How to Deal with Impostor Syndrome

Have you ever heard someone talking down on their abilities? Or, maybe you’ve even felt like you didn’t achieve a particular feat when you actually did.

Can you relate?

You may not even be able to count the number of times you may have felt like you weren’t good enough for a role or you’re not as skilled as people think.

Many people have felt unworthy, incompetent or inadequate at one point or another even when their achievements came as result of their knowledge, hard work, and preparation. Irrespective of the fact that they’re skilled and successful, they feel like they’re not good enough to produce great results.

So, when they get things done and are applauded, instead of also celebrating their accomplishments, they feel like they’ve tricked people into believing that they’re adequate enough. This makes them live in fear of being exposed someday.

Does this look familiar?

This is exactly what impostor syndrome does. It makes one believe that they are not as competent as people think they are—as if they are a fraud.

Now, if you find yourself struggling with this syndrome, I’ve got good news for you. You’re about to discover how to deal with it and better your life.
In this article, you will find out what impostor syndrome is, types, and how to deal with it.



Impostor Syndrome and Why People Experience it

The Merriam Webster dictionary says it’s “a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.” It makes you feel like you don’t deserve your success or you didn’t achieve it with your effort or skill when you actually did.

Say you’ve been nominated for an award, but you feel like you’re not worthy of the nomination because your achievements are good enough to warrant it.

Impostor Syndrome is said to be influenced by certain factors early in life, particularly the development of certain beliefs and attitude towards success and one’s self-worth.

Types of Imposter Syndrome

According to Arlin Cuncic, Impostor syndrome can be broken down into five basic types: the perfectionist, the expert, the natural genius, the soloist and the supperperson.

The Perfectionist. You feel like an impostor because your perfectionistic traits make you believe that you’re not as good as others might think you are.

The Expert. The expert feels like there’s so much to a particular subject or something that they can’t learn enough to be an expert. So, there’s almost more to know, as such, they can’t be seen as experts.

The Natural Genius. This type of impostor syndrome makes you feel like a fraud because you don’t think that you are naturally intelligent or competent. So, if you fail at the first attempt, it can take you longer to master something because you feel like an imposter.
The Soloist. This happens if you got to a certain level with the help of another person. Since you couldn’t get there on your own, you question your competence or abilities.

The Superperson. This is when you feel like you must be the hardest worker or reach the highest levels of achievement possible and, if you don’t, you are a fraud.

How to Deal With Impostor Syndrome

Spot the Signs
When you know what to look out for, you can easily spot and deal with them. Most of the time, these feelings are unconscious. Other times, you can be aware of them. Either way, recognizing and acknowledging what you feel can be a great first step towards overcoming the impostor syndrome.
Some of the signs to look out for are:

— Feeling like you ” lucked out” when it’s actually your effort.
— Not being able to celebrate your wins.
— Shying away from praise
— Thinking that “failure is not an option.”
— Saying “I had a lot of help,” etc.

Track and Celebratee Your Successes

When you are intentional about celebrating your wins—big or small, you’ll always look forward to achieving more success and not feel threatened by it.

You can track your achievements in a document, an email, etc., and give yourself a treat whenever you accomplish something. From smashing your little goals to getting great results at work, you can celebrate them and motivate yourself to keep winning

Change Your Thoughts Pattern

What you think can contribute to the self-doubt that fuels Impostor Syndrome or build up your confidence. So, replace things like:
— “I’m not not enough,” with “I’m the best.”
— “I got it right because I got help” with “I am smart that’s why I got it right, etc.”

Talk to a Therapist

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Sharing your thoughts and experiences with a therapist can make you better equipped to deal with your impostor syndrome. They can guide you through the process of finding a solution, and help you get better.


Impostor syndrome is life-sapping; it can result in depression. When next you hear that negative voice in your head, pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and say, “no, you can’t have me this time,” and keep staying motivated to achieve great success.

Did you learn something new?

Let me know in the comment section.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Tee

    Hmmm… so a person can have this syndrome without even knowing.
    ‘Cause I think I’ve been having the soloist type 😶
    Well, I’ve learnt something new. Thank you.

    1. Comfort Victor-Anaele

      I’m glad you learnt something.

  2. Haystar

    This came right on time, thanks for sharing…

    1. Comfort Victor-Anaele

      You’re welcome.

  3. Toluwani Olaogun

    Thanks for this, Ma.

  4. Nengz

    This is really educational, I love it!

    1. Comfort Victor-Anaele

      I’m glad you love it.

  5. G

    This is absolutely an amazing piece, personally however I perceive some of the points of dealing with it as “pride”. I’d rather credit someone the praise.

  6. Mary Mbang

    I can totally relate.
    I struggled with being a perfectionist.

    Thanks for this ma’am, I learnt something

    1. Comfort Victor-Anaele

      Thank you for reading through. I’m glad it helped.

  7. Oyinkuro

    I don’t remember taking the time inquire the meaning of imposter syndrome, but I really appreciate the clarity this work brings on the subject

    I like how that the work passes its message in a way that I can relate to

    I enjoyed reading it more than once and I learnt.

    The goodnews is that it can be dealt with

    1. Comfort Victor-Anaele

      Thank you so much for the review.

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