How to Overcome ‘Impostor Syndrome’

imposter syndrome

Have you ever felt like a fraud, like you’re not really qualified or capable of the success you’ve achieved? Have you ever felt the fear of being discovered as an imposter? If so, you’re not alone. This feeling is called imposter syndrome, and it affects many people, regardless of their level of achievement or success. In this blog, we will provide practical strategies for coping with imposter syndrome. We will discuss how to reframe negative thoughts, set realistic goals and celebrate accomplishments, and practice self-compassion.

Reframe Negative Thoughts and Challenge Negative Beliefs

One of the most effective ways to cope with imposter syndrome is to reframe negative thoughts and challenge negative beliefs. Negative thoughts and self-talk, such as “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll be found out,” or “I don’t deserve my success,” can be major contributors to imposter syndrome. By identifying and reframing these negative thoughts, you can start to break down the walls of self-doubt that are holding you back.

One way to do this is to write down the negative thoughts when they occur, and then reframe them in a more positive way. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I’m not good enough,” try reframing it as “I am capable and competent, and I have worked hard to achieve my success.” This simple shift in perspective can help to reduce feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Another effective way to reframe negative thoughts is to challenge the evidence for and against them. Ask yourself what evidence supports your negative thoughts and what evidence contradicts them. When you see that the evidence for your negative thoughts is weak or non-existent, it will be easier to let them go. Challenging negative beliefs is also important, it helps to question the underlying assumptions that lead to negative thoughts. For example, if the belief behind the negative thought is “I am not good enough” you can challenge it by asking yourself if there is any evidence that supports that belief.

It’s important to note that reframing negative thoughts and challenging negative beliefs takes practice, but it can be an effective way to reduce the intensity of imposter syndrome. It’s also a lifelong journey, it’s important to keep challenging negative thoughts and beliefs in order to maintain a positive mindset.

Setting Realistic Goals and Celebrating Accomplishments

Another important strategy for coping with imposter syndrome is to set realistic goals and celebrate your accomplishments. When we set unrealistic or unattainable goals for ourselves, it can be easy to feel like a failure or an imposter when we don’t achieve them. On the other hand, setting realistic goals that are in line with our abilities and resources, can help to reduce feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

When you set a goal, be realistic about what you can achieve and give yourself a deadline. Take small steps and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. It can be easy to dismiss small achievements, but taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate them can help to boost your confidence and remind you of your capabilities.

It’s also important to celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small. Recognize your own abilities and the hard work you’ve put in to achieve success. This can help to counteract feelings of imposter syndrome and self-doubt. You can make a list of your accomplishments, or you can simply take a moment to reflect on what you’ve achieved. You can also share your achievements with others, whether it’s through a simple conversation or by posting on social media.

It’s important to remember that setting realistic goals and celebrating your accomplishments are not one-time events, it’s a continuous process. By making it a habit, it can help you to maintain a positive mindset. It will also help to develop a sense of self-awareness, which can be empowering, and a powerful tool to recognize your own achievements and capabilities.

Practicing Self-compassion

Practicing self-compassion is another key strategy for coping with imposter syndrome. Self-compassion means being kind to ourselves when we fail or make mistakes, rather than being overly self-critical. It also means treating ourselves with the same compassion we would offer a friend or loved one.

One way to start practicing self-compassion is to challenge negative self-talk. When you catch yourself being overly critical or judgmental towards yourself, try to reframe your thoughts in a more compassionate way. For example, instead of saying “I’m stupid, I can’t believe I made that mistake,” try reframing your thoughts by saying “I made a mistake, that doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me human. I will learn from this experience and do better next time.”

Another way to practice self-compassion is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of being present and non-judgmental in the moment. When you’re feeling self-doubt or inadequacy, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re okay in this moment. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of imposter syndrome.

Practicing self-compassion takes time and effort, but it can be a powerful tool in overcoming imposter syndrome. It can help to reduce feelings of self-doubt, self-criticism, and anxiety. It can also help to foster feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and overall well-being. Regular practice of self-compassion can help to change our perspective of ourselves, which can be empowering and help to cultivate a more positive and resilient mindset.


In conclusion, imposter syndrome is a common experience that can be challenging to overcome but with the right mindset and strategies, it is possible to reduce its effects. The strategies discussed in this blog post such as reframing negative thoughts, setting realistic goals and practicing self-compassion can help to reduce feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy and move forward with confidence in your abilities and accomplishments. Remember that imposter syndrome is a normal experience, it does not define you and can be an opportunity for growth.

If you are struggling with imposter syndrome, we can provide support in overcoming it. Our career consultation includes a clear career strategy that will assist in eliminating any sensations of feeling like a fraud at work.