Do you feel that people think highly of you, but your mind basically tells you they’re missing out on something and that sooner or later the “Real You” will be revealed and they’ll be disappointed?

These feelings are known as impostor syndrome.

While for some people, impostor syndrome can fuel feelings of motivation to achieve, this usually comes at a cost in the form of constant anxiety. You might over-prepare or work much harder than necessary to “make sure” that nobody finds out you are a fraud even when you are not.

Impostor syndrome can appear in a number of different ways:

The Perfectionist

Perfectionists set extremely high expectations for themselves, and even if they meet 99% of their goals, they’re going to feel like failures. Any small mistake will make them question their own competence.

The Expert

Experts measure their competence based on “what” and “how much” they know or can do. Believing they will never know enough, they fear being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable.

The superhero

Because these individuals feel inadequate, they feel compelled to push themselves to work as hard as possible. 

The natural genius

These individuals set excessively raised goals for themselves, and then feel crushed when they don’t succeed on their first try.

The soloist

Soloists tend to be very individualistic and prefer to work alone. Self-worth often stems from their productivity, so they often reject offers of assistance. They tend to see asking for help as a sign of weakness or incompetence. 

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