Imposter Syndrome

By: Dr. Sharon Elza Raju

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What is Imposter Syndrome?      

Imposter syndrome is a collection of feelings, wherein you are constantly judging your capabilities. It often builds up fear in a person and is stressed about what the other person might think about them.  

For example, you have a group discussion at your workplace on a particular topic that you aren’t thorough about. Instead of letting your co-workers know about it, you would stress about the fact of being judged by your co-workers for not knowing about it. It is all in your head but it does have an ill effect on your mental health.

The worst part about this is that it could very well turn into a cycle with negative consequences. But the best way to get over this thought is to get a grip on your thoughts and recognize it and have the tools to overcome it.

Who experiences Imposter Syndrome?

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According to a review conducted in 2020, it was found 9-82% of people have experienced imposter syndrome. It could range from a period where a person started a new job, to other challenges a person deals with and could also be lifelong.

Studies have estimated at least 7 to 10 adults have experienced it at some point in life.

Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome:

  1. A person who has a fear of being discovered
  2. Self-doubt results in a person accessing their day-to-day achievements and questioning what would other people think about them.
  3. Stress related to work where an employee thinks that they are expected to work more than needed. This could result in fear and anxiety and could affect their performance rate.
  4. Some people might judge themselves and are don’t come to terms that they did actually put in the effort to achieve gold. Rather, they’d compare it with the external factors that helped them in achieving it.
  5. Mental health could be affected. Depression, frustration, anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and a few to name.

What can help a person overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Have an open conversation about how you feel to a loved one or someone who is very close to you. Communicating with such a person would reduce the chances of being judged and also increase your ability to talk about it more openly.

Group therapy could work too. Talking with strangers who face similar challenges would give you a sense of hope that you are not alone in this situation. they could also provide constructive feedback on how they turn this around to have better physical and mental health.

Indulge in recreational activities and make it a priority to focus on your well-being. Keeping yourself busy at the gym, playing a sport, going on hikes, gardening, and even having a pet can be a great way to relax your mind from overthinking.

Be aware of the situations and triggers and have an idea of what happens and create a strategy to overcome it.

Control negative thoughts that cause unwanted anxiety and try to take control of your mind. Meditation and Yoga are very helpful in achieving mindfulness and calmness you your mind and soul.

Celebrate your achievements and list it in your journal. Treat yourself and assure yourself that you will take good care of yourself.

Focus on providing value. Instead of thinking about how you will be perceived, focus on genuinely helping others. It could be a small contribution, but it will help in giving you confidence and trusting your instinct.


Cleveland Clinic (2022). Impostor Syndrome: What It Is and How To Overcome It. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. Retrieved from:

Ma, L. (2018). The Reality of Imposter Syndrome. Psychology Today. Retrieved from:

Psychology Today (2023). Imposter Syndrome. Psychology Today. Retrieved from:

Touro University (2015). How to Beat Imposter Syndrome: The Silent Career Killer. Touro University Worldwide. Retrieved from:

Tulshyan, R. and Burey, J.A. (2021). End Imposter Syndrome in Your Workplace. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from:

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