The link between perfectionism and the impostor syndrome

Research Briefing

Keywords: work psychology, impostor syndrome, perfectionism, self-esteem

The impostor syndrome or phenomenon is an experience that tends to occur mainly among high achievers, whereby they feel fraudulent or fake, particularly intellectually. Impostor syndrome is usually accompanied by a sense that they don’t deserve to be in the position that they are in.

Whilst at first sight impostorism doesn’t appear to be much of an issue, it strongly correlates with four negative mental health outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, and pessimism. Impostorism has been found to be strongly linked to introversion, self-esteem problems and, particularly, perfectionism.

A new study has looked at the links between impostorism and perfectionism and found some interesting connections which will be particularly useful for coaches.

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