Somatic Effects of Imposter Syndrome

imposter syndrome
Somatic Effects of Imposter Syndrome

The feeling of being an imposter can be crippling to your ability in life and relationships. Imposter syndrome occurs when people doubt their abilities, even with evidence proving otherwise around them all day long!


As first described by Georgia State University psychologists Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes in 1978, this syndrome is generally noted among high-achieving professional and pre-professional individuals (both men and women). This makes the syndrome a paradox in that the individuals struggling with inadequacy are typically high achieving by all objective measures.


Imposter syndrome is often characterized by feelings of inadequacy and being undeserving. Those that are plagued with imposter syndrome feel as if they're "faking" their accomplishments, on the verge of getting exposed every minute.


They believe the success they have is not deserved as a result of this. They fear being exposed for the fakes they feel they are. These people battle to prove they are worthy of where they are by overachieving.


Imposter syndrome can also leave people feeling as though failure is not an option. 


Due to the overarching idea, one is always on the verge of being exposed, the need to be perfect and succeed drives people with this condition. It is the belief that if one does everything perfectly, others will not find out they are not who they seem to be. Thus, perfectionism tends to coincide frequently with imposter syndrome.


Another defining feeling of imposter syndrome is the feeling of not being enough.


Despite being high achieving, people with imposter syndrome often have low self-confidence because they cannot recognize their achievements.


This means they often cannot accept praise as being a genuine compliment. Rather they perceive it as a result of someone simply being nice, recognizing their charm versus their actual ability. Otherwise, they may try to find ways/reasons to invalidate the compliment altogether.


Those dealing with imposter syndrome can find themselves plagued by massive amounts of stress and anxiety, which work negatively against their mental health and wellness.


 The constant pressure of trying to reach unrealistic standards and continually overworking can lead to depression, stress/anxiety disorders, poor performance (overtime), and even health issues. High levels of stress can negatively impact physical health over time.


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