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Top 3 Most Common Causes of Imposter Syndrome

imposter syndrome

There's an imposter among us! No, the imposter is not you, despite what you may think about yourself.

If you often doubt your accomplishments and think someone will expose you as a fraud, you might be suffering from imposter syndrome. This is not a mental disorder but a behavior pattern that leads people to downplay their success.

Not only can imposter syndrome affect how you see yourself, but it can also seep into other aspects of life such as your career. Regardless of the career, job status, and income you make, anyone can feel like an imposter.

If you are feeling this way, you probably wonder where it stemmed from. Read on to learn three common causes of imposter syndrome.

1. Social Anxiety

One of the main imposter syndrome causes is social anxiety. They often overlap as people with social anxiety feel as if they don't belong in social situations.

If you've ever had a conversation with someone and felt like a fraud for no real reason, it could be that you want to get through the conversation because of your anxiety. After so many conversations like this, imposter syndrome starts to settle in.

It is important to note that not every person with imposter syndrome has anxiety and vice versa. People without social anxiety can still feel less confident. Having a sense of anxiety is not the same as diagnosed anxiety.

2. Family Dynamics

Imposter syndrome can begin at an early age. When your family puts pressure on you to succeed and never appreciates your accomplishments, you may feel like you are never qualified for the position you have.

Something that occurred in early childhood can stay with an individual throughout the rest of their life.

The way you were raised can also lead to certain personality traits that cause imposter syndrome. One of the causes of imposter syndrome is perfectionism. If you feel like a perfectionist, you'll be setting yourself up for failure.

3. Cultural Expectations

Cultural expectations often play a role in family dynamics as well. If your family follows a certain culture, there may be expectations beyond your abilities.

Depending on the culture you are a part of, you'll have different values on career, education, and even success. A lot of cultural expectations come from comparison to those within the same culture.

Cultural expectations and comparisons on their own can cause imposter syndrome.

Comparisons often occur within your own mind. You'll note when you are not achieving the same things at the same speed as your peers.

Do You Have Imposter Syndrome?

What is imposter syndrome exactly? It is not a mental illness but rather a pattern of negative behavior that is caused by social anxiety, family dynamics, and comparison.

Although there are other causes of imposter syndrome, these three are the most common. If you struggle with imposter syndrome, getting to the root of the cause can help you with the solution.

For more articles about things you need to know, check out the other posts on this blog.


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