Imposter Syndrome Test

Though a relatively new phrase, imposter syndrome is a familiar one. Take our imposter syndrome test and read more Do you have imposter syndrome? I provide session in London to help with imposter syndrome and other work related anxieties. Click here for my London confidence sessions.

Imposter Syndrome Test

Imposter Syndrome Test : What is imposter syndrome?

The term was coined in 1978 by Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes, but has been felt primarily by minority groups in particular long before.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines imposter syndrome as “a psychological condition that is characterised by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.” Why not take our imposter syndrome test and see if you also sometimes have imposter syndrome.

So here we have it: self-doubt, believing that you will be revealed as a fraud who doesn’t have the competence and skills to be in the place they’re in. But, most importantly, this all occurs despite you being continuously successful at what you do. That’s crucially important to remember. You’re good at your job, you have all it takes and you are not really an imposter. It’s all just in your head.

Imposter syndrome can occur in a whole variety of environments: in the workplace, in an academic setting, but even in relationships. And where does it come from? Well, we also don’t know this quite for sure, however it has been stated that stereotypes and biases upheld by society, as well as upbringing can all play a role. If you think you may have imposter syndrome, scroll down for our imposter syndrome test.

Recognise the signs of imposter syndrome

1. Pressure not to fail

A person affected by imposter syndrome will feel intense pressure not to fail or disappoint in each and every aspect of their work. This stems from the fear of being exposed as a fake (see next point). ‘If I don’t deliver, they’ll all see through me and recognize the fraud that I am,’ you may be thinking.

Now we know what imposter syndrome is, it’s time to take a look at ourselves, think deep and determine whether it’s affecting us. Generally speaking, there are four key symptoms which a person with imposter syndrome will recognize in themselves.

2. Attributing success to luck

Since you believe you don’t have what it takes, you think that it all must be down to luck whenever you carry out work successfully.

3. Feeling like a fraud

This is perhaps the core symptom on which all other symptoms are built. You sincerely believe that you don’t deserve to be where you are. You’re convinced that you don’t have the necessary skills and abilities and are only still in your place because others have not yet revealed your incompetence. However, you’re sure that this moment of realisation will eventually come, and are intensely stressed by this idea.

4. Downplaying achievements

Because of your aforementioned beliefs, success might in the end seem like not such a big deal. “Why are they praising me when I only achieved this by luck?”. However, accepting compliments and believing in your hard work is key. Sounds like you? Take our imposter syndrome test below.

How life coaching can help you reduce imposter syndrome

Successful people have strong intrinsic motivation. And usually a strong inner critic. A reasonable amount of doubt leads you to come up with smarter approaches and solutions, to create great results and go beyond your current limits.

From a certain point on, it turns against you, creating not only negative internal pressure and stress, but also the desire to gain control over everyone and everything around you. Micro-management is not the cause, it is the effect. Of low self-confidence. It’s important to recognise what’s going on in your head and switch gears early. In coaching, we use these strategies to stop imposter syndrome from holding you back and sapping your energy.

Life coaching tips for imposter syndrome

1) Have empathy for yourself

Be fair to yourself! Be aware of the dialogue you are having in your head. How you see yourself. The first step is to calibrate your own internal dialogue. Notice how you value and judge yourself. Who are you comparing yourself to? The idealised version of the best in the world? You are putting yourself at the start of a race that cannot be won!  Set your goals clearly. Make them achievable and be fair in evaluating them.

2) Update your life story

The reality we live is directly affected by how we interpret everything that happens around us. This is directly intertwined with how you perceive your life experience. Take a fresh look at your life so far. Divide it into periods of equal length and think about what each of these parts has given you. Redirect your attention to your achievements and what you have already accomplished in the past. Do not diminish the value of your success. What have you learned, what experiences have you gained, and how has it made you stronger?

3) Strengthen your positive intelligence

Become aware of what your own intrinsic motivation is based on. What drives you forward? What gets you out of bed in the morning? It may surprise you, but the nature of our intrinsic motivation is a matter of learned habit and can be changed with gradual reinforcement and training.

You have a choice. Imposter Syndrome is fed by negative emotions such as fear of failure, fear of disappointing others’ expectations, shame, fear of not being good enough, etc – you are constantly trying to prove your worth and outdo yourself. You achieve results, but at the expense of your own satisfaction and often your health.

You reinforce your positive intelligence by engaging emotions such as joy in the meaningfulness of what you do the desire to create something that has impact, value – that serves others. You are motivated by a love of learning, you engage creativity. And instead of over thinking, you take calm but important steps.

Imposter Syndrome Test London

Our imposter syndrome test

Answer the following questions and add up your score to see whether you feel like an imposter or not.

1. You feel that you have fooled people in some way or have given the impression that you are more capable than you really are.

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

2. You feel that your achievements are mainly down to good luck, other people’s help or that the achievements weren’t that big of a deal anyway.

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

3. You find it hard to understand or accept how someone like you could be in the position you are in or be doing what you are doing.

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

4. When you achieve something, for example, a qualification, a good result on a test, or a job promotion you feel that there must have been some sort of mistake, maybe a clerical error or a computer error.

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

5. When you make a mistake or something goes wrong you feel worried that this could expose you as a fraud or prove that you don’t know what you are doing.

Very rarely = 1          Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

6. Despite your achievements you feel that at any moment someone will come along and tap you on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat. You don’t belong here.”

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

7. You find that each new success or achievement, instead of being a source of satisfaction, just increases the pressure to achieve the next time.

Very rarely = 1           Sometimes = 2                 Almost always = 3

Add up the total. So how did you score?

1-7: That’s pretty unusual, but good for you.

This indicates that you rarely doubt your achievements and don’t spend a lot of time wondering whether you are a fraud or not. In fact you’re probably surprised to hear that some people do question their abilities and doubt their achievements.

8-14: Most people will fall in this range.

Most of us will experience some imposter feelings from time to time, perhaps in a new situation or where you are going to be evaluated. The more often you experience them, the more potential they have to impact on your life.

15-21: You quite often question your abilities and achievements, and feelings of being a fraud are common.

Imposter feelings are causing you some worry and probably having an impact on what you think, feel and do. This can have quite a limiting effect on your life. Would you like help with imposter syndrome, consider sessions in London or online.