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  • Tina Freemantle

5 Types Of Impostor Syndrome

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

According to psychologists a 82% of people suffer from impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. Successful people are not immune to impostor syndrome, in fact it is most prevalent in high achievers. However, impostor syndrome shows up in your life whether its fear of visibility, far of being discovered you’re a ‘fraud’ and not the deal, a continuous need acquire more skills and give everything 300% it is guaranteed to leave stressed, anxious and a feeling of not being enough.

People with impostor syndrome typically:

  • Self-doubt and attributing success to outside factors.

  • Undercharging clients.

  • Unrealistically underate their competence and skills.

  • Have difficulty recognising their success.

  • Suffer from dissatisfaction and burnout due to need for perfection.

  • Unnecessarily pursue costly training and qualifications.

  • Worry about income and sabotage their success.

  • Very self-critical.

  • Worry about being a fraud.

  • Fear of not living up to expectations.

  • Fear visibility.

  • Unnecessarily overwork and procrastinate.

  • Set very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short.

Given that impostor syndrome impacts so many people by sabotaging success, it’s important to understand what you are dealing with so that you can recognise the patterns of behaviour, break them down and replace them with better beliefs.

So, what are the different types of impostor syndrome?

People tend to fall into one of five types of impostor syndrome:

The Perfectionist

They are concerned with the “How” and care about how things work and how they turn out.

Perfectionists set incredibly high standards for themselves, they have to achieve 100% every time and failure is not an option for them.

To them, their best efforts are inadequate, they have a clear vision of what they want and a meticulous plan to achieve this.

They are black and white in terms of what needs to be done and are never satisfied with anything that does not meet their high-quality standards. Their efforts are placed on aspects that they could have done better rather than celebrating what they have done well.

Perfectionist believe share their high standards and when they don’t, they believe in doing something themselves to do it properly.

A perfectionist can't trust others easily, which drives them to be driven largely by the fear of failure.

This often means perfectionists find it difficult to delegate and this results in an inability to scale their business.

The natural genius

The natural genius is interested in how things happen and how quickly they occur.

Their expectations are high about getting things right on first attempt. They don’t believe in letting things developing overtime. When they don’t master something straight away with little effort, it leaves them with a sense of shame and they feel like an impostor.

A natural genius believes that if they have to work hard at trying to achieve something then they cannot be that good at it.

They often underestimate how long something will take to achieve and will end up disappointed with slower progress.

Setbacks will hold them back from taking risk because of fear of failure.

The soloist

Soloists believe that individual effort is what they need to be successful. They are concerned with “who” completes the task.

Typically, a soloist will refuse help and collaboration because they believe they need to do it alone to prove their self-worth. Seeking help is a sign of their and triggers feelings of shame.

Independence is values above all by the soloist, and the inability to accept help results in them struggling and procrastinating.

A soloist values independence over everything else, including their own needs. They are unwilling to ask for support. When they struggle or get stuck, it leads to procrastination rather than ‘accepting defeat’. To the soloist asking for help is a massive sign of weakness as it’s an admission of their incompetence.

The expert

The expert believes that they have to know it everything. They focus on “what” and “how much” you know or can do.

According to the expert they believe they should already know what it takes to master something before starting it. The expert always wants to master a subject thoroughly. They are dissatisfied with gaps in knowledge and fear being labelled inexperienced or being ignorant.

The expert is always on the endeavor to acquire more information. This procrastination often manifests in people’s unnecessary need for courses and qualifications to acquire knowledge rather than hire an expert and focus their own energy in areas where they can add value.

The superman/woman

This type pushes themselves to work harder than anyone else. The superman/woman measured their competency against “how many’” roles they can fulfil.

The superman/woman believe they can carry out every role easily and perfectly. When they have a set-back they fell shame because they believe they should be able to deal with everything.

A super has unrealistic high standards in all area, and similar to the perfectionists, in that they have to give everyone 100% plus.

They often excel at every role because they put so much effort int; however, this leaves them burnt out, and with not work life balance.

Superman/woman are obsessed with the recognition associated with working rather than the work itself. The believe they can do it all and find it impossibly difficult to say no. They have an unrealistic view of what and how much is possible.

Which one are you?

Given that so many people suffer from impostor syndrome, you probably recognise you’re your own traits among these five types of impostor syndrome. They key here is to identify your weaknesses and to understand how they are acting as success saboteurs in your life. While you can consciously attempt to chip away at these limiting beliefs, the fastest way to rid yourself of such thoughts, habits, feelings and behaviours is with subconscious mind work that replaces these old beliefs with a new blueprint for success. To learn more about how I can help you eradicate impostor syndrome, book a strategy call today.

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