A follow on of the imposters….

    If you did not read my original post on “The imposters in my head” you will probably have no idea what I’m talking about here… so carry on with your business 😀

    If you did – then here are some further developments since my original post….

    Did you know that “Imposter Syndrome” actually exists and is an official thing?!!!!
                       ….OH MY GOODNESS I absolutely had no prior knowledge of this
    – thank you Felicity for pointing it out to me – I am pleased to know!!!
    After a comment Felicity left on my previous post I googled “imposter syndrome” and this is what I found out…

    According to Wikipedia:
    The impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. It is not an officially recognized psychological disorder, but has been the subject of numerous books and articles by psychologists and educators. The term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978.[1]

    1978!!?? That’s like before I was born!!

    Wikipedia goes on to say…
    “Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their chosen field of work or study or what external proof they may have of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced internally they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are actually frauds. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”

    Who it commonly affects?

    According to the New York Times... “The Imposter Phenomenon is an internal experience of intellectual phoniness that seems to be prevalent among high-achieving persons, with particularly deleterious effects on women…”
    It also outlines that some of the regular sufferers are people who have recently undergone transition into a new role – for example college graduates, new mothers, medical doctors, actors, even presidential nominees…”

    Later on in the same piece it says “Two Purdue psychologists, Shamala Kumar and Carolyn M. Jagacinski, gave 135 college students a series of questionnaires, measuring anxiety level, impostor feelings and approach to academic goals. They found that women who scored highly also reported a strong desire to show that they could do better than others. They competed harder.
    By contrast, men who scored highly on the impostor scale showed more desire to avoid contests in areas where they felt vulnerable. “The motivation was to avoid doing poorly, looking weak,” Dr. Jagacinski said.”


    Another article I found puts it like this:
    “Imposter phenomena:  In the past few years I’ve begun studying what Pauline Clance (1985) has called “The Impostor Phenomenon.” 
    She uses this label to refer to persistent feelings that one has fooled others into believing that one is smarter/more competent than one really is. Impostors fear “discovery,” are perfectionistic, and have trouble internalizing success.
    My students and I have found that impostors report low levels of voice (see Susan Harter’s work) across many of their relationships. Data from my longitudinal study suggest that, while they perform well academically, impostors — perhaps because they rarely feel that they can act naturally — have trouble forming supportive friendships, even after several years.
    I’ve also found that female impostors tend to have strongly conflicting “possible selves.” Possible selves are mental constructions of how we think we might be. Ought possible selves refer to how we think we should be, and Ideal possible selves refer to how we would like to be. 
    Impostors have communally oriented ought selves, that appear to stem from stereotypical conceptions of femininity, and agentically oriented ideal selves, that resemble stereotypical conceptions of masculinity.
    Psychology professor Julie K. Norem, PhD – from a Wellesley College page about her work”

    Apparently some really famous people have it – for example Nicole Kidman & Jodie Foster. 
    There is even a whole website for the Imposter Syndrome… 

    Hmmm… I am pretty speechless to find all this out!!!

    To clarify, I actually gleaned the inspiration of the term “imposter” for my post from a Kipling poem that was quoted in an article called “The gift of the present” in Inspire Magazine. 
    “If you can dream-
    and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think-
    and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same.”

    I didn’t actually fully understand the words at the time (which is why I didn’t originally reference it as one of my inspirations), but it was this poem that sparked my thoughts down the “imposter” line and put a name to the post I had already been contemplating writing. 
    Well who knew that this thing was bigger than just me – not me that’s for sure!!….

    Very interesting!

    I’m certainly not saying that after doing a simple google search that I “diagnose myself” & my insecurites as symptoms of the “imposter syndrome”… No way – lets be clear that I’m not saying that at all!!
    But I am interested none the less to read about it – and I CAN certainly relate to much of what they describe in the above information.
    Maybe I should go and take the test. (joking! 😉 )
    It just all again goes to show my original point – 
    …. it may feel at times like we’re the only ones going through these stupid “imposter” insecurities – but really they are more common than we know and we should not feel like we are alone in it!!
    In my opinion we should talk about it more so that it is normalised, dealt with and so that we can move on and become the amazing people that God intended us to be.

    Lets reach our potential people!! 
    Are you with me?

    Again – just a girl keeping it real…



    1. So true Kat…I find with myself if I can verbalise what I am thinking and feeling, it goes along way to helping me put those thoughts and emotions, especially the destructive ones, to rest.
      It’s healthier to talk about such things than to let them fester and eat away at us.
      Here’s to keeping it real!!

    2. This post just made me laugh!! Love that you’re keeping it real, I think it’s such a great quality in a person, and you are super genuine and I love it!

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