Imposter syndrome is a term coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes. This refers to high-achieving individuals plagued by self-doubt and insecurity, despite evidence that this is not true.

People with imposter syndrome often feel like frauds and worry that others will eventually figure out that they are not as smart or talented as they seem. They may also doubt their abilities and accomplishments and fear being exposed as someone they don’t claim to be.

In this article, we’ll explore how imposter syndrome can manifest in the workplace and give some tips on how to deal with it.

Signs Of Imposter Syndrome In The Workplace

Here are some common signs that you or someone you know may suffer from imposter syndrome in the workplace.

Feeling Like You Are Pretending To Be Successful And In Time Will Be Found Out

One of the most common symptoms of Imposter Syndrome is feeling like you are just pretending to be successful until the clock reaches zero.

This can lead to much self-doubt and anxiety, as you constantly worry that others will figure out that you are not as competent as you seem.

You may try to downplay your successes, or brush off compliments from others, as you feel like you don’t deserve them.

Feel Like You Doubt Your Abilities And Cannot Trust Your Instincts

If you suffer from imposter syndrome, you may doubt your abilities and second-guess your decisions.

You may feel like you are not good enough or intelligent enough to do your job and that others are better equipped than you are.

This can lead to indecision and paralysis as you try to overthink everything instead of trusting your instincts.

Fear Of Failure

Another common symptom of imposter syndrome is a fear of failure.

Because you doubt your abilities, you may be afraid to take risks or try new things in case you fail.

This can limit your potential and prevent you from reaching your full potential.

Perfectionism – Beating Yourself Up For Minor Mistakes

If you suffer from imposter syndrome, you may be a perfectionist who is extremely hard on yourself for even the smallest of mistakes.

You may feel you have to be perfect in everything you do to avoid being exposed as a fraud.

However, this perfectionism can often lead to procrastination and paralysis.

Feel Uncomfortable Accepting Compliments

If you have imposter syndrome, you may find it difficult to accept compliments from others.

You may feel like you don’t deserve the compliment or that the person is just being friendly.

How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

If you think you may be suffering from imposter syndrome, you can do a few things to help overcome it.

First, talking to someone about how you’re feeling is essential. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or counsellor. Talking to someone can help you understand your feelings and give you perspective.

Second, give yourself credit for your accomplishments. Recognising your successes, no matter how small they may seem, is essential. Write down your achievements and refer to them when you are feeling doubtful.

Third, challenge your inner negativity. When you have negative thoughts about yourself, try to counter them with positive ones. Forgive yourself for small mistakes and focus on your strengths.

Finally, keep things in perspective. Don’t try to compare yourself to others or set unrealistic goals. Concentrate on the process and the here and now. Take things one day at a time, and be proud of your progress.


Imposter syndrome is a common condition in the workplace, especially among high achievers. It can be tough to overcome, but it is possible with the right practices.

If you think you may be suffering from this condition, talk to someone and try to challenge your negative thoughts. With time and effort, you can learn to overcome your self-doubt and reach your full potential – without doubting yourself along the way.