We think everyone around us has their life together, but really that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Imposter syndrome is defined as doubting your accomplishments, skills, or talents, and feeling like you’re a fraud who doesn’t deserve to be where you are. It’s a deep-seated fear of being found out. Psychologists first described the syndrome in 1978. Research from 2011 suggests that approximately 70% of people will experience at least one episode of imposter syndrome in their lives, regardless of their job or social status. Sheryl Sandberg, David Bowie, Serena Williams, and Maya Angelou are all leaders who’ve expressed that they have felt like imposters.
Imposter syndrome is a fear. Fear is intended to protect us and keep us safe, but it can prevent us from taking the actions needed to be successful. One way we can learn to work with our imposter syndrome is through identifying and naming our inner imposter. In essence, by naming them we can befriend them. There are five different types of “imposters:” The Super Person, The Soloist, The Expert, The Natural Genius, and The Perfectionist. Take the quiz below to name your inner imposter. By doing so, you’ll be one step closer to keeping your imposter syndrome in check when it gets out of control.