Imposter Syndrome- What It Is And How To Beat It. -
In this post, I discuss imposter syndrome, what it is and how to beat it.
In this episode, I am invited to guest host a lecture on Imposter Syndrome for Claremont Graduate University PFF program, by professor, health scientist, program evaluation consultant, and my brother, Jonathan Aragon, MPH., PhDc.
🤓 You can learn more about his work here: https://jonaragon.com
Watch The Interview
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The Imposter Syndrome Cycle
What is Imposter Syndrome?
- Perceived Fraudulence is common among high achievers
- Imposture Syndrome is often observed in highly competitive environments
- Imposter Syndrome is not limited to people who are highly successful
- Anyone can view themselves as an impostor if they fail to internalize their success
- It is estimated that 70% of people will experience at least one episode of this Impostor Phenomenon in their lives (Gravois, 2007).
- Anyone can be an impostor when they display a façade or present a public self that is different from their private self, in order to meet social expectations (Kets de Vries’s 2005)
Imposter Syndrome is the “internal experience of intellectual phoniness” (Matthews & Clance, 1985, p. 71) in individuals who are highly successful but unable to internalize their success (Bernard, Dollinger, & Ramaniah, 2002; Clance & Imes, 1978). Clance (1985) “Imposter Phenomenon”
(1) The Impostor Cycle
(2) The need to be special or to be the very best
(3) Superman/Superwoman aspects
(4) Fear of failure
(5) Denial of competence and Discounting praise
(6) Fear and guilt about success
Imposter Syndrome is “a psychological pattern rooted in intense, concealed feelings of fraudulence when faced with achievement tasks” (Hellman & Caselman, 2004, p. 161). Kets de Vries (2005) “Imposter Phenomenon.”
- (1) The belief that he/she has fooled other people
- (2) Fear of being exposed as an impostor, and
- (3) Inability to attribute own achievement to internal qualities such as ability, intelligence, or skills.
Imposter Syndrome can be seen as a “self-perception of fraudulence, which is a combination of cognitive and affective components, rather than an emotional disorder.” (Kolligan & Sternberg, 1991; Leary, Patton, Orlando, & Funk, 2000). Kolligian & Sternberg (1991) “Perceived Fraudulence.”
- Fraudulent ideation
- Achievement pressures
- Negative emotions
Perceived Fraudulence emphasizes a vigilant practice of impression management and self-monitoring in Impostors, who are concerned about their self-worth and social image (Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991).
Imposter Syndrome Is A Normal Part Of The Human Experience:
The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler
Albert Einstein, Nobel laureate
Yes, you’re an impostor. So am I and so is everyone else. Superman still lives on Krypton and the rest of us are just doing our best. Seth Goden
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How To Beat Imposter Syndrome
In order to combat imposter syndrome, it is critical to identify and integrate into “safe to fail” environments, rather than “fail-safe” ones. Meaning, finding supportive people and appropriate testing grounds to take socially acceptable risks to experiment and practice skills as many times as needed to become adequate at said skill (communication, or soft skills, or technical/hard skills). Think app developers and sandbox programs.
We grow in confidence and capabilities when we have permission to make mistakes over many attempts. After-all, that is the only way we truly learn, and we generally make far more progress learning through various integration vs trying to make things “perfect” the first time. What gets measured gets improved, and we get far more data and feedback from our efforts when we have more micro attempts to measure, compare and contrast. Beta before better, progress before perfection. Consistency is king and we must find ways to hone our skills at a steady and predictable pace.
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Originally published at https://thementalhealthtoolbox.com on March 29, 2022.