Imposter Phenomenon Low Self Esteem And Imposter Tests

Although imposter phenomenon is not formally recognized as a psychological disorder, it is a very real mental affliction that many people experience. Imposter phenomenon, also known as imposter syndrome, is a mental state in which you believe that your achievements cannot be attributed to talent or ability. Those suffering from imposter syndrome believe that they are “frauds” and that they don’t deserve any praise for the work they do, despite their high achievements.

Imposter Phenomenon Test

While nearly everyone suffers from low self-esteem at some point in life, imposter phenomenon is different than simply being down on yourself. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you suffer from imposter syndrome:

  • Are you afraid that people may discover that you are not the intelligent and capable person that you appear to be?
  • Do you believe that you give the impression that you are more competent or intelligent than you really are?
  • Do you fear evaluations and criticism, even if they are constructive?
  • Do you often worry that you will fail at an activity despite the fact that your peers are confident that you will do well?
  • Do you think that your success or achievements are due to luck, timing or any external factors other than your own abilities?
  • Does your fear of failure prevent you from attempting new projects, even though you generally do well at the things you attempt?
  • When people give you compliments or praise for an achievement, are you afraid you will not be able to live up to their expectations in the future?

If you said yes to most of the questions in our imposter phenomenon test, than you likely have some form of imposter syndrome or a potential for developing the syndrome.

Low Self-Esteem versus Imposter Phenomenon

While imposter phenomenon typically afflicts those with low self-esteem, imposter syndrome and low self-esteem are different issues. Low self-esteem involves feeling inadequate, unworthy or incompetent. This poor self-image affects person’s actions and can lead to continuous self-defeating behavior.

Although those suffering from the imposter phenomenon feel the same inadequate feelings and self-doubt, they also feel that they are tricking people into thinking they are more capable than they really are. In reality, these people are very capable and have many successful achievements to show for it. It is in this inability to recognize their achievements, along with the fear that people will discover that they are not what they appear to be, that differentiates imposter syndrome from low self-esteem.

Imposter Phenomenon and Self-Exploration

Identifying imposter phenomenon thoughts is a key step in overcoming these negative feelings. It is important to understand that the negative thoughts that result from imposter syndrome are unrealistic and not based in reality. Catching automatic assumptions, such as “I’m actually stupid” or “I will not succeed,” and logically re-thinking them can help people with this condition learn to appreciate themselves and their achievements.

Why Treating Imposter Syndrome is Important

Imposter syndrome can hinder your career, your home and family life, as well as your ability to develop relationships. Those with imposter syndrome tend to avoid close relationships for fear of being discovered as a “fake.”

In light of these negative effects, those who think they suffer from imposter phenomena should seek counseling. A counselor can help identify the underlying reasons for imposter feelings and work with patients to generate positive thinking.