Cheating Syndrome can effectively hinder professional development. Fortunately, defeating it is possible – the most important and the most difficult thing is to admit and accept the problem. Only this is the starting point for changing the way you think. the impostor syndrome.
Cheater syndrome – what is it?
The cheating syndrome in psychology is the belief that the successes achieved are the result of coincidence, error, or simply luck. According to the first studies, it was mainly women in high positions that suffered from it, and they diminish their merits. It is now known that it affects not only women but also men. The gentlemen, however, hide their uncertainty better. Surprisingly, not average eaters of bread struggle with it, but experts and specialists, renowned actors, CEOs of large corporations, scientists with above-average intelligence and distinguished writers. It can therefore be said that he is the bane of talented people. It is worth emphasizing that it is not about simple modesty or awareness of your shortcomings, but a feeling of hopelessness and the conviction that you do not deserve a distinction. People struggling with the fraud syndrome are just waiting for someone to discover their incompetence. Unless it is considered a disorder, it can become a cause of depression in the long term.
Cheater syndrome – causes
Where does the impostor syndrome come from? The reasons for this phenomenon most often lie in excessive perfectionism at work. People who struggle with it say you can do something “perfectly” or “hopeless.” There is no other division for them and they do not consider the effect good enough. Behavioral and family reasons, and above all, parents’ too high expectations may also have an impact on the emergence of the cheater syndrome. Especially if we often heard during our childhood, “Did you get a four? Why not five? “
How to recognize the impostor syndrome? Alarm signals
What are the alarming signals that we may be experiencing the cheating syndrome? The symptoms relate primarily to the pursuit of perfection at all costs, working under constant pressure, reduced efficiency, stress and a reduced level of satisfaction with life. Struggling workers are appalled at the prospect of being promoted because they say they don’t deserve a higher position.
Cheater syndrome – test
If you are wondering if the impostor syndrome also applies to you, consider how often you think as follows:
- I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve this position.
- Others will soon find out that I am hopeless. I’m cheating everyone around.
- I did not get this job because I have the appropriate competences. I was just lucky.
- My colleagues are much better than me. What am I even doing here if I am not up to the standard?
- I’m going to be fired for sure today.
- I have no talent or special skills. Anyone can do what I do.
Do you often feel that what you are doing is not enough? Do you think that you are not able to meet other people’s expectations? Do you focus on your mistakes, not your successes? Still doubting yourself? There is a high risk that you are experiencing impostor syndrome.
Cheat Syndrome – How to Deal?
At the beginning, it is worth realizing that – paradoxically – the cheater syndrome is a sign of success. It primarily affects gifted, above average intelligent, high-ranking and famous people. Probably Albert Einstein himself struggled with it, who at the end of his life believed that his scientific achievements were overestimated. Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks also suffered from the fraud syndrome. How can you help yourself or someone else who is struggling with it? There are at least a few methods.
Naming the problem – this point is extremely important because becoming aware of the phenomenon and trying to understand it effectively helps in changing your attitude and thinking.
Honest conversations – in the fight against the fraud syndrome, it can help to share your doubts with trusted people, e.g. your partner, mentor, boss or colleagues from the industry. Especially that this problem affects a lot of people and they probably also struggled with it.
Working on excessive perfectionism – it cannot be denied that perfectionism can be destructive. If it begins to make life difficult, it is worth signing up for psychotherapy and, above all, allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Strengthening self-esteem – this step can be achieved by, for example, helping colleagues, introducing a new intern to work, attending lectures as a speaker, sharing your ideas during brainstorming sessions.
Focusing on facts instead of guesswork – it is enough to make a simple examination of conscience by writing down the reasons behind success, e.g. punctuality, reliable work, meeting deadlines, graduation, having expert knowledge in a given field.
Some people with the cheating syndrome deal with going to job interviews or comparing their competences with the requirements in job offers. What if all these methods fail and we still can’t fight our impostor syndrome? Therapy seems to be the best solution.