What are the 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome?

5 Types Imposter Syndrome; Head

Valerie Young in her book “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”, states there are 5 types of Imposter Syndrome.  Statistics show that nearly 70% of us will experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in or career. This is defined as a fear of being thought a fraud and disproportionately affects high achievers. 

However, you may have more than one type. 

Perfectionist: it has to be perfect and I feel such shame in failing that I find it hard to get started. I struggle to delegate.

Natural Genius: I expect to know without being taught, to excel without effort and to get it right on the first attempt; otherwise I feel incompetent.

The Expert: I need to know everything before I can consider myself good at something. E.g “Before I go for a promotion, I need to know that I have all the skills and experience 100%”. 

The Rugged Individualist: true competence is unaided achievement. “I shouldn’t need help”. To ask for help is a sign that I don’t know what I am doing. 

Superwoman/Superman: “if I were really competent, I would be able to handle lots of projects really well.  I take on too much and feel incompetent if I can’t do it all to a high standard.

I’m a Perfectionist.  Which one shows up strongest for you?

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