*NB – as part of Totem’s research with AI in the work place, this article on Imposter Syndrome was generated using ChatGPT.  Everything you read below is taken directly from a Q&A session with the AI.

An A.I. Perspective on Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their accomplishments and feel like frauds, despite evidence to the contrary.  If left unchecked, imposter syndrome can lead to a lack of confidence, self-doubt, and fear of failure, which can be detrimental to your career development if it is not addressed or managed properly.

People who experience imposter syndrome tend to have self-limiting beliefs, which can prevent them from taking risks or pursuing new opportunities. They may feel like they’re not qualified or experienced enough to take on new challenges, even if they have the necessary skills and knowledge.

What evidence exists to suggest there is such a Syndrome?

There is a substantial body of research on imposter syndrome, which has been studied extensively in psychology and social science (and) to date, there is little evidence to argue against the existence of imposter syndrome as a real psychological phenomenon.

While some researchers and individuals may question the validity or relevance of imposter syndrome, (citing issues such as) lack of diagnostic criteria, overreliance on self-report measures and heterogeneity of experiences; the overwhelming majority of research in this area supports the idea that imposter syndrome is a common experience that can have a significant impact on individuals’ mental health and career development.

While imposter syndrome has been widely studied and discussed in the popular media, it is not currently recognized as a formal psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or other diagnostic systems.  (And further,) some individuals may argue that the experiences associated with imposter syndrome are too diverse and varied to be considered a single phenomenon.

Here is some of the research in support of the existence of Imposter Syndrome:

Imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon, affecting both men and women across different fields and levels of achievement. Studies have estimated that between 70-80% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.

Research suggests that imposter syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including high achievement orientation, fear of failure, negative self-talk, and perfectionism.

Imposter syndrome can have a negative impact on mental health, career development, and overall well-being. Individuals with imposter syndrome may experience anxiety, depression, burnout, and lower job satisfaction.

There are a variety of coping strategies that can be effective in managing imposter syndrome, including seeking social support, reframing negative thoughts, setting realistic goals, and seeking feedback.

There are several interventions that have been developed to help individuals overcome imposter syndrome, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, self-affirmation interventions, and mentoring programs.

Imposter syndrome is generally viewed as a negative phenomenon that can have a harmful impact on individuals’ mental health and career development, but some researchers have suggested that it may have some positive aspects under certain circumstances.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals who experienced imposter syndrome were more likely to attribute their success to external factors, such as luck or help from others, rather than to their own abilities.  (It’s possible) that their sense of self-doubt and humility may also have driven them to work harder and strive for excellence.

While some people may deny its existence or downplay its significance, it’s important to raise awareness of imposter syndrome and to support individuals who may be experiencing it.

And how can we do that?

To overcome imposter syndrome, it’s important to recognize that it is a common phenomenon that affects many successful individuals. You can work on building your self-confidence and challenging your self-limiting beliefs by focusing on your strengths, seeking feedback from others, and reframing negative thoughts. Additionally, seeking support from a mentor, coach, or therapist can also be helpful in managing imposter syndrome and developing your career. You will eventually learn to advocate for yourself or negotiate for a promotion or salary increase.

Having a mentor can be a great way to overcome imposter syndrome.  They can provide reassurance; reassurance that your feelings of imposter syndrome are normal and that you are capable of and deserving of success. They can offer a perspective outside of your own and help you see the positive qualities that you bring to your work.

(They can also) share their own experiences with imposter syndrome and how they overcame it, offering guidance and feedback on your work and helping you to identify areas for improvement. This can help you build confidence in your abilities and see your progress over time.

(And importantly) a mentor can challenge the negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs that contribute to imposter syndrome. They can offer an outside perspective and help you reframe your thoughts in a more positive way.

Here are some tips that may help you overcome imposter syndrome:

Recognize that you are not alone: Remember that imposter syndrome is a common experience that many people face, even highly successful and accomplished individuals. Knowing that others experience similar feelings can help you feel less isolated and more confident in seeking support.

Challenge negative self-talk: Pay attention to the negative thoughts or self-talk that contribute to imposter syndrome and try to challenge them. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not qualified for this job,” try to reframe your thoughts as “I have the skills and experience to succeed in this role.”

Celebrate your successes: Make a habit of acknowledging your accomplishments and successes, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrating your achievements can help you build self-confidence and recognize your own abilities.

Seek support from others: Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mentor about your feelings of imposter syndrome. Getting an outside perspective can help you gain clarity and perspective, and receiving support and encouragement from others can be helpful in building confidence.

Focus on growth and learning: Rather than focusing on the fear of failure or making mistakes, try to shift your mindset towards growth and learning. Embrace challenges and opportunities for growth, and recognize that mistakes and setbacks are a natural part of the learning process.

Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can help reduce stress and build resilience in the face of imposter syndrome. This might include activities like exercise, mindfulness meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Remember that overcoming imposter syndrome is a process, and it may take time and effort to shift your mindset and build self-confidence. Be patient and kind to yourself, and don’t hesitate to seek support from others if you need it.

You can view all of our work with ChatGPT here