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4 behaviors of imposter syndrome – and what exactly that means

4 behaviors of imposter syndrome – and what exactly that means

The basics in a nutshell

  • Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon.

  • Those affected feel like frauds despite apparent successes.

  • Here you can find out if the syndrome applies to you and what you can do about it!

Have you ever heard of imposter syndrome? You may think this only affects others, but it can actually affect people of all ages and genders. This especially often affects those who work in challenging jobs or who have high expectations of themselves. How to know if you have it, what causes imposter syndrome and what you can do about it!

What’s behind imposter syndrome?

Have you ever heard of imposter syndrome? The word “swindler” comes from the English language and roughly translates as “charlatan” or “cheater.” The syndrome describes the feeling that people feel like frauds or frauds, even though they are clearly successful and have great skills. This term was coined long ago by two psychologists named Susan A. Eames and Dr. Pauline R. coined Clans. In 1978 they published an article that addressed for the first time the psychological phenomenon that many successful women feel like frauds. Those affected may assume that their professional successes have never been real, and in fact will be overrated by others.

Here we can already see the problem: people with imposter syndrome have self-doubt. Even when they achieve a lot, they think it is just luck or coincidence. They are afraid that others will notice that they are not as good as everyone thinks they are. It’s important to know: Imposter syndrome is not a personal weakness or a mental illness. Rather, it is a psychological phenomenon that only occurs in the mind. It was believed that successful women were particularly affected by this. However, we now know that men can feel the same way.

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Have you ever heard of Peter Pan Syndrome? These are signs that men do not want to grow up. Wendy syndrome, which refers to taking on a maternal role in a relationship, is also common among women. Another psychological phenomenon is the helper syndrome – the desire to help can harm you in itself.

In the passage: These six sentences show that someone is very insecure

Could imposter syndrome apply to you?

4 signs that you are… Impostor syndrome You are affected by:

  1. You believe that your professional and private successes depend solely on luck and chance. Result: You do not believe that your abilities and achievements could have led you to where you are now.
  2. You find it very difficult to accept praise for your work. Maybe you think that you don’t really deserve appreciation and that praise isn’t necessarily valid.
  3. You are always afraid that others will find out that you are already a failure. Have you ever thought: “What if someone notices that I can’t do anything?”
  4. You give it your all and may even work overtime because you think your performance isn’t adequate otherwise. This is to make sure you are doing enough.

If you recognize yourself at these points, imposter syndrome may be at play for you. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many have similar thoughts. Remember that you are also effective and successful – sometimes your thoughts deceive you.

Impostor syndrome: what are the causes?

Why do we sometimes feel like frauds? The causes of imposter syndrome can lie in our childhood. If parents always expected good grades and success, it can still affect us today. Or if they criticize us a lot for mistakes. But not only that, perfectionism and high expectations of ourselves can also lead to this. Introverted people or those who do not have the same amount of self-confidence are often more affected.

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5 valuable tips: Here’s what you can do to combat imposter syndrome

Do the characteristics described look like yours? Don’t worry, there are ways to deal with it. Here are 5 tips on how to combat low stacking:

  1. Awareness development: It may be helpful to know that imposter syndrome is common. Many truly successful people have similar fears and questionable ideas. Remember this when negative thoughts resurface. Especially when you are tormented by overthinking!
  2. Recognizing successful achievements: Be aware of your successes and appreciate them. Don’t just say it was all luck. Remember, your hard work and outstanding skills led to this. If you are successful in a project, you deserve recognition and can be celebrated too!
  3. Setting realistic goals: Set realistic goals. Don’t try to do everything perfect all the time, no one expects you to always give and achieve 100%. Imagine learning a new hobby: you won’t be able to become perfect right away. And that’s totally fine.
  4. Find support: Talk to others about imposter syndrome. Regardless of whether you talk to your friends or turn to a therapist. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to others about it. Maybe your friend feels exactly the same way, so you can support each other.
  5. Keep a success journal: Record your successes as well as any positive feedback or compliments you receive. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re really good, take a look at your success diary. Every now and then, remembering to praise your accomplishments can remind you how talented you really are.

This article was created with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and was carefully screened by the editorial team before publication.