What Is Impostor Syndrome?

At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt like imposters. Anxiety-inducing ideas about our incompetence or lack of qualifications haunt us. We’re not sure if we were hired or appointed by accident. We wait in mute anguish to be exposed as frauds and taken to the exit.

For the most part, these imposter feelings are fleeting. It peaks after receiving a promotion, beginning a new job, or entering a business. Imposter emotions can become prevalent and impair performance in some people.

Imposter syndrome is a constant sensation of self-doubt, insecurity, and inadequacy. This happens despite proof that you are smart and accomplished. Those who suffered from the syndrome believed they were frauds. These individuals think they are not as clever as others think and that their success was due to luck

Millions of people (including myself) experience impostor syndrome. In this blog post, we’ll explain what impostor syndrome is, show you how to identify it, and give you tips on overcoming it. Stay tuned!

Understanding Impostor Syndrome

What Does Imposter Syndrome Feel Like?

Impostor syndrome is a psychological state in which you believe you are not as capable as others. This concept is most often attributed to intelligence and success. It also has connections to perfectionism and the social environment. It is also known as the impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome, or imposter experience.

Imposter syndrome is the perception of being a fake, as though you don’t belong where you are. It makes one think they were there by chance. It can affect anyone, regardless of social standing, employment history, skill level, or experience level.

Feeling like Imposters

How Do You Know If You Have Impostor Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome causes a person to seek affirmation from authority figures such as a supervisor or a family member, giving them the power to choose whether or not they are successful.

Another approach to telling if you have imposter syndrome is to consider how you react when you achieve achievement. If you suffer from imposter syndrome, you may credit your accomplishment to chance or consider it a fluke.

How Impostor Syndrome Feels Like

Does Everyone Have Impostor Syndrome? 

Imposter syndrome was identified in high-achieving professional women in 1978 by psychologists Suzanne Imes and Pauline Rose Clance. Experts have lately discovered that it affects both men and women in various professions. Imposter syndrome is also very common among talented perfectionists.

70% of people will suffer from imposter syndrome at some point (Gravois, 2007). This could be due to a change in academic or professional circumstances. Impostor syndrome is also widespread among students who begin a new educational setting.

Is Imposter Syndrome a Mental Illness? 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth Edition, does not identify imposter syndrome as an official disorder. Although there is no official diagnosis for impostor syndrome, many psychologists recognize it as a serious kind of self-doubt. Imposter syndrome is often accompanied by anxiety and depression.

Understanding Impostor Syndrome

What Causes Impostor Syndrome?

There are a few theories that cause impostor syndrome. One is that impostor syndrome is fueled by perfectionism. We set high standards for ourselves and then beat ourselves up when we don’t meet them. 

Another theory is that it’s related to our ‘inner critic’. This voice in our head tells us we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough, and we don’t deserve success. This inner critic can be loud and persuasive. It can lead us to doubt our abilities even when there’s no evidence to support those doubts.

Imposter syndrome affects people who grew up in families that valued success. If your parents alternated between praise and condemnation, you could feel like a fraud later in life. Pressures from society to succeed can also play a role.

Whatever the cause, impostor syndrome can be debilitating. It can make us second-guess our decisions and question our worthiness. The worst part, it holds us back from reaching our full potential.

What Is an Example of Imposter Syndrome?

There are many signs of impostor syndrome. Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re being found out as a fraud? Do you attribute your success to luck rather than skill? Do you downplay your accomplishments or avoid taking credit for them altogether? If so, you may be experiencing impostor syndrome.

Other signs and symptoms of impostor syndrome include:

  • Perfectionism: this can lead to feelings of inadequacy when perfection is not possible.
  • Fear of failure: this can lead to avoiding new opportunities or challenges altogether.
  • Self-doubt: constant second-guessing can lead to lowered confidence and decreased productivity.
Best Real Estate Business Coach

Tips for Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

As mentioned above, I was not exempted from this daunting feeling. Imposter Syndrome helped me ruin a $6 million business. I started to question whether I was good enough. At that time, I couldn’t overcome an overwhelming fear. I became afraid that people would recognize that I didn’t belong there – that I wasn’t effective and efficient with what I do. 

On top of that, I was concerned that the market would shift, and the whole thing was built on sand. All those thoughts began to speed up and caused the downfall of that business.

It doesn’t matter what level you are at. The feelings of imposter syndrome could sneak in at any time. You have to be present to prevent those thought spirals. 

Let’s face it; there is no business or solopreneur who wouldn’t encounter a rough patch along the way. What matters most is having an aligned business principle. It starts from the clarity of self to direction and environment.

When you deeply understand your perception and awareness of yourself, what makes a difference. When you understand why you’re doing what you do, you can quickly shake the imposter syndrome off your shoulders.

If you’re struggling with impostor syndrome, there are a few things you can do to overcome it:

  • Acknowledge your achievements.
  • Practice self-compassion.
  • Reframe your negative thoughts.
  • Seek out mentorship and supportive people.
  • Build a positive mindset.

Are you interested in knowing more tips on making your business, your life, your way? You can listen to the podcast I was on about building a business and finding mentorship. Listen at: https://myfuturebusiness.com/bill-foss/

How Do I Get Rid of Impostor Syndrome?

The life of an entrepreneur can never promise a bed of roses. Always remember we sometimes need to go backward to go forward. If we stop pressing and pushing ourselves and take time to rest. Spend time relaxing and bonding with loved ones. Our mind clears and becomes effective and efficient.

When building a business, life can be out of balance. It could feel overwhelming, and you don’t know how to overcome your fears. This is when you start doubting yourself; you feel like a fraud. But like all problems, it can be solved, especially when you have the right mentor. 

I believe in running a business that benefits your life rather than being a slave to it. Imagine having the flexibility, money, self-satisfaction, and peace of mind that comes with knowing your business is precisely what you want it to be.

Learn how the Business Alignment Assessment can assist you in creating a business that works for you. Visit https://BillFoss.com for more information. You can also contact me, Bill Foss, the best real estate business coach, to guide your company at (978) 225-0398‬!

Bill Foss

I love helping brave business people, those who take risks and place their future and financial wellbeing squarely on their own shoulders, to reach for their business potential in a way that supports their life vision!

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