You're not alone if you've ever felt like an impostor at work, school, home, and so on. Many people have had these ideas at some point in their lives.
Definition of Imposter Syndrome
In 1970, two psychologists, Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance introduced the imposter syndrome concept. At this time, it was mainly thought to be associated with high achieving women, but more studies have shown that very little of the world population is spared.
A 2020 KPMG study revealed that 75% of the women in executive positions suffer from imposter syndrome (IS). According to a Mental Health Journal publication, the prevalence of imposter syndrome varies so widely from 9% to 82%, depending on the study population.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological disorder in which high-achieving people, despite their objective achievements, struggle to integrate their achievements and suffer from chronic self-doubt and dread of being exposed as a fraud or imposter. Individuals suffering from imposter syndrome do not attribute their success to their true competence but rather to external circumstances such as luck or assistance from others while viewing failures as proof of their professional incompetence. Simply put, imposter syndrome is when an individual does not believe that they are as good as their results are showing. People with imposter syndrome always feel as if they don't deserve to be where they are. So at any particular moment, they feel as if they will be found wanting or inadequate in their achievements. People with this psychological disorder find it hard to take compliments or to believe that they are as good as people say they are.
Research has shown that the imposter syndrome can affect anyone despite race, colour, gender, ethnicity, position, or wealth status. Research also suggests that at least 77% of all people experience this phenomenon at least once in their lifetime. In the early introduction of this phenomenon and over the years, people believed women were more affected than men, but recent studies have proven that it is merely a 50/50 chance with other researches (e.g. the Quartz publicised research) proving men to be even more affected by this phenomenon more than women.
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