No doubt you've heard the term ‘Imposter Syndrome' but what is it, how can it impact you and most importantly how can you deal with it most effectively?


Imposter syndrome occurs when you experience self-doubt and start to question your level of competence or ability to succeed or complete a task. It brings about feelings of inadequacy, incompetence or even feeling like a fraud. That ‘not good enough' voice that persists and holds you back, leading you to question yourself and your ability. First of all, we all experience imposter syndrome from time to time. Self-doubt is normal and can happen to anyone regardless of their experience, skill and accomplishments. The key is how it impacts you and whether you are able to move past those feelings it triggers.


People who suffer from anxiety or depression may experience imposter syndrome more frequently, as well as those who have perfectionist tendencies. It can manifest itself in negative self-talk or you could feel restless or nervous. Do you have a tendency to over analyse particularly when you feel you have made a mistake or noticed a flaw? Do you worry you will be exposed as a fraud because you feel incompetent? Are you prone to self-sabotage, berating yourself if you don't perform as well as you think you should? If you answered yes to any of these then this could indicate you are struggling with imposter syndrome.


So let's look at what can help you. It can feel like a vicious cycle of self-doubt leading to anxiety and possibly depression but you can break that cycle. There is a tendency to internalise and suffer in silence so talking about what's happening for you can really help. Tell someone how you are feeling, you could well find they have experienced something similar and you are not alone. Question your thoughts, are they rational? Do they make sense knowing the reality of your achievements and what you are capable of? Acknowledge your feelings and allow them, fighting or ignoring your feelings does not make them go away. Be gentle with yourself, could you imagine saying to a friend the words you are saying to yourself? 


If this is something you struggle with, counselling can help, feel free to get in touch if you want to know more.