The Imposter Syndrome Self-Test
It is very important that you confirm if you are experiencing imposter syndrome or not. Just having some thoughts and feelings about being an imposter now and again is not imposter syndrome. This is a natural thing that the vast majority of people experience.
One of the most effective ways for you to confirm that you are experiencing imposter syndrome is to ask yourself the right questions. Dr Valerie Young identified 5 types of imposters from her research and you can use these as a basis for the questions. This will also help you identify the type of traits that you have related to imposter syndrome.
Questions about the Perfectionist Imposter
A lot of people that experience imposter syndrome develop perfectionist tendencies. There are a number of questions that you can ask yourself to confirm whether you are a perfectionist or not. This is important and you need to answer any questions that you ask honestly.
Some typical questions that you could ask yourself to test for the perfectionist imposter are:
• Do you have a pattern of going over things that you have done many times in an attempt to make them perfect?
• Do you find it hard to accept compliments from other people?
• Do you find that it takes you a lot longer to complete tasks than it used to?
Questions about the Superhero Imposter
The superhero imposter will always accept new work even though they have a lot on at the moment. They believe that they need to work a lot harder than everyone else to prove that they are not a fraud.
Here are some good questions to test for superhero imposter tendencies:
• Do people think that you are an overachiever?
• Despite working harder and longer hours than everyone else do you still feel that this is not enough?
• Does it make you feel proud that you overachieve?
Questions about the Natural Genius Imposter
The natural genius imposter is very knowledgeable in one subject only. With everything else, they are average at best. A natural genius finds it difficult to explain things and learn new things and will be devastated if their expert knowledge is called into question.
These are good questions to test for the natural genius imposter:
• Do you find it difficult to explain things that you know a lot about?
• Is it difficult for you to learn about subjects that you are not an expert in?
• Do you feel like a failure if you find it hard to understand something new?
Questions to Test for the Soloist Imposter
A soloist imposter is someone that wants to work alone. This is because they do not want to be found out as a fraud. Here are some questions to ask to test for the soloist imposter:
• Are you always looking for projects that you can comfortably work on by yourself?
• Are you reluctant to ask anyone else for help?
• Do you tend to micromanage everything?
Questions to Test for the Expert Imposter
An expert imposter already knows a lot but they feel that they need to learn more. They will often want more training even though they don’t need it or will insist on performing research when this is not necessary. Ask these questions to test for expert imposter:
• Are you obsessed with gaining more and more qualifications?
• Do you always perform research at the start of each new project?
• Do you undervalue all of your previous achievements?