Have you ever felt that you didn’t deserve a promotion at work? Or you may have felt that you were not good enough to perform at the highest level in a particular sport.

Well, guess what? You may be experiencing imposter syndrome. The Cambridge Dictionary defines imposter syndrome as “the feeling that your achievements are not genuine or that you do not deserve praise or success”. 


Based on the definition, and a little self introspection we may realize that we all have felt imposter syndrome at some point in our lives.  


Here are 5 (five) things people don’t tell you about imposter syndrome.


  1. Many people suffer from it.

It is not as uncommon as some may think. A vast number of people experience it. A Twitter poll conducted by a university professor from Brigham Young University showed that 87% of persons suffer from imposter syndrome. One of the most at-risk groups includes women in graduate programmes. Women in academia may feel the pressure of being the “only female” in a typically more male-dominated field such as engineering, science, or architecture.


  1. You may feel the need to perfect 

Perfectionism and imposter syndrome have a love relationship. These persons set high expectations for themselves and  if they fail to reach their goal, they doubt themselves  because they don’t meet their expectations and are not worried about measuring up to other individuals. 


  1. Individualistic people are not immuned. 

These people may feel like they have to do everything themselves, and if they ask for assistance, it shows that they feel incompetent. 

They may feel that they need more time to prepare and prefer to do tasks by themselves even if they are burnt out.


  1. May lead to overachieving  

Many overachievers can be said to be victims of imposter syndrome without even realizing it. In order to compensate for the constant feeling of never being good enough, they overindulge in academics or anything they believe would bring them status. They set the bar for themselves unbelievably high. They want to get the task done right the first time. They are the ones who always excel and never seem to fail. Despite the shiny exterior, there is a constant internal battle for self approval.  If they fail to meet this expectation, they can become depressed.


  1. Associate success with outside factors 

Persons who suffer from imposter syndrome will feel that their success is by chance or it was a mere fluke. They believe that based on their abilities, they would not be worthy to attain success in whatever endeavour that they pursue.


Yes, imposter syndrome is real and more common than you think. Most people experience moments of doubt, and that’s normal. The important part is not to let that doubt control your actions. If you would like to learn more information on how you can detect and overcome imposter syndrome, get in the room by registering for the Ignite Her Conference at the arethaguste.org/ignite-her-conference-2022.