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It’s ok, you’re not a fraud: Dealing with Impostor Syndrome

It’s OK, you’re not a fraud: Dealing with Impostor Syndrome

I’m a fraud. Maybe I only got this job thanks to random luck. What if my co-workers find out I’m not good enough? When impostor syndrome gets in our head, an avalanche of insecurity and self-sabotage can overwhelm our everyday thoughts.

And that’s pretty common.

This phenomenon is well known, and it’s been studied since the 1970s. It was first identified by psychologist Pauline Rose Clance after she noticed shared experiences among high performing women. Impostor syndrome means that you feel like every achievement is a false positive, a result of good luck or coincidence, and it creates a constant fear of being discovered, of being outed as a fraud.

According to The Journal of Behavioral Science70% of people experience this cognitive distortion.

It's not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not.
Denis Waitley

The Five Types of “Impostors”

In The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, Dr. Valerie Young defines five variants of this phenomenon:

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