10 Practical Tips to Help When You Feel Like a Fraud/an Imposter

By Tatenda


Last Updated: February 27, 2023

How many times have you looked at your achievements and thought that there is a possibility that you do not necessarily deserve them?

Have you ever thought that you are where you are because of pure luck?

Or maybe a series of glitches in the matrix?

Well, you’re not alone. That feeling is called imposter syndrome.

There are five common types, and it is everywhere. A lot of people feel like they are faking it, but that is not always the case. Sometimes we fail to realize that we actually deserve the good things and success that come our way - and that hinders us from achieving more. 



10 Ways to Deal With Imposter Syndrome

Recognize that imposter syndrome is normal.

First and foremost, it's necessary to realize that imposter syndrome is a common experience. Many people feel this way at some point in their lives, including highly successful individuals.


Focus on the facts.

Imposter syndrome is usually a result of the stories we come up with and foster.

Rather than focusing on these and other things we tell ourselves, focus on the facts. Rather than thinking that you got the promotion because of pure luck, look at the fact that you did put in the work, which was recognized and granted you the promotion. 


Identify and challenge negative self-talk.

Pay attention to your inner dialogue and identify negative self-talk.

When you catch yourself thinking negatively, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself if they are based on reality or if they are simply assumptions or perceptions.


Set reasonable expectations.

When you have a big goal in front of you, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and convince yourself that you will not be able to get it done as it is too big.

Instead, break down the goal into smaller and easier-to-achieve goals. These will be less overwhelming. Plus, knowing that you can achieve them will also boost your confidence.


Reframe your thinking.

Instead of focusing on your weaknesses and perceived shortcomings, shift your focus to your strengths and accomplishments.

Take stock of your achievements and recognize your value and contributions.


Share your feelings.

Talk to someone you trust, such as a mentor, coach, or therapist, about your feelings about imposter syndrome.

Sometimes, just talking about your experience can help you gain a new perspective and feel less alone.


Take action.

Instead of dwelling on your self-doubt, take action and focus on the task at hand.

Remember to break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps, and take action toward achieving them.


Look for evidence.

Imposter syndrome can leave you feeling like there is nothing you can achieve.

It can turn off your spark and make you unproductive. When you feel that way, look back for evidence. Think of the times you made a difference and succeeded. Remind yourself that if you were able to do those things in the past, you can do them again now. 


Practice self-care.

Take care of your physical and emotional well-being by engaging in activities that you enjoy, such as:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • spending time with loved ones

Make time for yourself, and prioritize self-care.


Be kind to yourself.

Sometimes imposter syndrome kicks in when we make a mistake or fail to achieve something we thought we could do effortlessly.

We start to feel like everything we know is a lie and we probably shouldn’t be where we are. 

When this happens, it is necessary to be kind to ourselves and remember that we aren’t machines. Mistakes happen, and we do not always get everything right. That does not mean we have achieved everything we have by coincidence. 



You Don't Have to Feel Like an Imposter

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling of self-doubt, inadequacy, and a persistent fear of being exposed as fraud despite evidence of success and competence. It can be challenging to deal with, but these are some strategies you can use to manage it. 

Remember that overcoming imposter syndrome is a process, and it takes time and effort to manage these feelings. By implementing these strategies, you can learn to:

  • recognize and challenge negative self-talk
  • focus on your strengths
  • build confidence in yourself and your abilities

Remember, to look back and give yourself credit for all the hard work you put in.



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