Imposter Syndrome and How to Stop Them

What is Imposter Syndrome? Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that expresses people's doubts about their own achievements. 5 Different Examples of Imposter Syndrome. How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome and How to Stop Them

A situation in which the person cannot accept his / her own achievements and is afraid that it will be revealed that he is constantly committing "fraud" ...

This phenomenon, introduced in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, basically points to the following: Even if there is concrete evidence that a person is successful, he or she does not feel that he deserves success.

The person attributes his success to factors other than himself: In other words, he cannot appreciate his own efforts and success by putting forward factors such as timing, luck, and money. The person who thinks other people are smarter and more successful than him, in a sense, rejects himself.

In this article, we will give information about Imposter Syndrome, especially for entrepreneurs, and explain ways to get rid of the negative effects of this situation.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

"I am a crook and this situation will be noticed one day ..."

This sentence will suffice to explain the Imposter syndrome. If you are really fraudulent, this may be the case for you if you are really an agency working for a secret agency.

But if you are a person who tries to do something on their own and has a certain passion and purpose, Imposter syndrome can affect you too. In other words, even though you are not a dishonest, you may feel like you are doing something fake and you may feel guilty.

We can also point out that there are many famous people who experience this syndrome. Let's explain by giving an example:

Kate Winslett: “Some mornings as we wake up and get ready for the shoot‘ I guess I can't. "I'm a crook."

Maya Angelou: “I've written 11 books. While writing each of these books, I always thought, "This time my fool will come out."

Even Seth Godin, in his book "The Icarus Delusion," expresses that although he has written many successful books, he sometimes feels like he is fraudulent.

Of course, this weird digital age we live in is an important factor. Trying to be both authentic and marketing yourself; Contradictory spiritual conditioning, both trying to be perfect and fear of failure, has its share.

Many people whose achievements we look at with envy have such a deep-seated fear. They think that their success is by chance, they think they have no say in their success. They see themselves as inadequate, mediocre people.

Imposter syndrome can manifest in different ways depending on a person's background, personality, and environment. So if you too are worried that the people around you will one day "reveal your footage", you are likely to suffer from this syndrome.

Psychologist Dr. Valerie Young basically divides people with this syndrome into 5 different categories.

5 Different Examples of Imposter Syndrome

Let's look at the 5 different personality types that can have Imposter Syndrome:
a. Perfectionist

Perfectionism and the imposter syndrome are two very closely related concepts.

Perfectionists set extremely high goals for themselves. When they fail to achieve these goals, they become suspicious and think they are incompetent. It is also worth noting that these people are "control freaks". If something is to be done, these people feel obliged to be involved in the event themselves.

If this sounds familiar to you, this is what we said; Ask yourself the following questions:

Have you ever been accused of being a micro manager?
Do you have difficulty in distributing tasks within the company? When you assign tasks to your employees, do you always keep your mind on these people?
When you get an unsuccessful result, do you ever blame yourself for "I'm not suitable for this job"?
Do you think things should always be 100% flawless?

For perfectionists, success rarely creates satisfaction. Because a perfectionist person always thinks that better can be done and does not know how to enjoy his current success. Such a mindset is neither productive nor healthy. Owning and celebrating one's own success is very important in terms of job satisfaction and self-confidence.

In this context, there is little use in being afraid of making mistakes. However, it is necessary to learn from the mistakes made and accept that they are natural things that develop throughout the process.

In addition to this, it is necessary to understand that constantly thinking to start a project does not benefit, rather than benefit. If you realize that there is no such thing as "the best time", that the best time is right now, and if you realize that nothing is 100% perfect, you will avoid blaming yourself and suffering torment.

b. Super Woman / Super Man

People with Imposter syndrome feel “inadequate” around successful colleagues. Therefore, they work harder and try to keep up with these people. However, hiding their insecurity and overworking (tiring) can harm both human relationships and mental health.

Do you stay overtime even after your work is done in the office?
Do you see holidays as a "waste of time"?
Have you given up your hobbies and passions for the sake of working?
Despite your many successes, do you think you don't deserve your position?
Do you think you have to work harder to prove yourself?
Your answer to these questions is "yes", you may also have imposter syndrome.

Many workaholics think that the only way to gain acceptance is to work. What matters is not work but the act of work.

When you don't try to be a super woman, a super man to prove yourself, and create your inner acceptance mechanism, your self-esteem improves and you don't wear yourself unfairly. You begin to see your abilities and competence objectively.

c. Genius

People who see themselves as geniuses and try to prove their genius want to complete their work with great speed and ease. If they take a long time to complete a project, they start to doubt themselves.

A person with this type of imposter syndrome sets a very high goal for himself. Unlike perfectionists, they focus not on the result, but on being successful on the first try. In other words, the alarm starts to sound when they cannot finish, understand or do something at once.

Are you trying to excel without much effort?
Do you expect superior performance from yourself in everything you do?
When you were a child, were you called a "genius" in the family?
Does the idea of ​​getting advice from someone seem foreign to you? Do you think there is no need to seek advice from anyone, you can handle everything alone?
Does your self-esteem be shaken when you encounter a big obstacle while working?
Are you avoiding trying something on a topic you are not successful in?
If so, you too may have imposter syndrome.

In order to bypass this situation, consider yourself in a development process. Achieving great success is possible through lifelong learning, developing skills. Instead of setting yourself meaninglessly high goals and devouring yourself when you fail, focus on your specific traits that you can develop over time.

For example, if you distrust your public speaking skills and avoid such conversations constantly; change your point of view. Try to improve your skills in public speaking.

In other words, do not completely throw away what you are not successful in, adopt a development-oriented constructive perspective.

D. Soloist (One Fitted)

People who think that they will be seen as "incompetent, incompetent" when they ask people for help and therefore cannot ask anyone for help are called "soloists".
Yes, independence is a good thing. Self-sufficiency is a good thing. However, it is unhealthy to refrain from asking for help in necessary situations and to refuse a helping hand.

Do you think you can do everything alone?
"Let them not shade, I do not want any other bestowal." Do you use your word often?
So if you think that when you ask for help, you will be thought to be a self-sufficient person in that job, you are unnecessarily "alone".

However, your life will be easier and more enjoyable when you act by knowing the benefits and conveniences of solidarity and collaboration; You will see that you will get rid of unnecessary burden on your back.

e- Expert Personality

The competence of experts is measured by what they know and to what extent. A person who thinks he can never know enough is terribly afraid that his environment will say "he doesn't know much" about himself.

When applying for job postings, do you only apply when you meet all the conditions?
Are you constantly pursuing a course, a certificate?
When someone appreciates your knowledge, do you deny it and say you don't know anything?
Yes, there is no end to knowing and learning. You can be sure that there are many theories of physics that even Albert Einstein did not know.

So having a solid foundation on a subject is often enough for you to be successful. However, it is necessary to understand that it is not possible to know everything about X from A to Z in an average human life.

In other words, trying to learn more instead of putting current knowledge into practice is a kind of procrastination. Instead, it is necessary to focus on lifelong learning and to spread the learning over time.

In this context, when an unfamiliar concept, event, or phenomenon is presented, it is necessary to see this experience as an occasion instead of eating yourself, saying “I don't know how to do this”.

How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is something that everyone can experience from time to time, but should not be constantly addressed in daily life.

In other words, getting rid of the negative effects of this syndrome, negative thinking; There are some things that can be done to gain confidence and not be less self-doubtful.

Let's now look at how to get rid of the negative features of the imposter syndrome.

a. Accept the Syndrome

If you are not aware that something exists, you cannot change it. In this context, if you are experiencing one of the situations we discussed in our article, you should understand that the imposter syndrome is in question.

Take note of situations where you feel inadequate, for example.

Such an exercise allows you to better analyze the process by writing your feelings.

In addition, if you see the situations you live in a concrete way on paper, you can look around you in a more constructive and objective way. This will help you understand that your feeling of inadequacy is not as dire as you might think.

b. Consider Your Achievements

Write down your life achievements and good things on a piece of paper.

From how you acquired your current skills, to the projects you have completed; Note these down to all the compliments you receive from the work you contribute to.

In this way, when you are burdened with yourself unfairly, these successes come to mind and you realize that you are actually wronging yourself.

c. Talk to someone

Try to talk to someone in those bad moments when you see yourself as dishonest, liar, incompetent, talented, mediocre. Because when you are alone, you "hang on your mind", so to speak. This of course makes the situation worse.

It will be good for you to talk to someone you love and trust rather than absorb your emotions. Tell this person about your desperate situation and tell them why you feel the way you are.

So, in a sense, get into trouble with this person. Studies show that expressed emotions cause a relaxing, therapeutic effect on the brain.

In addition, the person you are talking to will approach you in a more objective and constructive way. So although you see everything in black and white due to your troubled situation, this person will be more successful than you in detecting gray areas.

So in summary, pay attention to the trouble. You will find that you will get up from the table relaxed.

d. Admit Your Mistakes

We have said that perfectionism and the imposter syndrome are closely related. Because the failure to achieve extremely high and unrealistic goals causes a feeling of "inadequacy" in people.

But remember: You don't have to be perfect to be a successful and valuable person.

Mistakes and failures are two natural products of life, like bread and water. Learning from your mistakes is one of the things that make you special as a human.

So instead of looking for perfection unconditionally, give yourself some margin of error. Otherwise, unrealized goals, at least for the moment, will increase your anxiety.

In other words, if you are realistic about your goals and expectations, you will experience less failure when you cannot achieve these goals.

e. Don't Compare Yourself With Others

Perhaps one of the biggest causes of imposter syndrome is comparing yourself to others.

Many people, especially young people, compare themselves to the gaudy life of their peers on social media and consider themselves worthless and inadequate.

But remember this: You see the best moments of a person's life on social media. It would not be right to make a comparison without knowing what this person is experiencing psychologically.

Also, everyone's life is their own. Instead of being jealous of other people's achievements, you should focus on your own business and your own life.

f. Realize You Are Not Alone

You are not the only person suffering from Imposter syndrome. You can be sure that there is a much more common mood condition than you think imposter syndrome.

Almost everyone in life doubted themselves for a while; found his own abilities and equipment insufficient.

So there is no point in falling into an absurd thought as all the evil in life is gathered in you.


We can accept Imposter syndrome as something normal. However, if you do not take the necessary steps to overcome this syndrome with a little self-confidence and a little initiative, you may fall into a psychological dilemma and depression.

To sum up, you can overcome the imposter syndrome by:

Notice the situations where you are experiencing Imposter syndrome.
Think about your achievements and what you're good at.
Talk to a colleague you trust and love, your mentor, and get into trouble.
Recognize that making mistakes is normal and that perfectionism does more harm than good.

And remember that you are not alone, almost everyone experiences these kinds of situations.

If you read these tips and tricks thoroughly and take the necessary lesson, you will cease to feel inadequate; You gain self-confidence and reach a better mindset to improve yourself.