IMPOSTOR SYNDROME


Some people have a very difficult time believing the compliments they receive. No matter how well they perform a task there is an inner voice that tells them it is not true. Their measurement of self is always skewed to devaluing their authenticity.

No matter how many times you praise them, they still believe it to be false. As a young teen I could be that way. I wanted the approval of others and had no way to accept it when given. Eventually, I outgrew that mindset. But what about people that carry that thinking throughout their adulthood?

In 1978, psychologists Pauline Clance & Suzanne Imes coined the term ‘Impostor Syndrome’ to describe people who were unable to internalize their accomplishments.

Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
The impostor syndrome, in which competent people find it impossible to believe in their own competence, can be viewed as complementary to the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which incompetent people find it impossible to believe in their own incompetence.[i]

I am reasonably sure that a few of the wannabees on American Idol have the Dunning-Kruger effect, thinking they can sing when no such skill is found in them. They believe something about themselves that has no bearing in reality.

Psychological conditions aside, we see people everyday who are ‘posers’. These are people who try to give you an impression of being something when they are not.

Have you met people who look and act like stereotypical bikers but do not own a motorcycle? Their identity is formed around what they would like to be, but lacking many of the essential requirements.

A poser is a kid who looks and dresses like a skateboarder. They even have a skateboard they carry around. The only problem is they do not have the skills to use the skateboard.

There are posers who have nice cars and lots of bling, but cannot afford the basics of life. They believe that their projection of success is enough. They will fake it until they make it. They want you to believe that they are successful.

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