Tell us if this sounds familiar. Your manager praises your exceptional work ethics and your co-workers are in awe of the way you handle the work pressure, but all the while you just want to dig a hole and hide somewhere. You constantly feel like someone is going to call you out for being a complete fraud and inadept at work.
Worst of all–do you feel that all your accomplishments, grades and achievements have been a fluke and you just ‘got lucky’ in life? If you feel the same, be rest assured that you are not alone. You might be suffering from a psychological syndrome known as imposter syndrome
To conduct the study, the researchers surveyed 463 employees in the southern United States, who had worked at least 20 hours per week and had been in the same job for at least 6 months.
The dark side of imposter syndrome
This habit of constantly doubting your professional capabilities can leave you emotionally exhausted and lead to stressful work-life balance. Yes, according to research conducted by professors at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee and the University of Houston, if you feel like a fraud at work, you may struggle to maintain normal relations in your family.
While a little self-doubt might be good, high performing employees often doubt their abilities a bit too much. Since they have trouble recognising their achievements and feel like a ‘fake’ at work, they tend to overcompensate for the same.
This leads to an increase in conflicts at home which further drains the employees. Additionally, these detrimental thoughts not only cause work-family conflict but can also hamper the emotional satisfaction at work.
What can the employers do?
According to the professors, it is crucial for the managers to recognise the signs of burnout and imposter syndrome in their high performing employees.
From policy changes that focus on job satisfaction to frequent performance feedback, supervisors need to pay attention to the subtle symptoms of workers who feel that they are faking it.