Impostor Phenomenon: How to Overcome & Embrace it

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You’re Not Alone

Impostor Syndrome. Impostor Phenomenon. Whatever you call it, there are 1 million searches globally each month of people looking to know what it is, if they have it and how can they overcome it. If you thought you were alone, you’re not. It’s a feeling that you are going to be found out because you are not good enough.

Promoted and not sure if you can do the job? That’ll be impostor syndrome. Or taking on a new client, a tough negotiation or an important project – Most people will suffer from this phenomenon at some point. It’s more common than you think with one study concluding that 70% of us have suffered with it at one point or another.

It can affect us in a variety of ways and each person will have different symptoms from anxiety to depression, to shying away from a promotion to high levels of self-doubt. Plus, people can tend to hold back making them come across as aloof, or unfriendly, when all they are really feeling is that if they get too close, they’ll be found out.

How to Overcome it

Here are 6 things you can do to overcome impostor syndrome and then let’s talk about embracing impostor syndrome and why we should:

Wooden cubes with red arrow facing the opposite direction
Impostor syndrome can feel like a bad thing but learning to embrace it will make it a positive!


  1. Remind yourself of the facts – Salesperson selling well and beating your targets? This is your fact.
  2. Always helpful, is finding a way to share it with others. A mate down the pub…’I read about this impostor syndrome, and it means…’. Mate replies, ‘I think I might have that’. ‘Me too!’.
  3. Celebrate your success. If you did something well, tell people and they’ll celebrate with you.
  4. Recognise that you’re chasing perfectionism and, on some things, and stop. Sometimes it is ‘good enough’.
  5. Identify when it rears its head most and aim to change when it does.
  6. Share your failures because others will never be as hard on you as you are on yourself.
  7. Embrace it: Impost syndrome has its advantage. It drives you to be better. When others think that something went well, you think, how can I improve? Yes, that comes with its downsides, but it also comes with a want to be the very best version of yourself and being that person is so worth having.

Embrace your impostor and be fabulous!

Purple infographic of the types of impostor syndrome
Do you know the types of impostor syndrome?


This article was written by Darren A. Smith for The Grocer.

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