Imposter syndrome. The silent way it slow your career down.



There is this viral post going around linked in that says, "Don’t self-eliminate. I talk to too many people who say they didn’t apply because they didn’t perfectly match all of the requirements. Job postings are wish lists, not requirements. Apply."

If you are living your career or day at work before it happens (meaning your mind lives your day before you actually do). Stop it! Stop thinking if they only found out that I am not …

This is called Imposter Syndrome, and 70% of people have felt it at one time or another. "The phenomenon is characterized by the feeling that our successes can be attributed to mere luck, rather than our own skills or qualifications."- Forbes 2019, “Imposter Syndrome Why Its Harder Today Than Ever”

It affects your career progression, finances, and your mental well-being. It’s also a hindrance to diversity.


What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is the inability to believe that our success stems from our hard work and commitment and not because of sheer luck. People suffering from imposter syndrome will have feelings of inadequacy about their abilities and achievements—no matter how accomplished or respected they are in their field of work.

The fact is that Imposter Syndrome is not only a hindrance to success, it is also a hindrance to diversity since it is felt especially strongly by women and women of color.

"It is more pronounced in women because of several factors like personal and familial experiences, stereotypes, and even labels like “the first” to have achieved something, which can trigger imposter syndrome.

First identified in 1978, imposter syndrome can get in the way of one’s career progression, especially for women, who already have the proverbial glass ceiling to shatter. Imagine if they also have to counter self-doubts, not based on anything substantial! When you look at one of the biggest reasons for a gender pay gap, it is because even senior women are afraid of asking for a pay raise. When women are affected by imposter syndrome, they start playing small, stop taking risks, and are not assertive about what they want."

How many people suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

According to this study, up to 82% of people face feelings of impostor phenomenon, struggling with the sense they haven’t earned what they’ve achieved and are a fraud. These feelings can contribute to increased anxiety and depression, less risk-taking in careers, and career burnout.


There was a small study done recently by a university with student participants. They asked students to complete an "intelligence test" and gave praise to students who performed well on the test.

All along, they were measuring if imposter syndrome had anything to do with success.

Results showed that imposter syndrome was unrelated to performance on these tasks, but people with higher rates of imposter syndrome did not attribute their perceived success to their own abilities but rather attributed it to luck and chance.


So what can you do to overcome imposter syndrome if you are telling yourself you are not good enough?

  1. Learn the facts.

  2. Share your feelings.

  3. Celebrate your successes.

  4. Let go of perfectionism.

  5. Cultivate self-compassion.

  6. Share your failures.

  7. Accept it.