Imposter Phenomenon or Imposter Syndrome

Imposter phenomenon, also known as imposter syndrome, refers to a subjective experience of phoniness in individuals who think that they are not capable, intelligent, or creative despite evidence of high achievement, and who are highly motivated to achieve but live in perpetual fear of being ‘found out’ or exposed as frauds. The sufferer feels that the success is the result of just luck and not because of his/her qualifications or talent. It was first explained in the year 1978 by two US psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzzane A Imes in an article titled ‘The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention.’ According to the article, women were more susceptible to the phenomenon. However, recent researches have shown that it affects both men and women equally. In other words it is a pervasive and persistent feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence inspite of often overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The phenomenon affects people who are smart and intelligent and often at the time of some big achievement. As per the International Journal of Behavioral Science, about 70 % of individuals suffer from this phenomenon at some point in their lives.