4 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Are you feeling like a fake? Perhaps you believe you don’t deserve what you’ve achieved? ‘Imposter’ syndrome is a common phenomenon and can be a huge problem for grads just starting out in their careers. Research suggests that 70% of people have suffered from it at some point in their life.

Symptoms may include feeling huge amounts of self-doubt, insecurities in the workplace and believing you simply aren’t good enough to achieve your potential. There are a number of ways to get to grips with your fears of success once and for all, so we have put together a few top tips together to keep in mind.


Understand the signs

In order to battle the negative feelings, you need to recognise that you’re falling victim to your own thoughts. If you find it hard to accept praise, try and allow a compliment to sink in and feel good about it.

If you feel as though you’re pushing yourself too hard to achieve, aim to be more realistic in your goals. If you feel as though you simply ‘got lucky’ despite your hard-earned efforts, remember the journey you went on to reach your goal. Try and work out where the thoughts are stemming from before aiming to tackle them.

You can always have a chat with your manager or mentor about the way you’re feeling. Sharing your concerns can help clarify fears in your own head, while making others aware of your anxieties. They may be able to give you an objective point of view, as well as giving you the tools to try and overcome a negative mindset.


Let go of your inner perfectionist

Most of the negative feelings connected to feeling like a ‘fraud’ of your own success is due to pushing yourself to achieve perfection – which is, of course, unrealistic in most cases. Pushing yourself to achieve the unachievable is bound to hold you back, so you need to be asking yourself: ‘What do I have to do to be good enough?’ If it’s a little too far-fetched, you know you’re asking too much of yourself.

Instead of negative self-talk, change your thought process to a more positive outlook. Try to feel less pressure to achieve and allow your achievements to come naturally.


Write a journal of your successes and failures

In order to process your day-to-day activities, why not keep a journal? Doing so will allow you to look back on your successes and failures. Use specific facts and logistical information to make sense of your fears.

Once you’ve changed your thought processes, you should start to see that your perceived ‘failures’ were just natural reactions to sudden moments of stress you encountered; don’t beat yourself up. While it’s okay to seek approval from others, you need to come to terms with being happy with yourself.


Push yourself by saying: ‘Yes!’

When suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s often common to turn down great opportunities. While you really want to take on the new challenge, a voice in your head may be telling you that you can’t do it and you have too much to do to commit to new roles. Remember: this is your inner imposter holding you back! Instead of thinking of the negatives, push yourself to say ‘yes!’

Your mind is the only thing that’s stopping you from taking on these amazing new challenges. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will open lots of new doors for you. Who knows what may be around the corner?


Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.