Impostor Syndrome was first defined by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1985.

It is one marked by feelings of undeserving for his or her achievements and constant worry that they would be exposed as fraud.

Further, Impostor Syndrome is also called Impostor Phenomenon because it is a condition in which an individual has an internal feeling of intellectual phoniness.

As per research, Impostor Sysnforme can impact anyone irrespective of who they are. Further, there are studies that reveal 70% of people experience Impostor Syndrome at least once in their lives.

You’ll see people writing and talking about Impostor Syndrome a lot. No doubt this helps in spreading awareness about its symptoms and treatment.

However, it also brings along myths about Impostor Syndrome which must be debunked.

In this article, we expose some of the common myths about Impostor Syndrome to help you understand that it’s real and curable.

I. IP Syndrome is a Myth

There are many people who say that IP syndrome is not real and is just a sign of an over-sensitive individual.

However, research about IP Syndrome has been done over the past 40 years. Also, there have been tons of thought leadership programs and initiatives to cater to Impostor Syndrome.

Business leaders like Sheryl Sanberg, Michelle Obama, and celebrities like Charlize Theron have admitted that they experienced IP Syndrome.

II. It Affects Only High Achieving Women

Pauline Rose and Imes restricted their study to 150 highly successful women who were recognized for their academic excellence.

This was so because they believed that IP Syndrome occurred mostly in women claiming such a thing based on the Attribution Theory and the second wave of feminism during the 1960s.

The Attribution Theory says that women have lower expectations than men. Further, they hold temporary causes responsible for their success.

However, later studies reveal that Impostor Syndrome can affect anyone irrespective of who they are. That is, men, college students, minority groups, and others are equally vulnerable to experiencing IP Syndrome.

III. It is a Syndrome or Mental Disorder

As defined by reaserachers, Imposter Syndrome is a perceived fraudulent. These are internal experiences of fraud or phoniness that people suffering from Imposter Syndrome go through.

Many people understand this self-misconception as a mental illness or disorder. This is because they take the words ‘Syndrome’ or ‘Phenomenon’ as indicating personality disorders.

However, IP is not a syndrome or mental disorder as it is not a deteriorating mental condition. However, continuous feelings of unworthiness can make one suffer a mental condition.

IV. Seeing Continous Sucess Weakens the Imposter Syndrome

As stated earlier, experiencing impostor phenomenon is an emotional experience.

People going through IP syndrome show more concern towards their mistakes and are inclined to over-estimate the number of mistakes they commit.

Further, they attribute their success to external factors like luck over their personal capabilities. They consider themselves as fraud based on their self-created belief that they truly do not deserve success coming their way.

Thus, such experiences being innate to impostors, no amount of success can weaken their impostor feelings.

In fact, Impostor Syndrome is typically common with high-acheiving men and women.

V. It Doesn’t Interfere With Work and Life

Studies reveal that IP Syndrome is dangerous to one’s wellbeing, relationships, and career. It is liked to perfectionism, stress, and depression.

Further, impostors may experience GAD, lack of self-confidence, and frustration due to their incapacity to meet their personal standards.

Studies show that people with IP Syndrome have a lesser probability for commitment to organizations.

Further, they are less likely to enjoy success and achieve what they truly want to achieve. They have lower education and career goals which makes it difficult for the companies to realize their full potential.
VI. Social and Family Messages Aren’t Responsible for IP Syndrome
Typically, individuals suffering from IP Syndrome are blamed for their over-sensitive nature and are asked to develop thick skin to weaken this phenomenon.

However, studies showcase that the root causes of IP Problem lie in social expectations.

In other words, IP Syndrome is a result of communication that an individual receives via cultural norms, family conversations, and social histories.

For instance, patriarchal society messages and gender differences such as men leading women in leadership roles increase impostor feelings.

Likewise, families who negatively compare a child with an intelligent sibling in the family also produce impostor feelings.
VII. Awareness Overcomes the IP Syndrome
Although, learning about IP Syndrome and eventually identifying one’s impostor feelings is the first step to overcoming IP Syndrome.

However, one needs additional support to weaken impostor thoughts and feelings.

For instance, helping impostors objectively evaluate their skills and achievements is really helpful in coping the feelings of self-doubt.

Similarly, cognitive intervention like thought stopping can also help the impostor interrupt the problematic thoughts.

Likewise, shipping technique is also used whereby impostors are asked to present their ideas instead of waiting till the time the idea is perfect.

Finally, professional therapy is also taken to help impostors to shift from a fixed to a growth mindset.

Author's Bio: 

Sophia