Feeling like a fraud can make you worse at your job.
NBC via Giphy
Glamour talks about the “impostor phenomenon.”
Have you ever had the feeling that you’re a fraud who doesn’t deserve your accomplishments, combined with the fear that your boss is going find out? According to new research from the Journal of Business and Psychology, what you’re feeling is called the “impostor phenomenon.” And it can provoke such anxiety in employees that it actually makes them worse at their job.
A recent post on NYmag.com talks about getting stuck in the “impostor cycle”: The harder you strive to keep up your image, the more you feel like a fraud. And the less likely you are to take on tasks that might blow your cover.
So how, exactly, does getting stuck in the impostor cycle impact your work life? Harvard Business Review recently reported on findings from scientists at Ghent University in Belgium who have been studying the impostor phenomenon.
“When an achievement-related task is assigned to them, impostors are usually plagued with worry, self-doubt, and anxiety,” researcher Jasmine Vergauwe said. “In order to deal with these feelings, they either extremely overprepare a task or initially procrastinate and then follow that with frenzied preparation.”
When impostors succeed at their tasks, instead of being proud, their success just adds to the feeling of being an impostor. “In their mind, this success does not reflect true ability (“Of course I’ve succeeded, I’ve put an excessive amount of effort and time in this project, maybe double than someone else would have needed”),” Vergauwe said. “Once a new task is assigned, feelings of anxiety and self-doubt reoccur.” Does this sound like you?
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