The Imposter Syndrome II

Queen Bello Written by kquinxtarbells · 1 min read >

In last part of Imposter Syndrome series, I noted the different causes ranging from the pressure to always be perfect, being from a minority group and the gender-based causes.

In 1978, psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes published a study that would be the founding basis for decades of work. The study examined over 150 highly successful women who did not feel successful despite their accomplishments. Most of these women were well-educated and respected professionals yet could not accept that they were worthy of their accolades or positions. In fact, these women were so convinced that they found innumerable means of negating any external evidence that contradicts their belief that they are unintelligent.

  • Taking on New Role

When new responsibilities are assumed and expectations are unmet, there’s a tendency to begin to doubt if the role is well deserving or it was gotten out of luck or pity. With supports and words of affirmations, the feelings can soon fade out.

  • Upbringing and Family Background

The upbringing of a child creates foundation for the child’s growth and self-confidence. A child whose parent constantly compare with siblings or classmate will likely grow to be timid and he begins to exert pressure on self to surpass his peer’s pace.


Imposter Syndrome when given a fertile ground to be cultivated will lead to insecurities and self-doubts, increased anxieties, and psychological stress. Many times, people miss out on opportunities because they do not feel worthy of going after huge goals and targets.

It can also impact relationships where work is prioritized and considerable time is spent working so hard to earn the praise at the detriment of other off-work relationships and family time.


Manage Perfectionism: There are lots of advantages in perfectionism including contributions to high quality work, however, it also has its many cos if not curbed. Decision making will being delayed- when things are not perfect, it won’t be churned out. Instead, strive for opportunities of attaining excellence rather than perfection. Always remember no one is perfect.

Recognize your Skill/Expertise: Identify skill and attributes that you possess, if need be make a list of all skills, strengths and achievements in the last years, reflecting on how essential and valuable they have been to people and organizations you work with. Remind yourself of the uniqueness of those strengths acknowledging how it sets you apart from everyone else.

Avoid External Validation: Consciously recognize when your desire for success is borne out of your need for external validations. Understand that everyone fails, and it is a natural part of life.

Talk to a mentor: You are not in this alone, talk to someone you trust, a mentor preferably to reassure you with encouraging words. It will surprise you how common the syndrome is.

Till next time


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