Imposter Syndrome: Maybe fake it until you make it?

By Alice Johnsen

Here’s an issue you will probably have heard talked about but do you know how to deal with it for yourself? Read on to see how you can make yourself feel better about Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is the persistent inability to believe you’ve really earned your success or place. The feeling that you shouldn’t be there or you’re about to get found out as a bit of a fraud. One theory says Imposter Syndrome starts when we are children, constantly looking to the grown ups in our lives deciding things, doing things, organising things while we just play. I’m not sure how much I go along with that but then, I’m no scientific guru.

Another theory, which I really buy into, is the way we know ourselves inside and out. You know you to a deeper and more thorough level than anyone else, even your best friend. You know all your doubts and anxieties. Others only see the parts you allow them to see.

What can we do about Imposter Syndrome?

Here’s something to tell yourself when you are next feeling this. Every one of us has common characteristics. We all operate and react in similar ways. When you feel you don’t belong, consider for a moment that at the start of that day, everyone you are now with went through a similar routine. Maybe they had a shower, had sex, lost their car keys, tripped over the dog and burnt the toast. No matter how seemingly successful others are, at the end of the day we are all just another human being.

Keep reminding yourself of this important fact and move through those feelings of not belonging slowly. Step by step push yourself to be a bit braver and more accepting of yourself and always remember, while you can see all of you, everyone else is limited to the bits you allow them to see. They see your finished product but only you see the messy, self-doubting journey. Remember, every one of us is full of doubts, so to feel such anxieties is not weak or wrong. It is absolutely normal. Perhaps, at times, it is necessary to enable us to give that bit extra, to succeed in a challenging situation.

Perhaps, also, it’s sometimes a case of ‘fake it ’til you make it’. Convince yourself and others will follow.
n Alice Johnsen is a life coach. Phone: 07961 080513; visit

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