Imposter Syndrome: Overcoming Self-Doubt and Owning Your Success


Have you ever felt like a fraud despite your achievements, accomplishments, and qualifications? Have you ever felt that you don’t deserve your success and that someone else could do your job better than you? If yes, then you might be experiencing imposter syndrome. I know that feeling. Every time I’ve taken the stage to speak in front of a group whether it was my TEDx talk or giving the Commencement Address for dental students in the Class of 2023, I have had a moment of self-doubt fueled by adrenaline.


Imposter syndrome refers to a psychological phenomenon in which individuals doubt their abilities and accomplishments and fear being exposed as fraud or imposter. It is a pervasive feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt despite evidence to the contrary. It’s similar to having a poor body image, feeling you are not attractive, or becoming preoccupied with your size and weight despite being healthy.


Imposter syndrome affects people from all walks of life, regardless of their background, gender, or level of success. Even highly accomplished individuals such as Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, and Sheryl Sandberg have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.



The causes of imposter syndrome are complex and multifaceted. Some of the common causes include:


Perfectionism: Individuals with imposter syndrome often set unrealistically high standards for themselves and feel like they need to be perfect in everything they do. High achievers often do the same thing with projects causing unnecessary anxiety.


Comparison: People with imposter syndrome tend to compare themselves to others and feel like they don’t measure up. This may be a behavior learned from family members or spending an unhealthy amount of time following filtered and photoshopped “influencers.”


Childhood experiences: Childhood experiences such as over-praising or under-praising can contribute to imposter syndrome.


Cultural and societal expectations: Societal and cultural expectations regarding success and achievement can also contribute to imposter syndrome.


Fear of failure: Fear of failure can make individuals doubt their abilities and accomplishments, even when they are successful.


Overcoming imposter syndrome is not easy, but it is possible. Here are some tips that can help you overcome imposter syndrome:


Recognize your achievements: Instead of focusing on your shortcomings and failures, focus on your achievements and successes. Celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself credit where it’s due.


Change your mindset: Instead of thinking of yourself as a fraud or imposter, think of yourself as a learner. Embrace the learning process and see every challenge as an opportunity to grow.


Seek support: Talk to someone you trust about your feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. A supportive friend or colleague can help you gain perspective and provide encouragement.


Be kind to yourself: Practice self-compassion and treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay to fail sometimes.


Embrace vulnerability: Accept that you are not perfect and that it’s okay to ask for help or admit when you don’t know something. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.


In conclusion, imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon that affects many people. It is characterized by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy despite evidence to the contrary. Overcoming imposter syndrome requires self-awareness, a growth mindset, and support from others. By recognizing your achievements, changing your mindset, seeking support, being kind to yourself, and embracing vulnerability, you can overcome imposter syndrome and own your success.

Recent PostS

Subscribe to My Newsletter

Join our mailing list

Get freebies, career advice, life hacks, and mOetivation without any spam!
We protect your privacy