Do you ever doubt your accomplishments or fear you will be exposed as a “fraud?” If so, you may be suffering from a common phenomenon called “imposter syndrome.” Although not formally recognized as a psychological condition, imposter syndrome can significantly impact one’s happiness and overall quality of life, but can be successfully treated with clinical therapy.
People struggling with imposter syndrome typically report an internalized fear that others will suddenly uncover their true incompetence. Despite external evidence illuminating their capabilities and successes, individuals with imposter syndrome will remain convinced that they are frauds and don’t deserve their attained success. They attribute their success to luck rather than skill, hard work, or intellect and minimize their respective achievements.
A number of public figures have discussed their own struggles with imposter syndrome including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Maya Angelou, Michelle Pfeiffer, Neil Gaiman, and Neil Armstrong. Meanwhile, it is estimated that a staggering 70% of the US population has experienced this phenomenon.
Understandably, research is indicating that there is a significant convergence between imposter syndrome and low self-esteem, stress, depression, and anxiety. Common negative thoughts associated with imposter syndrome include:
- “I’m either a success or a failure. I can’t ever fail.”
- “My positive qualities don’t count.”
- “Others think I’m a fraud.”
- “I am just lucky.”
These negative thoughts, tend to provoke anxiety, self-doubt, and worry followed by either over-preparation or procrastination.
Evidence-based therapy is very effective for imposter syndrome and typically includes identifying and evaluating the negative, distorted, or unrealistic beliefs until the sufferer is able to come up with more accurate and practical perspectives of themselves that they truly believe.
Ross is intimately familiar with imposter syndrome both personally and professionally. He experienced this over the course of his career and found therapy to be very helpful in improving his life and career satisfaction and has gone on to help 100’s clients with their imposter syndrome. If you are interested in starting therapy with Ross to address your imposter syndrome, you can contact him now by requesting a Free 15-Minute Consultation: