How to deal with the 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome

How to deal with the 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Feeling like 5 different imposters? There’s nothing wrong with you.

Long before the concept of imposter syndrome came up, it was mostly thought to affect women of high influence. But now?

Imposter syndrome has become more and more recognised and is also widely experienced by many… or all of us.  

It expresses itself in different ways. But it’s mostly a feeling of inadequacy. It is the insecurity that in one short moment people will find out your reality and that you do not belong where you are, and it is just dumb luck that you ended up where you are.  

Imposter syndrome can affect all of us, without any distinction between social status, professional background,  education, or level of expertise.  

Let’s discuss the 5 different types of imposter syndrome and how they might manifest in your life.  

1. The Perfectionist 

This one holds you to the highest standard, wanting 110% from whatever you do. When your standards are not met, your imposter syndrome starts kicking in. Even if you give it a successful shot, you will be hard on yourself for forgetting a minor detail.  

Rather than focus on your strengths, you tend to fixate on any flaws or mistakes. This often leads to a great deal of self-pressure and high amounts of anxiety.  

Your goals are like diamonds, you do not want to settle with even gold or silver. Anything else is only failure. Ouch. 

If you want to break free from struggle of meeting such high expectations, even if temporarily, you can try the ‘GOOD ENOUGH QUALITY’ which means you develop what is good enough for others instead of striving for what you think is best. The Perfectionist is often their own worst critic.  

Perfectionists spend their time striving for the best, and you can break that cycle with your actions. It is alright if you are delivering your 75% and not 100%. Likely your 100% is 150% to everyone else. This also helps you narrow down your goals and deadlines and make them more realistic. 

2. The Expert 

Before the term imposter syndrome was coined, it was known as the imposter phenomenon, and it came from examining highly successful and accomplished women who consistently felt they were underachievers and were fooling the people around them. 

The Experts are the ones who strive for more knowledge, more skills, more money, and more of whatever they have accomplished.  

You are often trying to learn more and are not easily satisfied with your level of understanding. Even though you are often highly skilled, you underrate your own expertise 

Constantly thinking you do not know enough and this thought makes you strive for better as there is always someone out there ahead of you.  

No matter how long you have been in your respective field, it feels like you have not met all the requirements and this keeps you on your toes… all the time. 

Try framing it this way: We are experimenting all the time. There is no end to learning so instead of rushing to accumulate new skills and knowledge, enjoy the process. We’ll never know everything anyway. 

3. The Natural Genius 

Those who are a Natural Genius, are smart, fast learners, and excel at everything they are taught. This usually hints to high achievers or perfectionists who feel they have not done anything notable and makes them question their competency. A Natural Genius likes to get it right or get ‘there’ the first time.  

You do not realise that before reaching the stage of being ‘successful’, there is a mid-stage called the learning stage, and every beginner has to go through it to reach the pro level. When you face a setback, you call it quits and wonder why you have not made it to the top yet. 

Remember, a growth mindset will serve you better than your ‘natural genius’ identity.  Instead of feeling like you’re not good enough because things are taking time, remember that everyone has to go through a learning curve.  

4. The Superhero 

The Superheroes have a hard time declining any requests or favors so they end up doing more work than their peers.  

They also love to take on more responsibility which makes them juggle many tasks at a time, nearing them to exhaustion and burnout. It’s tiring. You tend to push yourself to the max because you don’t want to feel inadequate. 

Okay, so chances are  you are working in supercharge mode and also that you are a people pleaser who not only does good for yourself but for others as well. 

To stop this trait from squeezing the best out of you, sit down and reevaluate your priorities. You cannot always work like this without burning-out.   

5. The Soloist 

The soloist prefers doing things without seeking help. For them asking for help is equivalent to showing weakness.  

Your tend to be very individualistic and prefer to work alone. Your self-worth often stems from being productive, so you often reject offers of assistance.  

You feel that asking others for help is bad, but maybe it is because you have not met the right people yet, right?   

If you want to cope better, try building a support system or a group of friends/peers who you can count on and you feel comfortable to be imperfect with. These people will help you out when you need it and also provide emotional support. 

There’s nothing wrong with you… 

It is okay to feel like a fraud, to feel imperfect, every once in a while, but do not let this feeling drain you or define you. You are more than your imposter syndrome. 

Work on reframing your thoughts and changing your perspective. Seek professional help if required. 

Most importantly, do not give up on your dreams and persist in spite of the self-doubt. You’ve got this! 

Want to accept and even be friends with imposter syndrome? Learn more about my take on imposter syndrome in this blog 

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