What’s Imposter Syndrome And How Do You Fight It?

“Feel like an Imposter? Join the club,” this is the title of the first chapter of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. It holds a lot of truth. Imposter Syndrome is something that affects all of us at some point. It’s the chronic self-doubt within yourself that tells you you’re less than. That regardless of your concrete skills and experiences, you are not up to par. It can be pretty brutal, but you’re not alone. A lot of successful people, especially women and minorities find it difficult to own their success.

The definition of Imposter Syndrome has evolved over time, but today, it’s most widely described as feeling like a fraud despite being successful and skilled.

If you suffer self-doubt or feel like somehow you don’t deserve the success you’ve achieved here are three ways you can fight it:

Think Differently

In The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, the author, Valerie Young, urges her readers to think differently. How you look at success, expertise, and failure influences how you feel. Changing how you define success and failure is the quickest way to overcome Imposter Syndrome. According to the author, “it won’t happen unless you do.”

Success to you could mean not making much money, but having the flexibility to make your own schedule. It could be starting a family, starting a business or maybe just adopting a really cute cat. Success doesn’t have one singular definition, and the more we compare our idea of what success is to others’, the more we’ll question if it’s even success at all.

Keep Doing You

Keep doing what you’re doing, you got this, fake it till you make it – whatever mantra you choose – just keep pushing through. Eventually, what you once considered “pretending” will become second nature to you. Nothing happens in an instant, so it may take some time, but it’ll happen before you know it.

Walk into your next meeting, exam, first date with your head high, even if you feel nervous or shaky as hell. Soon you won’t.

Track Successes, Not Failures

Keep track of your success, not your failures. By no means am I saying completely disregard the important lessons that can be learned from your shortcomings, but don’t let them hold you back. Nothing good comes out of dwelling on your mistakes. Your success is ultimately what will keep you going, so why ignore them? Give yourself some credit where it’s due.

Featured image by Amelia Kramer


Self-proclaimed polymath. Debbie is a writer, fashionista, style blogger, graphic designer, stylist, aspiring polyglot and then some. You can find her working on her blog, sipping on some green tea, self-studying Japanese and Korean or spending way too much time on the internet.

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