The Imposter Syndrome and How to Handle It

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Am I good enough? What if I put myself out there and people laugh at me? 

At one time or the other, we all experience feelings of self-doubt. Psychologists call it the imposter syndrome. According to the International Journal of Behavioural Science, 7 out of every 10 persons will experience these feelings at some point in their lives. That’s huge!

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is a persistent feeling of self-doubt and personal incompetence despite skill, education, experience, and accomplishments. Often, these feelings are in stark contrast to how others perceive you. 

When you succeed and get congratulated, you attribute it to luck. When you fail, you accept it as proof of your incompetence and lack of ability. Unfortunately, this feeling is not limited to anyone. What differs is how we address the feeling.

No matter how big your goals and plans are, if you allow imposter feelings, you’ll rarely step out to act. When you do, you’ll likely fail because you expect it. And even if you succeed, you’ll not derive as much joy and satisfaction as someone else will. 

How do you Overcome the Self-Doubt?


Whether you’re a student, entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business owner, the imposter’s syndrome is something you must handle. Here’s how;

#1 Acknowledge your feelings

When you share imposter feelings, they begin to feel less overwhelming. Talk to someone about it. You’ll likely find someone suffering from the same feelings in the process. Also, this will help you gain a better perspective of yourself.

#2 Avoid Comparison

Unfortunately, many people live off comparing themselves with others. Especially newbies. Life is in phases, and men are in stages. Avoid the unhealthy comparison of pitting yourself against others, especially when your journeys are not the same.

#3 Focus on improvement

Hold your feelings with a pinch of salt. But don’t stop there. Start your journey of self-improvement. Give yourself an objective reason to discard your subjective feelings. Strategize your learning curve. Sign up for training, workshops and short courses (I have one on freelancing coming up soon) and get out of that zone of self-doubt.

#4 Positive affirmations

Counter the negative feelings with positive affirmations. A positive attitude can prevent the fear and anxiety associated with imposter syndrome. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to develop an objective way to track your achievements. Set milestones and note when you achieve them, however small.

Bottom Line

Imposter’s syndrome will keep you from ever taking action. Don’t let it. You lose 100% of the chances you never take. Instead, assess yourself objectively, commit to continuous learning, join a community of like-minded and don’t let anything stop you. 

What would you be doing if you had no doubts about your skill? It’s time to get started.

Related reading: You’re Not a Fraud

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