It’s irrelevant that you’ve been working in your field for years; you’re living in fear of being outed as a fraud. A fake. A phony.
It’s imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is the inability to internalize your successes, coupled with the fear of being outed as an unqualified fraud.
This fear of being exposed as inadequate and unqualified literally keeps you from achieving your best professional self.
You are not alone. In fact, nearly everyone has experienced a case of it at some time in their lives. So what keeps some people operating in fear while others can let it go? According to Valerie Young, author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, part of the solution is understanding the category of imposter syndrome that you have. Young lists five categories:
- The Superwoman/man
- The Natural Genius
- The Rugged Individualist
- The Expert
How Do I Know Which Imposter Syndrome I Have?
In her book, Young points out some identifying features of each kind of imposter syndrome. Though her book will give you a more accurate sense of where you stand, we crafted the following quiz around her descriptions in order to help you understand which form is your most dominant and how you can overcome imposter syndrome.