Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which we doubt our accomplishments and fear being exposed as a “fraud.” Researchers have estimated that nearly 70% of us will experience signs and symptoms of imposter phenomenon at least once in our lifetimes. According to research by Access Commercial Finance, two-thirds of women and 56% of men in the U.K. have suffered from imposter syndrome within the last 12 months, and according to Google Trends, there are almost 100 times more searches of “imposter syndrome” now than there were five years ago.
While it is common for people to experience these feelings, most of us are unlikely to speak up about them. We tend to believe that people will judge us unfairly if we show a lack of confidence or if they realize we can’t do something. Imposter syndrome can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, as we try to live up to some image of success, fearing that we might be exposed as unworthy and incompetent.