what is imposter syndrome? 10 tips for coping with imposter syndrome

Are you a perfectionist? Do you over-analyze your mistakes and worry that everyone is judging you? Do you feel like you’re a fraud, and any minute now, people will realize that you have no idea what the hell you’re doing? If so, then it’s an alarming situation! You likely suffer from imposter syndrome.

What is imposter syndrome?

You’ve probably heard of imposter syndrome, but you might not know precisely what it is. The term was introduced in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes. In their book, “The impostor phenomenon: Overcoming the fear that haunts your success,” they describe it as “a common reaction to success.”

In simpler terms, people with imposter syndrome often think they’re not good enough or don’t deserve their achievements. They may feel like they will be found out as frauds at any moment—even when their accomplishments are undeniable.

It’s important to note that having these feelings isn’t necessarily a bad thing—it can motivate you to work harder for your goals and help you learn from mistakes so that you improve over time—but sometimes these feelings take over and start affecting your life negatively in ways that aren’t productive or healthy for anyone concerned!

What does imposter syndrome feel like?

Imposter syndrome is a feeling of

  • Being a fraud or not deserving success.
  • You might feel like you don’t belong or will be “found out.”
  • It’s an overwhelming sense that others are more talented or capable than you and will eventually discover your flaws and incompetence.
  • The first step in overcoming imposter syndrome is recognizing when it’s happening.
  • You feel like you’re not good enough and never have been, even though others have told you otherwise (or had evidence in front of them proving that their opinion was correct).
  • When someone compliments your work, your response is something along the lines of “Oh no…That wasn’t so great; it was just okay!” You constantly worry about being fired or getting rejected by people at work because they’ll realize how much less qualified than everyone else around them they indeed are – even if there’s no evidence behind those fears aside from being insecure about one’s abilities on any given day.

How does imposter syndrome affect people?

Imposter syndrome can affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and expertise. It can make you feel like you’re not good enough, not smart enough, or not talented enough.

A person with imposter syndrome can face depression, anxiety, and self-doubt and become superstitious if he ignores this syndrome for a long time. It is necessary to be cured of this syndrome as soon as possible; otherwise, it negatively impacts one’s personality.

A patient with imposter syndrome keeps thinking about his faults instead of utilizing his capabilities which ultimately keeps him away from success and progress. 

Who experiences imposter syndrome and why?

While imposter syndrome can affect anyone, there are several groups of people who experience it more than others. You might find yourself in this condition if you’re a perfectionist and high achiever.

Imposter syndrome is common in


There is a reason why brilliant people feel like they are faking their way through life: they tend to be perfectionists who set high standards for themselves. When they fail to meet these standards—or when someone else doesn’t recognize the level of intelligence that they possess—they may begin to question whether or not their success is legitimate.


They tend to be successful in all the areas of relationships in life (husband, father, boss). Still, if they fail in even one role, they start to doubt their abilities.


These people never get satisfied with their level of knowledge. They keep on learning new things, and if they lack even the slightest piece of knowledge, they feel like a failure.


They set high expectations for themselves, and they feel ashamed if they fail to meet those expectations. Mostly they have done tasks effortlessly in the past, and they perceive every task as the same as others. If they can’t achieve those goals, they tend to believe themselves worthless and inadequate.


The soloist prefers to work alone, feel ashamed of asking for help and work as a team. They interpret themselves as weak and failures if they ask others to work along.

Tips for coping with impostor syndrome


Being a perfectionist is just a myth. No one in this world can be perfect in all things. People who try to be perfect are pessimistic about their fate because anyone can not be pro at all things. Don’t try to be the jack of all trades. Pick a skill or path and try to be perfect on the selected one. If you try to do multiple things, you will even fail in that area where you can be perfect or achieve success. Success relies on your struggle, not on how much you are perfect. You need to keep on working for your improvement.

2) Work as a team

Avoid doing all the things on your own. A network of people with different mindsets can achieve more instead of working alone. There is no shame in asking for help. No one will consider you inadequate for your job. If they do so, it’s their fault, not yours.

3) Overcome your doubts

If you face imposter syndrome, ask yourself whether these thoughts are true or you are overthinking. To evaluate this, give yourself small challenges related to your job; if you perform well, you deserve success. If you don’t, you must polish your skill instead of thinking negatively about yourself.

4) Recognize your feelings

If you’re feeling like an imposter, it’s essential to acknowledge that and be kind to yourself about it. You don’t need to hide or pretend that you feel differently; instead, permit yourself to have those feelings without judging them or allowing them to take over your life.

5) Recognize that you are not alone. 

Imposter syndrome is a common thread among many people. According to the American Psychological Association, “it’s estimated that 70 percent of us feel like we don’t belong, that we lack whatever it takes to succeed in our chosen field, and that at any moment someone is going to realize their mistake and expose us as the frauds we fear we are.”

6) Talk to your boss or HR department

Talking about but not feeling like you belong can be a big problem for many people in the workplace. You can get this feeling at a new company or after completing an educational program and receiving your degree. You may also feel like an imposter if you have been promoted or given more responsibilities but don’t think it is deserved.

1) Accept that feeling like an imposter is a natural response to increased workloads and responsibilities.

2) Find people who will support you during these emotional times so you can stay grounded in reality

3) Talk to someone who has been in your position before, and they will provide the reassurance that you deserve

4) Figure out what triggers these feelings and try to avoid or minimize them as best as possible

7) Talk to a friend or family member

TTell your feeling to those who know your situation well enough that he or they won’t judge what is going on inside of your head as crazy talk (or not-so-crazy). Your friends have probably been through similar feelings at some point; give them a call! And if the person who keeps popping into your mind is someone from work whom you trust, go ahead and ask him if he could spare some time from his busy schedule so that he can help get rid of those pesky little imposter syndrome thoughts once and for all!

8) Practice self-compassion

Sometimes, just being aware of our feelings isn’t enough—we need a way of coping with them so that they don’t keep us from living our lives or doing our work positively. One way is to practice self-compassion—treating yourself with respect and kindness when things are difficult for you rather than blistering yourself or ignoring the difficulty altogether (which only makes things worse). Self-compassion means understanding that everyone feels this way sometimes, even if they might not admit it outwardly: anybody is perfect!

9) Have a mentor

Tell your feelings to those friends who understand what it’s like at the college level. Talking about this can help us feel less alone in our experiences—and having someone who knows what we’re going through can make all the difference in how much anxiety we experience daily!

10) Try to understand what is causing the imposter syndrome and treat yourself accordingly.

For example, if your imposter syndrome stems from feeling like others expect too much from you—such as if someone has said something like “You have such high standards for yourself! You should try doing things differently sometimes”—then perhaps they’re right! You do have high standards, but maybe not all of them need changing! Maybe there’s no reason why being less hard on yourself would help improve anything; maybe all it’ll do is make things worse by making them more confusing (and thus stressful). If so then ignore these kinds of comments and continue doing what makes sense for you.


We hope this article has helped you understand imposter syndrome and feel more confident in your ability to cope with it. You deserve to be successful, and you can overcome impostor syndrome by using the strategies I have outlined here.

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