Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome has been defined as the “psychological experience of believing that one’s success came about because of chance or luck or extreme hard-work or even manipulation, and not due to the skill one possesses”. First observed in successful female college students and professionals, it perpetuates the feeling of a “fraud” or an “imposter”, who will be discovered at any moment (a feeling that their success is reliant on external factors). The syndrome has been broadly distinguished into 5 categories based on individual behaviour, personality and mannerisms:

The Perfectionist – Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome go hand in hand, as if perfectionists do not meet the exceptionally high standards they set for themselves, they perpetuate major self-doubts on their abilities.

The Superwoman/man – Hardworking people, who cover their insecurities by putting in extraordinary amount of effort to seek validation from their “real-deal” colleagues.

The Natural Genius – People who feel the need to be a “natural genius” in things and expect themselves to accomplish things on first try or do things fluently and quickly, and when such impossibly high internal standards are not met, such people feel ashamed.

The Soloist – Extremely Independent people who think asking for help reveals one as phony.

The Expert – Measures oneself through “how much” & “what” one knows, believing it will never be enough.

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