The Fraudulent Five

Imposter Syndrome

What Imposter Syndrome Can Look Like

The concept of Imposter Syndrome is the idea of someone not being able to internalise their success. They believe their success or accomplishments are dependent upon external factors. Such as luck, fluke or even the stress they applied to their preparation.

There are five patterns that have emerged in studies of Imposter Syndrome.

The Fraudulent Five

The Perfectionist

These people usually set extremely high goals and maintain high expectations for themselves to achieve these goals. The Perfectionist tend to fixate on the flaws of their work. This prevents them from accepting the goals they have already accomplished.

The ExpertsBoy studying

Individuals presenting patterns of ‘The Expert’ usually feel the need to know all the information they can possibly have so they don’t look stupid or uninformed. Despite their expertise or experience, they underestimate their own abilities.

The Natural Genius

The Natural Genius usually finds things such as skills and learning easy. When someone who doesn’t have to work too hard, suddenly struggles to pick up a skill or has to work harder than usual. They believe they aren’t good enough.

The Soloist

These people prefer to work alone. They see asking for help from others as a weakness and a sign they weren’t competent enough to complete the task on their own.

The Superhero

The Superhero tends to push themselves to work harder and harder to prove to the people around them that they are not imposters. They feel increasingly stressed when they aren’t accomplishing tasks.

What to Do if you See Yourself in these Five Patterns

It’s important to reflect on your values and beliefs.

Consider Asking Yourself:

  • What are my core beliefs about myself?
  • Do I truly believe I am worthy of love by being me?
  • Do I seek other peoples approval to consider myself important?

Five Tips to Cope with Imposter Syndrome

The first step to any growth is acknowledgement.

Being conscious of a behaviour allows you to identify the patterns and reframe the perspective. The ability to reframe your imposing thoughts while the imposter feelings are prominent is a good way to then refocus on the actions of non-imposing thoughts. These can be as simple as asking for help even when your mind is screaming at you to get it done by yourself.

Seek to adopt a growth mindset.Young girl thinking

A mindset is your own personal conscious and unconscious set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world around you. There are two types. A fixed mindset where you believe your abilities are fixed traits that can not be changed or a growth mindset, where you embrace challenges and see them as an opportunity to grow. Adopting a growth mindset can help us accept our current abilities and focus on growing into our desired roles. It allows us to understand that we can grow as a person and change. Even if we don’t feel like we are there today.

Assess your skills and accomplishments

This might be hard at first. However, being able to recognise and then internalise and appreciate your success and achievements is a huge aspect of counteracting the imposing beliefs of Imposter Syndrome.

Take everything one day at a time.

Don’t place ridiculous pressure and expectations on yourself. Having small daily goals and rewarding yourself for reaching these small daily goals is a great way to positively reinforce non-imposing behaviour.

Question your own thoughts. 

The process of questioning your own thoughts is a gradual process. Only after putting into practice the small daily goals and acknowledging your accomplishments can you then ask yourself: “Does it make sense that you’re afake or a fraud now that you know you can do and achieve so much?”

Experiences of doubt and questioning ones self is normal, but it can become a problem when the thoughts and beliefs become constant and seemingly impossible to shake. If you want support processing and reframing Imposter Syndrome contact our private psychology practice, Voxus Psychology today for a consult with a specialised clinician.

For more information contact us today. Please send us an email, give us a call at (02) 9929 8515, check out our LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or find more Psych Up! resources here.