Is Imposter Syndrome Blocking Your Creative Potential?

by Amy Bridgewater

I know that I first struggled with Imposter Syndrome when I was afraid to ask for a pay raise thinking that I wasn’t ‘good enough and I haven’t accomplished much as compared to my teammates. I fell into this pattern over and over again until one day when I finally decided to put an end to this.

So, what is Imposter Syndrome anyway? 

Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their personal incompetence, skills, accomplishments and has a fear of being exposed as deceit, cheater, or fraud.

Self-doubt may cause a lot of dread, anxiety, and tension. According to research, impostor syndrome can reduce job performance and happiness while raising burnout. Anxiety and despair have also been connected to it. 

While impostor syndrome is unjustified, it is all too common even among the most renowned, brilliant, and successful individuals. 

What leads to Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is most likely caused by a combination of variables, including:

  • Personality Characteristics
  • Family history
  • Gender stereotypes

According to one idea, impostor syndrome is found in families that emphasize success above all else, which begins when families have inadequate support and significant disputes. 

Family expectations and the value of success and perfection in childhood can stick with a person for the rest of their life, Different cultures place different values on education, career, and playing the comparison game can lead to feelings of inadequacy or depression if you are not attaining the same goals at the same rate as others can lead to imposter syndrome.

Types of Imposter Syndrome

There are five types of imposter syndrome which are following:

  • The Perfectionist

This personality is concerned with how something is done and will consider even the tiniest error to be a failure.

  • The Expert

This personality is focused on what or how much they know or can do. If they have even a minor lack of understanding of something, they feel like a failure.

  • The Soloist

This personality is concerned with the “who.” They believe that if they want to be successful, they cannot accept aid from others.

  • The Natural Genius

They assess their value based on the ease and speed with which they achieve their goals. They feel embarrassed to take additional time or redo anything.

  • The Superperson

This personality type defines their success by the number of roles they can juggle and thrive in.

How is Imposter Syndrome blocking your creative potential?

In reaction to the emotions of imposters, society has long encouraged people to fake it till they make it. Instead of reacting, take a moment to consider if you’re faking it for a job you actually want or if you’re faking it to fit into a social narrative that promotes what you “should” want for yourself.

These are all hobbies for us, and we’re afraid to turn them into full-time jobs. Choosing to pursue more creative positions would require us to defy, at least momentarily, social norms about financial success and personal worth that we have thoroughly absorbed.

In the following ways imposter syndrome blocks our creative potential:

Limiting abilities and learning

According to a study released in 2014, people with impostor syndrome may focus significantly on limited activities rather than taking on extra responsibilities that can demonstrate their competence. They may be hesitant to take on extra tasks for fear of detracting from or jeopardizing the quality of their current ones.

Affects the work performance and creativity

The individual may be concerned that their coworkers and managers have unrealistic expectations of them. They may believe they are unable to deliver, as I mentioned in my personal account.

A person’s fear of not succeeding may encourage them to hold back and avoid pursuing higher goals. This, combined with the fear of making a mistake, might have an impact on their overall job performance.

Attributing success to variables beyond one’s control

Individuals suffering from imposter syndrome dispute their competence. They may believe that their achievement is attributable to external sources. Similarly, when things go wrong for causes other than the person’s own, the person may blame his own self.

Impostor Syndrome: How to Overcome It

There is no particular therapy for impostor syndrome at the moment, but people who are concerned about its influence on their lives can seek support from a mental health expert.

Here I’ve mentioned some ways that worked for me to manage my sense of inadequacy: 

Share about it.

Sharing thoughts with a trustworthy colleague, friend, or family member, or receiving feedback from them, can help a person acquire a more realistic view of their talents and competence.

Recognize the signs and symptoms.

Knowing what impostor syndrome is and why it occurs can assist people in recognizing the symptoms and developing solutions to overcome their concerns.

Accept the fact that perfection is unattainable.

A person’s strengths and faults must be accepted in order to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Nobody is flawless, and errors are unavoidable in life.


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Amy Bridgewater is a renowned Marketing Consultant, working with businesses to increase their online visibility and expand their customer base. Join Amy’s community to grow as an entrepreneur.

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