What is Impostor Syndrome?


Impostor Syndrome isn’t just a modern catch-phrase. It is the term coined in the 1970’s by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes to describe a phenomenon among high achievers. According to these professionals, Impostor Syndrome is a false and sometimes crippling belief that your accomplishments are the product of luck or misrepresentation of ability, rather than true knowledge, skill or effort.

Impostor Syndrome presents itself in many different ways, like feeling your achievements haven’t been earned or that you don’t deserve praise or success. It may also show up as perfectionism, workaholism, holding yourself to extremely high (and unrealistic) expectations or fearing that you’ll be exposed as less talented than people believe you to be.

If left unaddressed, Impostor Syndrome can lead to frustration, burnout, lack of fulfillment, missing out on important personal and professional opportunities and never actually accomplishing what you aspire to achieve. Worst of all, impostor syndrome makes you question yourself at every turn.

As you can see, this is a real condition that must be conquered for you to find true success in life.