You’re not alone. Let’s take a look at the 4 Typical ‘Imposters’ in Imposter Syndrome.

It’s widely acknowledged that Imposter Syndrome disproportionately affects women. And as someone who experiences this on a daily basis, let me tell you…. it’s exhausting.

The feeling of being ‘found out’ as not being good enough, competent enough or worthy of being in a particular position. It can be debilitating for many and a major contributor towards the onset of anxiety; that knot in your stomach every time your name is mentioned, in case it’s been discovered that you are actually a ‘fraud’. Or perhaps when something goes wrong (both in a professional and social setting because let’s not forget, Imposter Syndrome can show up outside of work too), and you automatically think it’s SOMEHOW got to be your fault and your fault alone.

Image Credit: Ellevest

If left unaddressed, Imposter Syndrome can quickly zap you of mental energy and leave little cognitive resource to focus on the tasks that really matter. Let’s take a look at the four most common ‘imposters’.

  1. The Perfectionist. Contrary to what most believe, high levels of perfectionism is not an ideal trait. Whilst healthy perfectionism comes from a sense of pride, ownership and a genuine engagement with the task at hand, exceedingly high levels of perfectionism stems from an exacerbated fear of failure and an identity based primarily on the values and opinions of others. A small mistake or mishap can cause excessive feelings of unworthiness and must be avoided at all cost.
  2. The Prover. Provers tend to display behaviours that they think ‘proves’ their worth or competency. This is typically displayed as putting in longer hours than everyone else, always being available and rarely taking time off.
  3. The Improver. Improvers are the people who continuously undertake additional training or courses in order to validate their worth. They tend to look for a singular, enlightening moment in which they feel truly ‘qualified’ and able to fully take ownership of what it is they intend on doing.
  4. The Soloist. Fiercely independent, soloists often insist on working (and achieving) alone. This can often be misinterpreted by others as a soloist being self-indulgent or thinking they are better than others, when it’s often the opposite. Soloists prefer working alone primarily due to a feeling of being seen as incompetent or incapable by others if working collaboratively.

The first step in dismantling Imposter Syndrome is simply knowing the signs and acknowledging that these ‘imposter’ thoughts are not a true reflection of your reality. Tracking your successes and keeping a tab on all wins (big AND small) can be an effective reminder that you are a capable individual with no need to prove your value. You are enough.

A Health, Wellness and Mindset Coach for professional women across Aus & NZ, with a slightly worrying obsession with peanut butter and SBS World Movies.