How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Symptoms & 5 Forms

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Types, Signs and Remedies 

Psychologists first used the term “imposter phenomenon” in the 1970s to describe imposter syndrome. Everyone, from sportsmen and scientists to office workers, can experience imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome probably existed throughout history, despite the fact that it was not explicitly acknowledged until recent years.

Imposter syndrome patients report feeling like a fraud or unworthy of everything they have worked for, or that they are not smart enough or talented enough to be in their current position. According to research, the majority of people experience imposter syndrome at some point during their life.

Imposter syndrome is a bad emotion, but it can be controlled, whether you lately wondered why you are where you are or you have committed a mistake. You must have the mindset that you are performing in your position because you are qualified and have merited the opportunity. Read more about how to overcome imposter syndrome and its symptoms.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a condition in which a successful or high achiever constantly questions their talents and whether they are good enough. It’s an encounter that makes you think you haven’t earned your status or that you’re not as capable as people around you think you are.

It may begin with you rejecting praise or congrats for a recent accomplishment, and over time, the more criticism you give yourself, the more likely it is that you will start to believe it. It can seriously harm your mental health and has strong ties to occupational perfectionism.

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Various Forms of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome comes in a variety of forms that contribute to its general definition. Imposter syndrome was divided into subtypes by Dr. Valerie Young, an authority on the subject. Each subtype of imposter syndrome is described by a particular kind of person who fits into the category. Most patients who suffer from this syndrome fit into one of these subtypes or a combination of them. Examples of imposter syndrome include:

The Perfectionists:

The imposter syndrome-afflicted individual who aspires to be their best regardless of the cost to their mental health is represented by the perfectionist. These people can be classified as typical “perfectionists” who have unrealistic expectations for themselves.


The superwoman or superman is a representation of an imposter syndrome sufferer who frequently battles job addiction. In spite of the effects on their mental, bodily, and emotional health, this individual may continue to push themselves as hard as they can because they feel inferior to their coworkers.

The Genius:

A person with imposter syndrome who suffers with perfectionism and aspires to accomplish great things on their first try is represented by the natural genius. If they do not successfully accomplish a task or reach a goal the first time, these people feel unworthy, guilty, and ashamed.

The Soloist:

The soloist portrays an imposter syndrome sufferer who finds it extremely difficult to seek for help. They can believe that they are the only ones with the necessary skills, or that their output must demonstrate their value.

The Expert:

The expert is a person with imposter syndrome who, although having extensive knowledge, never feels competent enough. If they don’t know the answer or are knowledgeable about a particular subject, this individual could feel like they have less experience than their coworkers.

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Imposter Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the individual experiencing it, imposter syndrome can manifest itself in many different ways. A person may display a variety of impostor syndrome symptoms depending on where they fall on Dr. Clance’s imposter phenomenon scale. A few of these are:

  1. The impression that success is impossible
  2. Despite displaying competence, feeling incompetent
  3. Fear of falling short of someone else’s expectations
  4. Feeling that your earlier accomplishments and labor were all luck-related
  5. Feeling unable to consistently perform at a high level
  6. Uncomfortable with receiving compliments or apologies
  7. Being dissatisfied with recent successes
  8. Having doubts about succeeding
  9. Being under constant pressure to succeed or improve
  10. Feeling pressured, worried, or unhappy as a result of inferiority complex

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

After knowing the symptoms of imposter syndrome, now is time to overcome it and you can achieve this by taking these steps:

1. Learn what is making you feel unconfident.

Try to identify what it is that makes you feel like a phony at work in order to begin shaking the bad sentiments you have about your employment. Has your position changed recently, or have you been given a new project to work on? Some of these things may cause significant tension, but the most crucial thing to keep in mind is that whatever it is, you have earned it.

You may already know the answer to this question, which is that you feel others around you are superior to you, that they were entitled to the promotion because they had more experience, or that you haven’t been in your current position long enough and so feel pressured.

Whatever it is, you seized the chance and were rewarded for your efforts. You deserve it because you put a lot of effort into getting here! Consider looking back on your professional development to date and reminding yourself of the steps you took. It never hurts to convince yourself that your efforts have been sufficient. Accept your position; you earned it.

2. Express your feelings to someone

It could be best to speak with your line manager or the person who hired, promoted, or gave you the new project if you are still having self-doubt. Talk to them about your worries and worries you have; they will be able to explain why they chose you.

Go acquire it if you feel you need proof that you are qualified for the position. Sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else. Most of the time, we are our own toughest critics since we all have a tendency to be a bit too hard on ourselves.

The motivation to not let yourself or others down can be enough to restore your faith in yourself. Demonstrate that you did not make a mistake.

3. Talk to your Coworkers and Team Members

Since many people experience the same thoughts and emotions as you do, it is very likely that you are not the only one. As I’ve already mentioned, this happens to a lot of people. Talking to a coworker about this can help you gain more knowledge about the subject. Although you believe they are in control, your coworker might be experiencing the same things.

They put in a lot of effort, complete tasks, and succeed every time! I suppose that’s how they perceive you as well. It all depends on your point of view; eventually, you will learn to believe whatever you tell yourself repeatedly. It’s time to push away the negative emotions and start believing in yourself if you notice that those around you have confidence in you and your skills.

4. Never let anything define you.

Don’t let these feelings define you, whether you have been experiencing them for some time or have committed a workplace error that caused them. Why should it dictate how you feel when you are not your faults and unquestionably more than your job?

Because you are deserving, possess the necessary abilities, and have your employer’s confidence, you are employed and contributing to your team. You will have difficulties along the path; nevertheless, when something negative occurs, make an effort to move past it.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of mental disease is impostor syndrome?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition does not list imposter syndrome as an established mental condition (DSM-5). However, it can be a frustrating and crippling condition.

Why does impostor syndrome occur?

Why does impostor syndrome occur? Multiple factors, such as personality qualities (such as perfectionism) and family history, are likely to contribute to imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome may have its roots in families that place a high importance on performance, according to one idea.

What is impostor syndrome exactly?

But this phrase—also known as the “imposter phenomenon,” “fraud syndrome,” or “imposter experience”—refers to a person who doubts their own abilities and worries that they’ll be exposed as a fraud.

Do intelligent people experience imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome isn’t always a bad thing, though. Impostor Syndrome will affect the majority of clever, motivated people at some time in their careers.


It may not be possible to stop ourselves from experiencing imposter syndrome. However, we may endeavor to enhance our feelings and advance both as individuals and as professionals. Utilize the resources nearby and have confidence in yourself. You are deserving and sufficient.


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