If you have ever experienced one of those moments where you think, "I'm going to be found out any moment now" then this is one of the signs you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome and you're not alone. This mostly affects high achievers and it's a nagging feeling of not really deserving all that you have been working for and that you're a fake or a fraud. American psychologists Dr Pauline Rose Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes originally coined this term and this feeling that one's limited abilities will be unmasked, affects many people, especially in the workplace although it can rear its ugly head in social circles and in the home. Here are some of the signs you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome.
1. You Don't Deserve the Praise
One of the things that people with Imposter Syndrome feel is that they don't deserve any praise for what they are doing. People who are experiencing this may feel embarrassed if people praise them for their hard work because they don't feel as though they have done enough to warrant the attention they're receiving.
2. Fear of What Others Think
Another aspect of Imposter Syndrome is fear of what others think. There is this constant battle within themselves regarding what others may be thinking about what they're doing or how they're doing it.
3. Lack of Confidence
This is one of the most telling signs that you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Lack of confidence is inextricably linked with the feeling that you don't deserve the praise and have a fear of what others think. Many high profile celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Don Cheadle have experienced Imposter Syndrome which shows that even the most outwardly confident person may be grappling with feelings of unworthiness.
4. I'm Not Good Enough
How many of you have felt that you're just not good enough? This is another tell-tale sign that you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. This isn't just a feeling that you could do better, which can often be a positive driving force to improve one's performance. This is a constant voice in your head saying that you're not good enough and need to quit while you're ahead. Women have a tendency to experience this because we're raised to be likeable, agreeable and nice.
5. Self Sabotage
Many people with Imposter Syndrome will constantly make excuses for themselves. They may start a sentence with "I know I don't have as much experience as you" to try and justify what they perceive as poor performance or pre-empt judgement of poor performance by apologising, even when they don't have to.
6. Self Imposed Pressure
If you're putting inordinate amounts of pressure on yourself to achieve, then this is another one of the signs you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Constantly striving to do better is of course a positive thing but if you're doing it because you constantly feel as though you're a failure or that you have to prove yourself, then this may be a case of Imposter Syndrome induced pressure, which isn't always healthy.
7. Feeling as Though You're Going to Be Found out
One of the biggest signs that you're experiencing Imposter Syndrome is a feeling that you're going to be found out. It's a feeling that you're a fraud and don't deserve the recognition or praise for all that you have achieved.
These are some of the signs that you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome and there are ways to tackle it, such as allowing yourself to celebrate all you have achieved and not being afraid to acknowledge feelings of pride and success. The key is not to allow these thoughts to dominate your thinking. Have you ever experienced any of these?