What is 'impostor syndrome?'

The Impostor Syndrome

MINNEAPOLIS - Viola Davis’ resume is packed with awards. She’s won an Oscar, Tony and Emmy. But despite her high achievements, she revealed she often feels like an impostor.

"It feels like my hard work has paid off, but at the same time I still have the impostor, you know, syndrome," Davis said in a post interview after winning an Academy Award Sunday for Best Supporting Actress in her role on Fences.

"I still feel like I'm going to wake up and everybody's going to see me for the hack I am. I still feel like when I walk on the set, I'm starting from scratch, until I realize, 'OK, I do know what I'm doing, I'm human,'" Davis added.

Sue Gallucci, a psychotherapist in St. Louis Park, says imposter syndrome is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who have a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud."

Symptoms include self-doubt, fear of being found out as phony and over compensation.

Gallucci says imposter syndrome affects men and women. She believes women are more open to admitting their struggle.

“It is something at some small level we all have intermittently,” she said. “Women admit it more. Women are more emotional in tune. We have been given more permission to be in touch with our sensitive side. And to not always have to put forward that sort of false bravado. While I think we all have it equally. Women are in touch with it more.”

So, how do you cope with impostor syndrome?

“Appreciate that you can stand there based on qualifications you have,” Gallucci said. “It is a moment of insecurity. Remember that you do have information to share that they will benefit from.”

© 2017 KARE-TV


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