Imagine this: You don your favorite navy blazer and arrive bright and early for the morning meeting. You’re about to give a suggestion for the team project, but the voice in your head screams, “Phony. Fake. Fraud. IMPOSTER!”
Instead of sharing your ideas, you swallow your words and nod in agreeance to what everyone else suggests. Someone who suffers from imposter syndrome can experience these strong feelings of self-doubt in the workplace, or with family and friends.
So, what is “Imposter Syndrome?”
Imposter syndrome is a term that was created by two psychologists in 1978. Although the term itself is not classified as mental disorder, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Imposter syndrome describes when someone feels or believes they do not possess the intellect, skill set or creativity to do anything that is worthy of recognition—even if their shelf is lined with trophies, plaques and medallions. Those feelings of unworthiness create an overwhelming feeling that others will find out about their lack of capabilities and expose them for the “frauds” they think they are.
Who does Imposter Syndrome affect?
Anyone can be affected by imposter syndrome. It is estimated that 70 percent of Americans experience these negative, invasive thoughts. However, women, especially African American women, are affected the most.
According to a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, when asked to rate their performance, women overall rated their performance lower than men. On average, men scored themselves a 61 out of 100 and women scored themselves a 46 out of 100.
Even when the women were told that the self-evaluation would be used in the decision to hire them and determine…