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Conquering the impostor syndrome to claim the joy, zest, and power of your success


Take The Impostor Syndrome Test
By | Mar 04, 2013

For each question, please click on the answer that best indicates how true the statement is of you. It is best to give the first response that enters your mind rather than dwelling on each statement and thinking about it over and over.

1. When people praise me for something I've accomplished, I'm afraid I won't be able to live up to their expectations of me in the future.
2. At times, I feel my success has been due to some kind of luck.
3. Sometimes I'm afraid others will discover how much knowledge or ability I really lack.
4. When I've succeeded at something and received recognition for my accomplishments, I have doubts that I can keep repeating that success.
5. I often compare my ability to those around me and think they may be more intelligent than I am.
6. If I am going to receive a promotion or recognition of some kind, I hesitate to tell others until it is an accomplished fact.

If your total score is 12 or less, you have few Impostor characteristics; if your score is between 13 and 18, you have moderate IP experiences; a score between 19 and 24 means you frequently have impostor feelings; and a score higher than 24 means you often have intense IP experiences. The higher the score, the more frequently and seriously the impostor phenomenon interferes in your life.

If you experience impostor feelings here are a few tools that I learned and that others I have spoken to about the impostor syndrome have learned to conquer these feelings. My book, The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success provides even more tips to learn to manage your impostor fears.

  • Don't stay silent. Find a way to speak about your fears with a trusted friend, a coach, a mentor, your partner, a therapist, or in a journal.
  • Become familiar with your impostor. What are you trying to prove? To whom?And why?
  • Exercise your sense of humor. Try to keep a sense of perspective and to laugh as often as possible—especially at yourself.

From The Impostor Phenomenon: When Success Makes You Feel Like A Fake (pp. 20-22), by P.R. Clance, 1985, Toronto: Bantam Books. Copyright 1985 by Pauline Rose Clance.Reprinted by permission. Do not reproduce without permission from Pauline Rose Clance, drpaulinerose@comcast.net.

The full test is available on Dr. Clance's website www.paulineroseclance.com.