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Imposter Syndrome

Category
Interpretation
Imposter Syndrome

Definition

The idea (and fear) that one will be exposed as a 'fraud' in their position or for their accomplishments, even in the face of objective evidence to the contrary.

Origin

First identified by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in a 1978 paper that theorized that women were uniquely affected by impostor syndrome. (source)

Everyday Use

This can be a daily encounter for so many of us. What I find particularly helpful to remember about Imposter Syndrome is that it isn't just something that we experience ourselves but that everyone else can be experiencing simultaneously. We sometimes get so wrapped up in being called out for not belonging, that we don't realize the entire room feels that way too, and it gives way to insecurity, fear, even lashing out in unexpected and unhelpful ways. We are all on a journey of belonging.