What is Imposter Syndrome, and What Can You Do About It?

It is common to get worried about grades in school, performing best at work or not being competent enough to take a task. While all this is common with any human being, some overdo it, which becomes harmful. The imposter syndrome causes one worry too much about not being good enough even when there is enough evidence that they are achievers.

 Imposter Syndrome Explained

Imposter syndrome is simply undying feelings of self-inadequacy, feeling fake, terming success as just luck rather than personal effort. Also features constant worries about others finding out that one is not what others assume them to be.

It doesn’t matter how successful one is, imposters will often feel like a fraud. Imposter syndrome often results from:

  • Progressively setting incredibly high expectations that might not be achievable.
  • Inability to accurately assess one’s abilities
  • Filling incompetent even in areas of expertise

Signs of imposter syndrome

Here are some emotions and thoughts that are associated with this phenomenon:

I am fake

Imposters tend to think everything good happening to them is because of luck. They do not feel like they worked for everything that they are enjoying now.

They often feel that they have been faking all their life, and someone is about to find out. There is also  have a feeling that they give a more significant impression of themselves than they are

  It is just lucky

Another sign of imposter syndrome is crediting success to luck. Never at any particular time will an imposter think of all the efforts they put in to becoming successful.  They term it as mere luck.

 Achievement is nothing big

Imposters often find themselves downgrading success, making it look like it is not a big thing! In most cases, they credit their success to the help they got or just the assignment being easy to tackle.

  • Imposters also find it hard to accept compliments even when deserved.

Ways to overcome imposter syndrome

Here are some of the ways to beat imposter syndrome:

1.   Be kind

Yes, be kind to yourself. Remember that success doesn’t come easy and that you played a significant role in becoming who you are today. Take time to internalize your success. Tell yourself that each person has equal opportunities to succeed, your success story is well- deserved; you worked for it.

2.    Analyze the situation

Constant worry about failure and negative criticism can be more destroying than you think. Signs of extreme perfectionism include feeling guilty over mistakes made in the past, worrying about letting others down, not being good enough for others.

It is ok to be good but not perfect. Learn to celebrate small success by coming up with a reward system that takes care of every achievement that comes your way.

You may not be able to start rewarding yourself soon, and it is ok to start gradually and build on it.  Gradual steps will help you change your overall thinking.

3.    Be realistic

Self- assessment is a vital step towards beating the imposter syndrome. Each individual has areas in their life that they are good at and others where they don’t perform well. You must understand yourself well.

Write down all the areas that you are good at and areas that you don’t perform well. This will help you come up with ways to improve on areas that you feel you are not good at. You might also realize that you have achieved so much more than you ever thought!

You can also get this further by keeping a file of the beautiful things people say about you. Go back to your data and read everything excellent that was said to you each time you are feeling like a fraud.

4.    Talk it out

A problem shared is half solved.  The imposter syndrome manifests itself more when it is not shared out.

Talking to other people about their issues can help you prove that no one is perfect, that everyone is prone to making mistakes once in a while. Sharing with others will help you figure out how they overcome their failures.

It is not easy to overcome intense fears about your success, but it can be quite relieving to hear that other people are feeling the same way.

Most successful people in the world, feel that they are not smart enough, that they are just lucky!

5.    Avoid making comparisons

Human beings are naturally competitive. For this reason, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with others.  Comparing yourself with others will leave you feeling inadequate and not resourceful as the rest of the people are, even if you are!

6.   Think success

Successful people spend endless hours trying to figure themselves as the achievers that they wish to be. This trick beats the imposter feeling for sometimes and gives you a grace period to focus on what you should.  Thinking about success eventually beats performance-based stress.

7.    Embrace positivity

Perfectionism can take a toll on you.  Perfection can be a positive drive to succeed at times. However,  one should not be obsessed with anything to the extent of being unhappy when at it. It is ok to put effort to achieve whatever you are set out to. But you should always forgive yourself when the undesired happens.


It is ok to have those moments of self-doubt. However, allowing too much of that to happen can be extremely self-distracting. You must not let your doubt control what you do. It is just ok to have that imposter moment, but not an imposter life! We hope the tips above will be of help you overcome this syndrome, patience and positive thinking goes a long way in this case.

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