What Are The Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs?

Being able to spot the Imposter Syndrome warning signs is essential if you want to be able to do something about it, before you self-sabotage.

So in this Ditching Imposter Syndrome episode, I share what my two international research studies into Imposter Syndrome have shown are the most common early warning signs, as well as some of the lesser-known symptoms.This will help you to spot it in yourself - and in others.

Here's What We'll Cover About The Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs

  • What are the warning signs of Imposter Syndrome?
  • How can you tell if you, a loved-one or a colleague is about to self-sabotage?
  • Why the little-known role of the primal part of the brain means pretty much everything you've read on Google or social media about how to handle Imposter Syndrome won't work
  • The problem with the classic 'bridge of coping strategies' approach to Imposter Syndrome
  • Why I developed the 4Ps of Imposter Syndrome model and how this could be your BFF
  • How my secret definition of Imposter Syndrome explains why feedback is such a trigger for Imposter Syndrome
  • How to find out - research-backed - whether you're running Imposter Syndrome, and what you can do about it

Watch Here Now:

Here Are Today's Resources For The Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs:

The burnout research study

We spent two years carrying out this research into the link between Imposter Syndrome and burnout and the core findings - as well as practical things you could do today - are here: https://www.clarejosa.com/soulledleaders/burnout-research/

The 2019 Imposter Syndrome research study:

This is the research that led to the 4 Ps of Imposter Syndrome framework. https://www.ditchingimpostersyndrome.com/research/

The Bridge Of Coping Strategies

This is the most common technique people use to handle Imposter Syndrome, and it's also one of the worst! Find out why and what you can do instead:

Podcast EpisodeIf you love audio podcasts, I cover this topic in more detail here, in my Ditching Imposter Syndrome podcast. It's episode 11 and you can listen, for free, wherever you love to get your podcasts, or here.

The 4 Ps of Imposter Syndrome

The 4 Ps of Imposter SyndromeWe developed this framework from the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Research Study [white paper here] and the 4 Ps model gives you really useful indicators that Imposter Syndrome might be running for someone.

Here's a video that explains them.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o-lw...

Read Ditching Imposter Syndrome

And if you want to get hold of a copy of Ditching Imposter Syndrome, so you can set yourself free from the secret fear of being found out as not good enough, you can find it here: https://www.ditchingimpostersyndrome.com/book/

Get Your Free Imposter SyndromePersonalised Action Plan

And when you've done my research-backed Imposter Syndrome assessment quiz (https://www.clarejosa.com/youtube ), let me know - what's your #DoOneThing action from the personalised action plan?

Tweetables On The Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs

The Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs - Transcript

This is an AI transcript, so please forgive typos!

So what are the warning signs of Imposter Syndrome? How can you tell if you or a loved one or a colleague is about to fire off and self sabotage? Well, here's the challenge. The self sabotage mechanism that runs when someone's running Imposter Syndrome is, at an unconscious level. The primal part of the brain that keeps us safe because it's constantly on the lookout for fears and danger, is the bit that processes sensory information from the outside world more quickly than the prefrontal cortex that does our rational and creative thinking.

So by the time we realise we self-sabotage at a conscious level, the primal parts are already running the show and it's too late. This is why I'm not a fan of the bridge of coping strategies approach. There's a video below if you want to know more about that. It's much better for you to be able to get below the surface and remove the triggers for Imposter Syndrome. But to do that, you need to spot the signs.

So one of the most common things is people will stop speaking up with their ideas. They will tone them down to be beige, particularly the edge of your ideas. So we have a yeast extract we like on toast here in the UK called Marmite, which you either love it or you hate it. And if you've got ideas that are a bit Marmite, then someone running Imposter Syndrome will tone them down to be more socially acceptable. Someone might stop challenging, they might not speak up when they can see something is wrong.

They might hold back on going for a promotion that surprises you because you thought they would be interested. They might turn down an opportunity to shine or stretch a comfort zone. They might even volunteer a colleague to do that for them because of the four Ps of Imposter Syndrome. And there's another video for you below that covers this in more detail. People can end up working much harder.

So the four P's are perfectionism, procrastination, project paralysis and people pleasing. And when somebody is running one, two, three or four of those, they're working longer hours, they're pushing and forcing and trying much harder. They've got anxiety running because they're worried that they're going to be found out as a fraud. And this is one of the real reasons why Imposter Syndrome and is so closely linked to burnout. There's a link to the research study that we've just published below this video, if you want to find out more.

So, in general, somebody running Imposter Syndrome will also struggle with feedback, whether it's constructive criticism, which never feels very constructive, or if it's even positive feedback. Because one of my definitions of Imposter Syndrome is the secret fear of others judging us the way we're judging ourselves. And if we're running that internal dialogue of, what if they find out I'm not good enough and somebody gives you feedback, you are waiting for the but if the but doesn't come, chances are you will volunteer self criticism. So this is another warning sign for Imposter Syndrome. We turned the research study into a quiz that you can take as an assessment tool to give you an idea of if you're ditching Imposter Syndrome and it gives you a free personalised action plan.

So if you've not done that yet, make sure you go to the link below and go and do the quiz now. And I'd love to hear from you via the comments. What are the warning signs that you see maybe in yourself or in loved ones or in colleagues for imposter syndrome? And what can we do to remove the taboo so that people feel more comfortable speaking up about this and asking for help? Ron feeling shame and judging themselves for worrying about being found out as a fraud?

Let me know below by the comments. I'd love to hear from you, and if you found this video useful, please share it far and wide and also subscribe and hit that bell button thing, because if you get a notification notification whenever I publish something on imposter syndrome. And in the future, I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye.

About the author

Clare Josa

Clare is considered a global authority in the fields of Imposter Syndrome, burnout and toxic resilience, and has been an international keynote speaker for over 20 years.

The author of 8 books, a reformed engineer and the former Head of Market Research for one of the world's most disruptive brands, she blends research-backed practical inspiration with demystified ancient wisdom, to help you create breakthroughs in ways that are fast, fun and forever.

Want to find out your Imposter Syndrome Score? Take Clare's free research-backed, quiz-style assessment and get your score plus a personalised action plan in the next 3 minutes.

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