The Imposter Syndrome
What do Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams have in common? It seems that they all suffered from imposter syndrome.
The term "impostor syndrome" was born in 1978, following the research of two American psychologists, Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Ime. It is not a "disease" but rather a "psychological mechanism".
The impostor syndrome is a feeling or conviction of not being up to the task despite all the objective signs that prove the contrary. People with this syndrome are successful or excellent in their field and are recognized by their peers but feel overrated. They put their success on account of luck, chance, relationships, the kindness of others, or even a possible mistake. All this makes them fear that they will one day be "unmasked" and accused of imposture.
Some of the signs when someone suffers of impostor syndrome
- Minimization: they normalize or downplay their successes, or even fail to identify them. They tend to denigrate themselves.
- Apprehension: they are afraid to fail or to succeed.
- Recognition: they have a strong need to surpass others, to be recognized by their peers but do not have a sense of legitimacy.
- Imposter cycle: from procrastination to excessive labor, they sabotage themselves in the performance of their tasks. This vicious cycle repeats itself and reinforces their feelings of imposture.
This syndrome can become a source of significant psychological distress and a barrier to the expression of the individual's potential. Anxiodepressive disorders, acute stress, burnout, etc. may result.
Studies indicate that while 70% of the population may have doubts about the legitimacy of their status or success at any one time, 20% of the general population has impostor syndrome. This can be experienced in the professional, family and/or leisure fields, and affects equally men and women.
Sophrology and Hypnosis
If you suffer from anxiety, burnout, a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem, or if you are afraid of failing or succeeding... a therapy based on Sophrology and Hypnosis can help you overcome your impostor syndrome.
- Pauline Rose Clance "The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success"
- Ted Ed d’Elizabeth Cox "What is impostor syndrom and how youcan combat it?"
Self-assess your imposter syndrome
Sources: « J’ai réussi, j’ai de la chance... je serai démasqué » : revue de littérature du syndrome de l’imposteur K. Chassangre, S. Callahan (Pratiques Psychologiques – Elsevier) ; Passeport santé ; « La modestie pathologique : pour une meilleure compréhension du syndrome de l’imposteur » de Kevin Chassangre ; Psychosteur.com
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