Career Development

What is imposter syndrome? Know how to identify it


Maintaining motivation to study at home can be a big challenge for many people, mainly because of the various situations that cause distractions. However, the lack of focus is not always due to easily controllable factors – in some cases, the famous imposter syndrome is the villain of the story.

This condition is characterized by a tendency of the individual to self-sabotage, causing him to experience difficulties both personally and professionally.

If you identify with this scenario and would like to know more about it, this post is for you. In it, we’ll explain what imposter syndrome is, what its main signs are and how to overcome it. Continue reading and check it out!


What is imposter syndrome?


Characterized by a feeling of fraud, of intellectual falsehood, the impostor syndrome affects both men and women. The term, which refers to a self-perception disorder, began to be used in the late 1970s by psychologists Suzanne Imes and Pauline Clance.

The imposter syndrome involves the individual’s low self-esteem and insecurity, making him believe that he is not good enough at a certain task – even if he manages to get positive results in it. With that, all his achievements become the result of an external force, not his own efforts.

One of the biggest problems of this syndrome is the person sabotaging himself, as he does not believe in his ability to perform some action. This lack of personal motivation impairs professional and academic performance, as well as the personal aspects of those who suffer from this disorder. After all, for not believing that he deserves to be in that place, the person will try to find justifications for failing.


What are the main signs of this syndrome?


Despite being more common in people working in very competitive areas, the fact is that anyone can develop the imposter syndrome, regardless of gender, profession or age.

Next, learn about some of the main signs of this disorder.


As we said, the impostor syndrome causes the person to practice self-sabotage. That’s because she doesn’t feel safe to perform some activities and creates ways to escape this scenario, which results in constant regrets and loss of good opportunities for growth.


In addition to self-sabotage, the individual often feels that he does not deserve to be where he is, both personally and professionally. As a result, people tend to distance themselves from the places they frequent and the groups to which they belong.


Procrastination can also be associated — albeit not exclusively — with imposter syndrome. Insecurity causes these people to always postpone tasks and commitments until the last moment, taking longer than usual to fulfill them for fear of being evaluated or criticized by others.


You know that bitter person, who has a tendency to diminish their positive qualities and characteristics? She may suffer from imposter syndrome. Talking badly about yourself is a frequent feature of this disorder.

Excessive perfectionism

Being a bit of a perfectionist and critically analyzing your performance is always good. However, when such a habit gets out of control and becomes something compulsive, the person may lose the ability to recognize the quality of their work, seeing only the mistakes made.


Another common sign of those suffering from imposter syndrome is the feeling of ingratitude. By not being able to see their own qualities, these individuals do not accept praise or any type of recognition received, opposing them at all times.


Finally, we have the main aspect of the imposter syndrome: the comparison. People suffering from this disorder do not find qualities in themselves, only in others. This makes them constantly in search of a non-existent perfection, but which they imagine in everyone around them.


How to overcome imposter syndrome?


So far, we have seen how the imposter syndrome can be a major barrier that hinders the individual in achieving their goals of professional and personal success.

Now that you know how to identify the signs of imposter syndrome, how about learning how to overcome this disorder? Keep reading and see some tips that can help you get back on top and stand out at work and in your studies!

Know how to ask for advice and opinions.

An important tip is to know how to ask for advice and sincere opinions from someone more experienced and trustworthy, both on private and professional matters.

Counting on a friend, with whom you feel comfortable to talk about your anxieties, is also of great help. After all, a person who observes a situation without being in it will have good advice to give.

Accept your flaws and limitations.

Remember how we said that one of the main signs of the imposter syndrome was excessive comparison? Well then: accepting your flaws is the first step to break such a vicious cycle and avoid comparing yourself to others.

In addition, it is essential to know how to respect your limits so that you can create achievable goals and objectives.

Try to stay motivated.

Staying motivated helps you overcome the signs of imposter syndrome. For this, the first step is to understand that mistakes happen to anyone, and it is always possible to learn something from them.

Seek even more contact with things you like and try to work in an area that brings you not only professional but also personal satisfaction. In this way, it will be easier to develop motivation and satisfaction.

Focus on your training and professional updating.

Our last tip is to focus on your training and professional updating. For example, many people suffering from imposter syndrome even drops out of college. However, taking a course in the EAD modality, it is possible to study much more easily, whenever and wherever you want.

Contrary to what many imagine, it is possible to perform well in the distance learning course. And the best: after finishing graduation, your diploma will have the same weight as the one issued by face-to-face training!

As we have seen, the impostor syndrome can create difficulties for the individual to be able to maintain motivation at work and in studies, directly impacting their productivity. Therefore, if you think you suffer from this condition, put our tips into practice as soon as possible to minimize the negative effects.

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