The Imposter Syndrome

Recently I got an assignment back from university. I’d done well, really well. So well in fact that I thought that they’d probably messed up and given the wrong paper back to me. When I realised that actually this was my paper, I didn’t feel confident and happy like I should have done. I just thought it was a fluke.

For as long as I can remember this has been my go-to feeling when I succeed. And I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

This kind of thinking leads to Imposter Syndrome – the feeling of self doubt that makes you question whether any of your successes are down to your abilities. And the biggest fear behind all this? That you’re going to be found out as a fraud.

It’s hard to get yourself into a mindset where you can believe that you’re not an imposter and that your successes come from you, not from luck. But, here are some tips to help you beat that dreaded feeling of Imposter Syndrome.

Stop Comparing Yourself

Comparison is deadly. Stop comparing yourself to others, especially those who have been have been studying your field or practicing your hobby for longer. Saying that you’ll never be as good as someone who’s played guitar for 10 years when you’ve only just started isn’t helpful and it’ll stop you from reaching your goals because you’ll never feel good enough.


When you do well in something, take a moment to reflect and think about the factors which contributed to your success. Did you put lots of hours in? Are you just naturally good at this activity? Whatever the reason, it’s more than likely something YOU did contributed to this success. It wasn’t luck, you just deserved it!

Quit perfectionism

Imposter Syndrome often comes from a place of perfectionism. Perfectionists strive to be the best, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it really makes it difficult when you struggle with a task. Don’t let your perfectionism get the better of you. It’s totally okay to fail and in the long term it’ll help you beat those imposter feelings.  

Accept that praise

One of my biggest flaws is not knowing how to respond to praise. If someone says I look nice then it’s likely I’ll make a self-deprecating comment. If someone says I worked hard, I’ll say “Oh I didn’t do that much really.” Instead of these comments, switch them to saying ‘Thank you’ or ‘Yes, I put a lot of work into that.” You’re only doing yourself a disservice by not accepting other people’s praise.

Realize that everyone experiences self doubt

Finally, feeling like an imposter is really common. You’re not alone in feeling like this so talk to a friend about it. Chances are, they’ve felt the same way at some point in their life and you’ll be able to share your experiences and let each other know just how great the other person is.

Rachel is one of the content writers and Mental Health & Lifestyle Editor for Tribe Twenty One. She is a mental health nursing student and German & Dutch graduate from England. When she’s not watching Netflix, studying or blogging, she’s at the gym preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Rachel lives for inspirational quotes.  

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