who believes in you can help increase your self-confidence and give you the motivation you need to succeed. A mentor can provide guidance, advice, and support when you need it most. If possible, try to find a mentor who has experienced imposter syndrome and overcome it. Having somebody who understands what you’re going through can be invaluable.
- Join or create a supportive community. Being around other people who understand what you’re going through can make a world of difference. When impostor feelings strike, reach out to your supportive community for reassurance and encouragement. If there isn’t already a supportive community available to join, consider starting one yourself!
- Set realistic goals. One way to stop feeling like an impostor is to set realistic goals for yourself. Trying to achieve impossible standards will only set you up for failure and make impostor feelings worse. But if you set achievable goals and celebrate each accomplishment, you’ll start feeling more confident in your abilities.
- Give yourself credit. Too often, people with imposter syndrome fail to give themselves credit for their accomplishments. They chalk it up to luck or timing instead of recognizing their own hard work and talent. If this sounds like you, start making an effort to give yourself credit where it’s due. You deserve it!
- Take risks. People with imposter syndrome often play it safe because they’re afraid of failure. But playing it safe won’t help you achieve success; taking risks is necessary for growth
- Celebrate your victories. As mentioned earlier, one key component of overcoming imposter syndrome is setting realistic goals for yourself—and celebrating each accomplishment along the way! Taking the time to win gold stars or give yourself a pat on the back shows that you trust your abilities and recognize successes—no matter how small— as steps toward the ultimate goal
- Try something new. Overcoming imposter syndrome requires stepping outside your comfort zone to grow and learn new things
- Be prepared. Being prepared gives you additional confidence because you know that you’ve done whatever is necessary to do a great job
- Accept that failure is part of life. No one is immune to tripping up once in the while; accepting this as part of failure helps take some of the pressure off. While it’s important to learn from failure and strive for improvement next time around, beating yourself up on every misstep will only hold you back.
- Learn from setbacks. As difficult as setbacks can be, they provide an excellent opportunity for learning and growth. Seek out the positive in every negative experience and use it as fuel.
- Reframe negative thoughts. When negative thoughts creep in, reframe them in a positive light. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough” try thinking “I’m doing my best and that’s good enough .”
- Create a success plan. Having a plan for how you’re going to achieve your goals can help increase your confidence and prevent imposter syndrome from holding you back. Once you’ve created a plan, take small steps each day to move closer to your goals.
- Remember that failure is part of the process. Learning from failure is an essential part of anyone’s journey to success. Embrace your mistakes and setbacks as opportunities for growth instead of letting them bring you down.
- Seek out feedback. Feedback can be tricky when imposter syndrome is in play, but it’s essential for helping us improve our performance. When asking for feedback, be specific about what type of feedback you want, and be prepared to actually listen to what people have to say – even if it’s tough to hear.
- Focus on process over outcome. One way impostor syndrome manifests is through an obsession with results instead of focusing on the process leading up to them achieving fixates on whether we meet our goals perfectly rather than enjoying the journey and learning along the way.
Famous People Who Have Dealt With Imposter Syndrome
Famous people who have dealt with imposter syndrome often feel like they’re not good enough or that they don’t deserve their success. They may feel like they’re just faking it or that they’ll be exposed as fraud. Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, but it’s also surprisingly common.
Here are some famous people who have dealt with imposter syndrome:
Best-selling author J.K. Rowling has spoken openly about her struggles with imposter syndrome, saying “I have always had a huge fear of not being good enough.”
Sheryl Sandberg: Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and one of the most successful women in the tech industry. Despite her impressive resume, Sandberg has said that she often feels like a fraud. In particular, she’s spoken about imposter syndrome in relation to her gender, saying that she sometimes feels like she’s only successful because she’s a woman.
Tina Fey: The award-winning writer, producer, and actress have said that she still deals with imposter syndrome, even after all her success. She described it as a “constant loop of doubting your own instincts and abilities.”
Maya Angelou: Angelou is a celebrated poet, author, and civil rights, activist. In her young adulthood, she worked as a journalist and editor for several publications. However, she always felt like she was an imposter and that she didn’t deserve her success. It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she began to fully embrace her talents and accomplishments. She overcame it by remembering that “every time I got asked to do something new…I had survived the last thing.”
Jodie Foster: Foster is a two-time Academy Award-winning actress who has starred in films like The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused. Despite her success, Foster has said that imposter syndrome is something that she’s struggled with throughout her career. In an interview, she once said, “Every time I get a job, I think ‘they’re going to find out now. I’m just a ha
If you’re dealing with imposter syndrome, know that you’re not alone. Even successful, famous people struggle with it. But it’s important to remember that your self-doubt is not reality. You are capable and deserving of your success.
Are There Any Benefits Of Having Imposter Syndrome?
There are a few benefits to having imposter syndrome. For one, it can make you more humble and down-to-earth. It can also motivate you to work harder since you’ll feel like you need to prove yourself. And finally, it can help you empathize with others who are struggling since you’ll be able to relate to their experience of feeling like an imposter.
That said, imposter syndrome shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored. If left unchecked, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health problems. It can also hold you back from reaching your full potential. So if you think you might be suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s important to seek out professional help. With the right support, you can learn to overcome your imposter syndrome and reach your true potential.
There are many different types of imposter syndrome, and it can affect people in all walks of life. If you suspect that you might be suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s important to seek help from a professional who can help you identify the source of your feelings and develop a plan for managing them.
Remember, imposter syndrome is not a sign of weakness or inadequacy; it’s simply a reflection of the negative thoughts and beliefs that we all have from time to time. With the right support, you can overcome imposter syndrome and build the confidence you need to succeed.