imposter syndrome

How To Beat Imposter Syndrome & Start Feeling Good Enough

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I got an email from Ruth Soukup not long back about Imposter Syndrome.

Well, I heard this and I was like “so it’s a real thing”.

We’ve all had times (probably too many times) where we don’t feel like we belong somewhere.

Like we’re not enough. Even when we really are.

We’ve done the hard work and spent the time to learn something or get experience yet we just can’t seem to fight that nagging voice.

“You don’t know enough”

“Who are you to say that”

Hear these voices too? No you’re not crazy.

This is called Imposter Syndrome and it’s a b*tch.



What is Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome was defined in the late 70’s by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes.

They described it as:

“phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” While these people “are highly motivated to achieve,” they also “live in fear of being ‘found out’ or exposed as frauds.”1

Boom! It hits the nail on the head.2


Someone who talks a lot about Imposter Syndrome is Carl Richards. He has a great diagram for it.


imposter syndrome sketch carl

4 signs of Imposter Syndrome

  • The harder you work the more of a fraud you feel like. You work you’re little tail off and when you get some good praise you worry that they might think you’re better than you really are3
  • You answer your superiors with what you think they want to hear making you feel even more like a phoney4
  • Your perceptive and yeah you have the gift of the gab (you go girl) but when you get praise you feel like it’s these qualities that get you the well done – not your work5
  • You don’t want to come across as cocky or too confident out of fear you won’t be liked. We all do. So we’re not confident. Instead we convince ourselves we’re not smart enough or don’t deserve success6

How to kick imposter syndrome in the ass

There are a few things to remember when going head to head with imposter syndrome…

It’s not just you…


The most important thing to realise with Imposter Syndrome is you’re not alone.7 Carl Richard speaks about some big names, who despite their success, still feel this.

Even I was surprised reading some of the names.

Just to name a few:

  • Seth Godin (big time marketer with multiple selling books)
  • Tina Fey (the genius behind Mean Girls – possibly the most quotable movie ever!)
  • Sheryl Sandberg (the ultimately fem boss behind Facebook)

In Sheryl’s book Lean In she discusses a lot about females and imposter syndrome.

“She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are- impostors with limited skills or abilities.”8

So it’s important to remember it’s not just you!


Everybody starts somewhere…

Whether you’re beginning a blog or a business idea, it’s hard to not feel like you should know everything.


That you need to start as an expert to validate what you are doing.


Ruth speaks about it on her blog perfectly

Most people assume I started my own blog Living Well Spending Less because I’m an expert on money. But the opposite is true. I started LWSL because I was a complete and utter disaster when it came to finances.

Just because you don’t know absolutely everything on a topic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be writing about it.

In fact, most of the time the best people to listen to are the ones who have experienced it first hand!

I.E. Ruth! They’re usually the people that understand what we’re going through the most.

So remember – absolutely everybody starts somewhere. And nobody starts as an expert.

But your voice is important! And there’s a good chance someone needs to hear what you have to say.

Having a willingness to share and learn is enough..

Seems straight forward. But how often do we go into a new job and feel like we should know everything. Or feel like we can’t offer our opinion because we don’t know enough.

Sometimes, in anything you do, just being willing to share and learn is enough.

We don’t have to be experts. Attitude is more important.


Posts related to self-esteem and doubt:

So it’s time to tell your imposter voice where to go

I always thought to be a blogger you needed to be an expert.

Let me tell you now, I’m no expert (and that’s not the imposter speaking).

I read a lot and I learn a lot. Then I share what I’ve learnt.

Some bits will be wrong and some bits will be right. That doesn’t mean I’m an imposter.

And I’m here to tell you you’re not either.

So next time your imposter voice comes in to play press stop! 

Tell that voice exactly where to go!

As long as you are doing your best you could never be an imposter.


imposter syndrome meme


  1. Learning To Deal With Imposter Syndrome, C. Richards.
  2. Imposter Sydnrome,
  3. Imposter Sydnrome,
  4. Imposter Sydnrome,
  5. Imposter Sydnrome,
  6. Imposter Sydnrome,
  7. Learning To Deal With Imposter Syndrome, C. Richards.
  8. Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead