Do systems induce impostor syndrome?

Yes, it does! The psychological disorder known as “impostor syndrome”, a variation of the originally identified “impostor phenomenon”, was identified originally by Pauline Clance and Suzanna Imes in 1978. Their study revealed that sufferers, mainly high achieving individuals or women, experience self-doubt and regard themselves as ‘imposters or deceiving individuals’ because they believe that they have misrepresented themselves as achievers.  My belief that the syndrome is induced by men or the opponents or the system on female non-conformists has been confirmed by Talissa Lavarry in her “Confessions from your token black colleague”. The tendency of men to think that they are smarter than the fairer sex is not uncommon, however when coupled with racism and bias the repercussions are grave.

Harvard Business review identified a few symptoms of the syndrome, however these identified symptoms belonged to a period when few women carved out a niche for themselves in the corporate world and when biases such as classism, systemic racism, xenophobia etc. were non-existent. I am taking the liberty to state that these anti-diversity and anti-inclusion methods such as interrogating, censuring, bullying, questioning an individual’s professionalism, reminding one of his or her race, questioning one’s qualifications, demoting one to nullify his or her contributions, abilities or achievements etc., are employed to victimize targeted individuals and induce trauma.

Strong personalities may not suffer from lack of confidence or doubt their potentialities, however one cannot deny that such methods or stereotypes interferes with the victim’s productivity and prevents them from reaching their true potential. Accusing the targeted individuals of not being a team player, after implementing marginalization, compels people to question the definition of professionalism and wonder if those around them are professional in their approaches.

If you think imposter syndrome is exclusive to corporate circles and does not extend to creative circles, you are in for a major surprise. Needless to say, Australian culture is not just aboriginal or white culture. Innovative genres and new perspectives come with the integration of the migrant culture with the true-blue Aussie culture. Migrant lives matter too, as with citizenship status, Australia becomes their only home. Dual citizenships or OCI cards come only with curtailments. As migrants have voluntarily acclimatized and adapted themselves to their new environments, besides continuing to contribute in productive ways and coexisting with the natives while acquiring multiple identities, the under-represented communities require a boost.  

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