The Types of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a psychological pattern characterized by perceived fraudulence involving feelings of personal incompetence and self-doubt that persist despite one’s experiences, achievements, and qualifications.

While imposter syndrome is not a recognized diagnosable disorder under the DSM it is very prevalent, in fact about 70% of people experience it at least once in their lifetimes. Furthermore, there are five core types of imposter syndrome that a person is likely to experience.

The Perfectionist: A perfectionist is someone who pays a lot of attention to detail, they concentrate above all on how something is done and how it can be improved. Instead of focusing on their strengths, they fixate on flaws and attempt to constantly make things better. Even minor mistakes are viewed as failures.   

The Superperson: Such a person attempts to do several things and feels inadequate if they are unable to do them right. They feel a constant need to push themselves to work the hardest they can.

The Expert: An expert is someone who has extremely high expectations from themselves. They feel like their level of knowledge and understanding isn’t enough and always want to know more. This leads to constant dissatisfaction when they feel like their expertise is lacking.

The Soloist: Delegation is an important part of both professional and personal parts of our lives. A soloist however tends to be very individualistic and prefers working alone. They are more concerned about who finishes the task and their self-worth often is tied to their productivity. They reject assistance and feel like they have failed if they ask for help.

The Natural Genius: These individuals expect that they are naturally good at something. They have lofty goals and measure success by how soon they pick up a new skill. IF they have to work at something, they feel like failures.

The incidence of imposter syndrome has gone up drastically in the pandemic. Especially when keeping in mind the core types of imposter syndrome, especially concerning one’s professional or academic life. Everything has become virtual and this further skews self-perception. It is important especially at this time that we all work towards increasing self-compassion and making proper boundaries with work. Lower your standards to what is achievable and be mindful of what you consume online.

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.


MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Ankita Agarwal is a psychologist at You can learn more about her by clicking here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.


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