Imposter Syndrome – What It Is And How To Overcome It


Ravi Chandhar P B

December 10, 2021

Last updated: January 9, 2024

what is imposter syndrome?

“What am I doing here?”

“I don’t belong.”

“I’m totally worthless, and sooner or later, everyone’s going to find out.”

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt like an imposter at work. Let’s take a sneak peek at 2019. According to 62 studies on imposter syndrome, anywhere from 9 to 82 % of people have had these ideas and thoughts at some point in their lives.

Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is imposter syndrome?

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome (IS) is a psychological attitude or a state in which you believe that you are less capable than how others believe you are capable of doing something. While this idea is most commonly associated with intelligence and success, it also has links and connections to perfectionism and the social environment.

To put it another way, imposter syndrome is the sense of feeling like a phony—as if you’re about to be identified as a fraud—as if you don’t belong anywhere and are only there by luck and coincidence. Anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, employment history, skill level, or amount of experience, can be affected by this syndrome and it’s nothing, in fact, to be ashamed of.

Characteristics Of Imposter Syndrome

  • An inability to judge your competence and skills realistically

  • External forces are being blamed for your achievement.

  • Your performance is being criticized.

  • Fear of not living up to expectations

  • Overachieving

  • You’re sabotaging your own progress.

  • Self-doubt

  • Setting high-stakes goals and being dissatisfied when you don’t meet them

What is imposter syndrome

How to identify Imposter Syndrome?

  • Do you stress over little flaws or errors in your work?

  • Do you believe your achievement or success is the result of chance or other factors?

  • Are you easily offended, even if it’s constructive criticism?

  • Do you ever have the feeling that you’re going to be revealed as a liar?

  • Do you minimize your own knowledge, even in areas where you are clearly superior to others?

Do not worry if you identify yourself as one among these following! Here is how you can deal with it!

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Recognize your emotions:-

Identifying impostor feelings and bringing them to light can help you achieve a number of goals.

  • Talking about your distress with a trustworthy friend or mentor can help you gain some perspective on the problem.

  • Sharing your imposter feelings can make you feel less alone.

  • Opening out to your peers about how you’re feeling inspires others to do the same, letting you know that you’re not alone in feeling like an imposter.

Make connections:-

Don’t succumb to the temptation to accomplish everything yourself. Instead, form a network of mutual support with classmates, academic peers, and coworkers.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to accomplish everything on your own. Your network has the ability to:

  • Provide direction and assistance

  • Encourage your attempts to grow by validating your strengths.

How to overcome imposter syndrome

Confront your doubts:-

When you have imposter feelings, ask yourself if there are any facts that support your ideas. After that, look for proof to refute them.

Say you’re considering applying for a promotion, but you don’t believe you have what it takes. Maybe you’re still haunted by a minor blunder you made on a project a few months ago. Perhaps you might also believe that your employees who compliment your job are largely sympathetic to your plight.

However, fooling all of your employees would be challenging, and poor work would almost certainly not go undetected in the long run.

If you constantly earn praise and acknowledgement, it’s an indication that you’re doing something right – and that you deserve a promotion.

Compare yourself to others as little as possible:-

Everyone has their own set of skills. You are where you are now because someone saw your abilities and potential.

You have to thrive at every work you take on, but at the same time, you also don’t have to. Almost no one is capable of “doing it all.” You may not know the whole story even if it appears that someone has everything under control.

It’s fine to take a little time to pick up a new talent, even if someone else appears to have mastered it right away.

Instead of allowing others’ achievements to draw attention to your weaknesses, think about how you may improve the skills that interest you.

The Bottom Line

Perfection isn’t required for success. Because true perfection is nearly hard to achieve, failing to do so does not make you a fraud. Instead of judgment and self-doubt, treating yourself with love and compassion can help you keep a realistic perspective and drive you to pursue healthy self-growth.

I have dealt with around 90% of freshers coming into the Software Development companies or those who are in the final stages of their college life. Hence I decided to write this article to tell the real world that this is something that really happens to every individual. I hope that every reader who reads this article gets some clarity on the imposter syndrome.

Happy Reading! Have a smile! 

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