How does impostor syndrome affect us in the workplace?
This is how the impostor syndrome affects us when working and performing at work.
The impostor syndrome or fraud syndrome is a psychological disorder suffered by some people and consists of a manifest inability to recognize or assimilate one's own success, mainly in the professional field.
Thus, the person who suffers from it constantly thinks that he/she does not deserve any of the recognitions or triumphs derived from his/her work performance, and lives permanently with the feeling of being a fraud, of deceiving his/her environment and with the inability to value his/her own merits.
On the other hand, impostor syndrome is a phenomenon that has been widely studied since the late 1970s and affects millions of people around the world on a daily basis, mostly women, and according to experts is often related to excessive perfectionism.
This phenomenon can have a decisive effect on a person's performance in the workplace, but it is difficult to identify. Therefore, we will now take a look at how impostor syndrome affects us in the workplace..
Effects of impostor syndrome in the workplace
These are the main negative effects of the impostor syndrome in the workplace.
1. Excessive perfectionism
As mentioned above, one of the main causes of impostor syndrome is an overly high degree of perfectionism in the sufferer.
People who are too self-demanding are never satisfied with the final result of their professional performance, even if it is objectively positive.. That is why the most common reaction to professional achievements is the opposite of that of a person who does not suffer from this syndrome, i.e., frustration, pessimism and rejection of external recognition.
This high level of perfectionism with respect to one's own work can also generate states of anxiety or stress, which in turn often have a negative impact on the person's professional performance.
2. Self-esteem deficit
People who feel that they are imposters in their work place They tend to be constantly on the lookout for the performance of other colleagues, This leads them to constantly compare themselves with other employees.
The phenomenon of the eternal comparison is very common in the impostor syndrome, and is usually linked to an erosion in their levels of self-esteem, considering that others do deserve their achievements, and have earned the place they occupy.
In addition to that, the perception that these people tend to have of their peers, as well as of themselves, is usually biased, since they value only the achievements of their peers.They value only the virtues of others, without taking into account their shortcomings or limitations.
3. Problems of self-attribution
Attribution is the process by which we attribute our successes and failures to internal or external causes, that is to say, to ourselves or to another element outside ourselves..
Another of the classic characteristics caused by the impostor syndrome consists of attributing one's own achievements to luck or to circumstances in the environment and outside of oneself, instead of considering that our successes are a consequence of our work and dedication.
The fact of attributing by system the professional achievements to other causes foreign to the own person can also have a decisive affectation in the person who suffers this syndrome, mainly at psychological and emotional level.
4. Motivational deficits
Another affectation of the impostor syndrome is found in the lack of motivation. Believing that one is not worthy of one's job or that one will not last long in it is a clear symptom of lack of motivation, something that has a negative influence on the person, both personally and professionally.
Similarly, for a person suffering from impostor syndrome, it will be virtually impossible for them to self-motivate will find it virtually impossible to self-motivate himself to go ahead with his work, while tending to undervalue his educational background and knowledge.At the same time, he or she will tend to undervalue his or her academic training and knowledge.
5. Increased psychological rumination
Psychological rumination is the phenomenon that occurs when a person cannot stop thinking about the same subject or a certain thought, usually experiencing anguish because of what worries him/her about what he/she cannot stop thinking about.
This situation usually worsens to the point where the individual becomes so obsessed that he/she cannot get out of this recurrent idea.The person is constantly thinking about the same thing (because the expectation is generated of suffering constantly because of it as soon as the intrusive idea appears in the person's consciousness), a fact that directly influences his or her work and professional performance.
Again, this is one of the common characteristics of those who experience impostor syndrome, and in such cases the thoughts of rumination are usually related to the idea of not being worthy of the position, of not deserving each of the successes achieved or believing that others are constantly judging him or her.
6. Challenge avoidance
The avoidance of challenges and the belief that one will fail at every single activity one sets out to do is also a fairly reliable indicator that we are dealing with a case of impostor syndrome; it is a phenomenon that can lead to the development of the following symptoms usually caused by fear of failure.
That is why people who suffer from it are often reluctant to accept greater responsibilities in their workplace, as well as to compete for promotions or raises. The impostor syndrome has a high opportunity cost.
7. Lack of assertiveness
Assertiveness is the ability to express one's ideas, emotions or interests in an energetic, direct and respectful way with the other person.
This ability is related to an optimal level of self-esteem, as well as a positive self-perception of oneself, which is why people with impostor syndrome are often not very assertive when it comes to giving their point of view or communicating their feelings.
8. Affectation in social relationships
Social relationships are also affected in those who suffer from the syndrome, since every compliment and every sign of professional recognition by another person is received negatively. every compliment and every token of professional recognition from another person is received negatively, and the affected person often feels isolated from his or her professional environment..
Thus, the affected person often feels isolated from his or her professional environment, which often results in real isolation.
Insecurity is related to most of the above elements, and consists in a disposition to consider that the work one is doing is not of sufficient quality, or that others will always do it better..
This is one of the classic profiles that can occur in people with impostor syndrome and is related to the so-called "expert personality" and occurs when an expert in some field begins to consider that his or her recognition or achievements are not deserved.
10. Psychological affectation
All of the above-mentioned effects usually lead to an evident wear and tear on the emotional wellbeing of the person, damaging his or her mental health in general..
In addition, this fact also has negative consequences on work performance, so there is a "self-fulfilling prophecy" effect.
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