Skip to content
Home » Impostor syndrome: How to stop feeling like a fraud

Impostor syndrome: How to stop feeling like a fraud

Read Time:7 Minute, 56 Second

Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve your accomplishments? Do you worry that others will discover that you’re not as competent as they think you are? If so, you may be experiencing Impostor Syndrome. This phenomenon affects many people, from students to CEOs, and can lead to feelings of self-doubt and anxiety.

Impostor Syndrome is characterized by a persistent feeling of inadequacy, despite evidence to the contrary. Even when you receive positive feedback or achieve success, you may attribute it to luck or other external factors, rather than your own abilities. This can lead to a cycle of self-doubt and anxiety, as you worry that you’ll be exposed as a fraud.

If you’re experiencing Impostor Syndrome, you’re not alone. Many successful people have struggled with these feelings, including Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, and Emma Watson. The good news is that there are strategies you can use to overcome these feelings and regain your confidence. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective techniques for combating Impostor Syndrome, so you can stop feeling like a fraud and start embracing your accomplishments.

source: freepik

Understanding Impostor Syndrome

What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. It is a common experience among high achievers who find it difficult to internalize their success and attribute it to their own abilities.

Signs and Symptoms of Impostor Syndrome

Some common signs and symptoms of Impostor Syndrome include:

  •     Feeling like a fraud or that you don’t deserve your success
  •     Attributing your success to luck or external factors
  •     Fear of failure or making mistakes
  •     Overworking or perfectionism
  •     Difficulty accepting compliments or praise
  •     Comparing yourself to others and feeling inferior

Types of Impostor Syndrome

There are several types of Impostor Syndrome:

PerfectionistSetting extremely high standards for yourself and feeling like a failure if you don’t meet them
ExpertFeeling like you need to know everything and be an expert in your field
Natural GeniusBelieving that you should be able to do everything perfectly without effort or practice
SuperheroFeeling like you need to do everything yourself and never asking for help
Types of Impostor Syndrome

Causes of Impostor Syndrome

If you often feel like a fraud, it could be due to several reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of impostor syndrome:


Do you set high, unrealistic standards for yourself and feel like a failure when you don’t meet them? This is a common trait among people with impostor syndrome. The need to be perfect in everything you do can lead to feelings of inadequacy and impostor syndrome.

The impact of low self-confidence and self-criticism

Low self-confidence and harsh self-criticism can also contribute to impostor syndrome. If you don’t believe in yourself and constantly put yourself down, it’s easy to feel like a fraud when you achieve success. You may think that you got lucky or that others are just being kind to you.

Family and Cultural Background

Your family and cultural background can also play a role in the development of impostor syndrome. If you grew up in an environment where success was not celebrated or where you were constantly compared to others, you may struggle with feeling like a fraud even when you achieve success.

Personality Traits

Finally, some personality traits can make you more susceptible to impostor syndrome. For example, if you are an introvert or a highly sensitive person, you may be more likely to doubt yourself and your abilities. Similarly, if you are a perfectionist or a people-pleaser, you may feel like a fraud when you can’t meet everyone’s expectations.

Consequences of Impostor Syndrome

Mental Health Issues

Impostor Syndrome can take a toll on your mental health. You may experience anxiety, depression, and stress due to feeling like a fraud in your professional or personal life. These negative emotions can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem, which can further exacerbate the problem. Impostor Syndrome can also cause you to feel like you don’t belong, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Professional Life

Impostor Syndrome can have serious consequences in your professional life. You may avoid taking on new challenges or opportunities, fearing that you will fail or be exposed as a fraud. This can limit your career growth and prevent you from reaching your full potential. You may also struggle with receiving feedback or criticism, as it may confirm your belief that you are not good enough. This can lead to stagnation in your career and a lack of progress.

Personal Life

Impostor Syndrome can also impact your personal life. You may feel like you are not good enough for your friends or loved ones, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. This can strain your relationships and cause you to withdraw from social situations. You may also struggle with setting boundaries or saying no, as you may fear that others will see you as a fraud if you don’t meet their expectations. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion.

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

If you’re struggling with impostor syndrome, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people experience this feeling of inadequacy, even when they are highly skilled and accomplished in their field. Here are some strategies that can help you overcome impostor syndrome:

Recognizing Your Achievements

One of the best ways to combat impostor syndrome is to take time to recognize your achievements. Make a list of your accomplishments, both big and small. Celebrate your successes and remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve put in to get where you are today.

Changing Your Mindset

Impostor syndrome often stems from negative self-talk and a fear of failure. It’s important to challenge these thoughts and reframe your mindset. Instead of focusing on your perceived weaknesses, try to focus on your strengths and the value you bring to your work. Practice positive affirmations and self-compassion.

Build a Support Network of Friends and Colleagues

Having a supportive network can make a big difference when it comes to overcoming impostor syndrome. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your abilities. Seek out mentors and colleagues who can offer guidance and support.

Embrace Imperfection and Accept Mistakes

Remember that no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up over perceived failures or shortcomings, try to embrace imperfection and learn from your mistakes. Use setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Seeking Support

If you’re struggling to overcome impostor syndrome on your own, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can be a helpful tool for working through feelings of inadequacy and building confidence in your abilities.


Impostor Syndrome is a common experience that can affect anyone, regardless of their background or level of success. If you identify with this phenomenon, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that there are steps you can take to stop feeling like a fraud.

One key strategy is to challenge your negative self-talk and replace it with more positive, realistic thoughts. You can also seek out support from others, whether it’s through talking to a trusted friend or family member, joining a support group, or seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Another important step is to focus on your strengths and accomplishments, and to recognize that making mistakes and experiencing setbacks is a normal part of the learning process. By reframing your perspective and embracing a growth mindset, you can build confidence and resilience in the face of challenges.

Ultimately, overcoming Impostor Syndrome requires self-awareness, self-compassion, and a willingness to take action despite your fears and doubts. With time and practice, you can develop the skills and mindset needed to stop feeling like a fraud and start embracing your true worth and potential.


Impostor Syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, such as childhood experiences, personality traits, societal pressure, and workplace culture. It can also be triggered by major life changes or accomplishments.

If you constantly doubt your abilities, feel like a fraud despite evidence of your success, or attribute your accomplishments to luck or external factors, you may have Impostor Syndrome.

While there is no cure for Impostor Syndrome, it can be managed with therapy, self-reflection, and self-care. It’s important to recognize your own worth and give yourself credit for your achievements.

Yes, Impostor Syndrome is more common than you might think. It affects people of all genders, races, and backgrounds.

Yes, Impostor Syndrome can hold you back in your career by causing you to doubt your abilities and shy away from opportunities. It’s important to recognize and address these feelings in order to reach your full potential.

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome takes time and effort. It’s important to recognize and challenge your negative thoughts, seek support from others, and focus on your strengths rather than your perceived weaknesses.

Please leave a comment below with any suggestions for improving the content.

Other references:

Thank you and see you!

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *