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Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome or fraud syndrome is becoming more and more common in women with affected self-esteem and high expectations of self.

It describes an experience someone creates for themselves where they feel like an impostor or fraud because they THINK they have conned people into believing something about them. For example, they may think they have conned their boss into believing their accomplishments are of a high calibre, but in fact believe their accomplishments are nowhere near the praise or promotions they are awarded. They have a fear of being "found out" one day to be lacking the skills and intelligence they are perceived to have. Generally speaking, their accomplishments are worthy of the recognition, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themself (and not to others). It's especially common in fields where people's work is constantly under review by talented peers, such as academia, public speaking and corporate positions. But it can also be true in positions within an industry which require a certain persona, such as the fitness industry or public influencers.

"The greater the gap between who you truly are and the public personas that we present to the world, the less our lives will work. And the less joy we will experience. Why? Because there can be no happiness when we are betraying ourselves."

Taken from Robin Sharma - Daily Inspiration


Some ways in which this typically shows up for women are:

  • not applying for jobs, promotions, and other employment opportunities

  • not submitting papers to conferences or journals

  • understating their experience/skill when speaking or writing

  • nervousness about talking to others in their field, especially if those others are perceived as highly skilled/experienced

  • feeling like a fraud

  • worrying that someone will find out their lack of qualifications and fire them

  • having higher stress

  • overpreparing for tasks

  • attributing successes to chance or luck

(taken from Geek Feminism Wiki)

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