In today’s world, it can be hard to tell whether you suffer from impostor syndrome—wherein individuals feel an unfounded sense of not being deserving candidates—or if you are actually just a human female. As success rears its ugly head, it’s common to worry that others will soon realize that you are inexperienced, fraudulent, or simply lucky. These are all symptoms of a typical case of impostor syndrome. Confusingly, they’re also common symptoms of being a woman. Take this diagnostic quiz to find out :
1. When people compliment you on your achievements, do you believe them, or do you think they’re snakes trying to trap you?
a. I try to go with it, but it can be difficult when I get too inside my head.
b. It’s hard because in 6th grade I accepted a compliment from Cheryl, and her eyes turned all snake-like while she called me a conceited bitch.
2. Do you sometimes suspect a challenge will arise that you can’t meet because of your outfit?
a. All the time. My biggest concern is that I’ll fall short and people will realize my I’m faking it.
b. Are you kidding? I once tried to be taken seriously at a science convention and the security team threw me to the ground, while laughing at me.
3. Do you internalize failure more than success? Like, say, that time you ruined it for the whole soccer team in 2010?
a. I would say so, in ways. It’s easier for me to admit failure as truth than success, because success creates a pedestal from which I can fall.
b. Ever since I missed that goal back in 2010, my family agreed that my brother was better cut for sports and locked me in the basement.
4. Do you apply for jobs you’re fully qualified for, or do you sometimes take the leap a step above your experience level?
a. I do—I try to reach a little higher than my usual workload to keep me growing, that’s part of the terror. That’s why I often get doubtful.
b. Oh yeah, well it’s confusing because whenever I tell people my experiences they’re like “I can’t hear you. You’re not real.”
5. Do you feel passion for your work, but fear your colleagues will soon realize your brain is a photograph of Ross from Friends?
a. Yeah, I can relate to this. Especially when I’m working on big projects, and we’re meeting an urgent deadline!
b. It’s hard not to fear when my colleagues say things like “What’d she do to get that promotion, install a sitcom actor’s portrait in her head or something?”
If you answered mostly As:
You most likely have impostor syndrome. With some hard work and self-affirmations, you might be able to climb out of the trenches of doubt. Invest in yourself—you are worth it!
If you answered mostly Bs:
You are actually just a woman! Don’t worry, these feelings are normal and totally what you had coming, anyways!