What is imposter syndrome?

Aug 23, 2021

Have you ever felt that you didn't really deserve your success? Or that other people definitely know waaaay more than you do? Or worse still, that they think you know more than you actually do?

You could be suffering from Imposter Syndrome?

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is that feeling you get  when you believe you are not good enough, and that you're going to be found out.

Despite the name, it's not actually a medical affliction, more of a psychological condition. People who have imposter syndrome believe that their achievements are the result of luck, that they've managed to pull the wool over the eyes of their superiors to land the position they find themselves in, and that someday they are going to be found out.

Who gets imposter syndrome?

Research shows that around 70% of people will suffer from imposter syndrome at some stage in their career, with many suffering throughout their career. It tends to mostly affect high achievers. Even well-known celebrities have been known to talk openly about their experiences with imposter syndrome. Often it is thought to affect mostly women, but both men and women can suffer from imposter syndrome.

How do I know if I have Imposter Syndrome?

It's likely if you're reading this that you have imposter syndrome or have had it in the past. The key thing is not to let it stop you from achieving your goals.

Some ways that imposter syndrome can show up:

  • Procrastinating on starting or finishing a project
  • Leaving things til the last minute, because "I knew I was going to fail anyway"
  • Trying to ensure everything is perfect (perfectionism)
  • Not seeking out or accepting help when it's offered
  • Working long hours in order to compensate for being a fraud
  • Not speaking up in meetings
  • Not putting yourself forward for opportunities, such as promotions
  • Not seeking out feedback
  • Living in fear of being "found out"
  • Not sharing your ideas

What can I do about my Imposter Syndrome?

I have put together an ebook called Imposter to Empowered to guide you through identifying, managing and overcoming your imposter syndrome. You can download the guide here.

If you want to go deeper, I have also put together an online course, you can find out more about that here.


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