Facts About Impostor Syndrome/Effect
Phenomenon of the Impostor Syndrome/Effect
Have you ever achieved something that you felt as though you didn’t really deserve? Like being voted MVP on your sports team or winning an award for an art assignment you did or even something as simple as getting a good grade in the moment.
You were ecstatic and overjoyed, but as time went on, you began to think, “Did I really deserve this?” You become suspicious of everything. Thinking maybe it was a joke and you’re the only one missing out on it or you become so paranoid that you hide behind a mask and fear that someone will realize that you are indeed a fraud?
If so, this is a common phenomenon known as the Impostor Syndrome/Effect. You’re not alone in this feeling. Far too many of us have similar experiences, whether at school, at work, on the field, in the orchestra, etc.
We’re here to let you know about this phenomenon (Impostor Syndrome/Effect) so that you may be able to recognize it and overcome it in the future.
In 1978, two psychologists, Suzanne Aims, PhD and Pauline Rose clans, PhD, observed this trait among high achieving women who questioned their intelligence and thus were unable to accept their success according to Clinton Aims. There are four behaviors that start the snowball effect of the Impostor Syndrome/Effect, preventing belief in one’s own abilities and accomplishments.
1- Diligence/Hard Work
The first behavior involves diligence and hard work. Although these are common traits of any persevering individual, the person suffering from the impostor syndrome works tirelessly out of fear that they will be discovered as a fraud. So, they try to catch up to the intellect. They think people view them as inadequate, never getting there. Thus, a vicious cycle begins with fear of being discovered as a faker and leads to overworking and hard work, leading to temporary approval from superiors, which the person is subject to not believe. Then it repeats all over again.
The second behavior focuses on having a sense of phoniness. This is what’s meant by saying, “They wear a mask.” They don’t talk about their true feelings or ideas. Rather they say what they believe their superiors or classmates want to hear or expect them to say.
The person who is suffering from the Impostor Syndrome/Effect will support another person’s ideas and downplay their own abilities. This allows the Impostor Syndrome/Effect to believe that no one can critique them or dislike them, because they’re so supportive and agree with everyone.
3- Charm / Perceptiveness
The third behavior involves using charm and perceptiveness to gain favor of their superiors. The person wants to be recognized by their professors or coaches as a star pupil. So, they tie that mask on tighter and try to win over their hearts.
The person wants to gain the support and reassurance of their abilities from the superior in hopes that it will help them gain their confidence in their own abilities beneath the mask.
Unfortunately, after the impostor receives their validation, people may begin to question their abilities, thinking that the validation was given because of their charm and good acting skills, not their intellect. Thus, a vicious cycle of seeking reassurance from different superiors leaves the impostor unsure of their own abilities and talents.
4- Avoids Display of Confidence
The fourth behavior is the impostor avoiding to display confidence. Modesty is the best policy. This is a true mantra for this phenomenon. If a person suffering from the syndrome avoids showing confidence, no one can challenge them under intellect or ideas, because they never go out of their way to announce them.
Avoiding conflict in confrontation is key in this situation because the impostor fears that. If they show any bit of confidence in their ideas or abilities, their peers will fight them and shun them for ignorance.
After all this, do you feel like you relate to the traits of the impostor in question? If so, then you’ve experienced impostor syndrome as well. You might be wondering this pressing question, can this be treated?
Thankfully, the answer is YES.
Multimodal Therapy for Impostor Syndrome/Effect
According to Clans Aims, there is a multimodal therapy in which several therapeutic approaches are used co-currently. This seems to be most effective in altering the impostor belief in client.
Group Therapy for Impostor Syndrome/Effect
A group therapy setting or an interactional group, in which there are other high achieving women or men experiencing this phenomenon is highly recommended. The group setting is extremely valuable because a woman or man can feel more secure when they realize that they are not alone in dealing with the Impostor Syndrome/Effect phenomenon.
You are Not Alone on Impostor Syndrome/Effect
An individual has a chance to reflect when they hear another person’s story, as well as the lack of reality in the rationale.
By recognizing these impostor feelings and pushing them aside, you can no longer be afraid of being exposed as a fake. You can be confident that you’re not alone.
What do you think about the imposter effect? Let us know in the comments below.