ACTIVITY: Impostor Syndrome Self-Assessment

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Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that you are not as competent or capable as others perceive you to be. Some people describe it as persistent thoughts and feeling that you will eventually be discovered to be not qualified for the role you’re in. 

This assessment is designed to help you determine whether or not you have Imposter Syndrome characteristics and, if so, to what degree. It is a variation of the original Impostor Test developed by psychologist Pauline Clance.

Answer YES or NO to each of the statements below, keeping track of your total yes responses.

  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. I sometimes think I obtained my present position or gained my present success because I happened to be in the right place at the right time or knew the right people.
  3. I’m afraid people important to me may find out that I’m not as capable as they think I am.
  4. Sometimes I feel or believe that my success in my life or in my job has been the result of some kind of error.
  5. Sometimes I’m afraid others will discover how much knowledge or ability I really lack.
  6. I often compare my ability to those around me and think they may be more intelligent than I am.
  7. I tend to remember the incidents in which I have not done my best more than those times I have done my best.
  8. It’s hard for me to accept compliments or praise about my intelligence or accomplishments.
  9. At times, I feel my success has been due to some kind of luck.
  10. I’m often afraid that I may fail at a new assignment or undertaking even though I generally do well at what I attempt.

Interpreting Results

How many YES answers do you have?

  • If your total number of YES answers is 8 or more, you seem to have high Impostor Syndrome characteristics. Developing your confidence should be a high priority.
  • If your total number of YES answers is 4 – 7, you have moderate Impostor Syndrome characteristics. You should invest time in developing your self-confidence.
  • If your total number of YES answers is 3 or less, you have few Impostor Syndrome characteristics and generally are confident in your capabilities.
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