"Ich bin nicht gut genug" oder das Hochstapler-Syndrom

The term "high-stapler syndrome" (original: impostor phenomenon) was first introduced in 1978 in an article by Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. They observed that many very successful women believe that they are not particularly intelligent and that they were overestimated by others.

People who are affected by this phenomenon are often plagued by fear of failure and great self -doubt in terms of their own achievements and skills.

Instead of recognizing your own services, you attribute your success to factors such as happiness or chance, factors that you have no influence on.

In order to compensate for doubts about their own abilities, people have developed certain mechanisms: they present high demands on themselves and make great goals, they do not treat themselves to any breaks and end up in burnout. Some also develop sleep disorders.

You want to suggest that you make progress and know what you are doing - and you would like to believe it yourself.

Many people think that the impostor syndrome describes a person who says a lot but does nothing. But behind the term is exactly the opposite. Despite the outstanding performance and permanent praise of colleagues and friends, the person has an affected self-doubt. He/She is afraid that someone could uncover their - subjectively felt - inability and justify success with external effects or lucky coincidence.

The psychologists suspect the origin of syndrome in childhood. Children whose parents could not convey enough self -esteem often develop the assumption that they can only acquire love and recognition through performance. This causes pressure, accompanied by fear of failure.

People that are affected suffer a lot. They are afraid of being exposed. Sometimes impostor personalities reject new challenges or cancel their current position.

How to counteract the syndrome:

1. To recognize that it exists (therapy or coaching).

2. Start a new work/job without studying it. According to the principle of "learning by doing". Soft skills and adaptation skills are sometimes more important than expertise or study.

3. Writing Therapy. This allows the person to organize their thoughts better. As soon as she can see her success, instead of just evaluating them internally in the head, she is better able to realistically evaluate these successes.

Written by Mara Schär

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