How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Do you have doubts about your abilities and achievements? Do you think you are just “lucky” to have achieved all that you have? Whether you are successful in your career or go through some new transitions, you may suffer imposter syndrome at some time or another.

What is Imposter Syndrome

“Feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success”—Harvard Business Review

“Imposter Syndrome is a condition where the sufferers feel they are in the wrong place and manifests in a fear of exposure whereby someone might realize that ‘they shouldn’t be here and ask them to leave.”

There are several signs of imposter syndrome:

  • Self-doubt/fear of failure
  • Lack of self-confidence in your position
  • believing the attribution of your success solely through luck
  • Fear that you cannot meet other’s expectations.
  • Feel like you are a liar-fooled other people into overestimating your ability
  • Feel being out of place- everyone else is cleverer than me, everyone else knew what they were doing
  • Set very challenging goals and feel disappointed when you don’t reach them

What can cause imposter syndrome?

It affects people regardless of social status, work background, skill level, or degrees of expertise. It is normal to feel a certain degree of an imposter in the new environment. If there are some new transition experiences, new careers, or new promotions, it will trigger these feelings.

  • Change—Imposter Syndrome may be related to a change in an individual’s life
  • Family Life— Researchers have found that there may be a link between parental overprotection and later development of the syndrome.
  • Perfectionism—there is a link between imposter syndrome and perfectionism as a personality trait. People with syndrome are extremely afraid of failure, reject less-than-perfect performance, and refuse to seek help for fear of “exposing” themselves.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Acknowledge it

To deal with imposter syndrome, you should first acknowledge that you have it. Then, you can work on self-confidence and awareness.

Assess your abilities realistically

Self-assessment is a way to help you understand yourself. You can list the things you are really good at and the areas you might need to work on. This can help you identify areas where you have room for improvement and areas where you may have overlooked.

Focus on your own success

Be true to yourself. be your own best advocate. each small progress made the person who we are today. We should recognize and celebrate the progress we have made instead of focusing on our perceived shortcomings. 

Stop comparing yourself to others

Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique in the world. The only person that you should try to be better than, is nobody else but your old self. People have different personalities, different life experiences, and different dreams, that have created this diverse world. Don’t let comparison take away your happiness and workplace satisfaction.

Talk to other people

Talk to other people about how you are feeling. Don’t let your irrational beliefs hidden, fester, and swallow you. In addition, talking to other people about their struggles can help prove that other people are not perfect and that they do make mistakes.

You can do it!

References

Chapman, A. (2017). Using the assessment process to overcome Imposter Syndrome in mature students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41(2), 112-119.

Rakestraw, L. (2017). How to stop feeling like a phony in your library: Recognizing the causes of the imposter syndrome, and how to put a stop to the cycle. Law Libr. J.109, 465.