Sources of Imposter Syndrome and What to Do About Them

Despite what it looks like on the outside, many people today suffer from mild to severe imposter syndrome at work, school, and other settings. Imposter syndrome can be very paralyzing, making you feel that you are somehow not good enough for a certain position. Overcoming imposter syndrome can help you succeed in whatever you are doing and build stronger relationships with those around you. 


When you start to feel like an imposter, you probably feel like you aren’t contributing enough or that what you are contributing isn’t good enough. Basically, whatever you are doing isn’t perfect, so you think it isn’t good. Perfectionism perpetuates imposter syndrome and hinders you from being happy with what you have to contribute. 

Because perfectionists want everything they do to be ideally done, perfectionism is often linked to procrastination. One way to combat perfectionism is to create a schedule to keep you on track. This will help you stop procrastinating and get started on tasks that may originally seem very daunting to you to get perfect.

Lack of Education

A lack of basic education can make you feel like an imposter applying for certain jobs, being in specific social circles, or contributing meaningful insights on issues. Fortunately, even if you are far past your teenage years, you can still pursue education. 

Getting your GED lets you earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. Having a GED can help you feel more qualified for certain activities or to speak out on specific issues. 

Lack of Similarities With Peers

If you are not very similar to your peers, you may feel like you don’t fit in. You may like different foods, do different things on the weekends, listen to opposite genres of music, or even speak different languages at home than your peers. Don’t feel like you have to fake an interest just to connect with one of your peers. Instead, you can express interest in them as a person. Genuine interest will lead to real conversations that can help you discover what other similarities—in hobbies, characteristics, or other things—you might have with that person.


Don’t feel pressured by imposter syndrome to conform to normality just to fit in. Diversity is one of the best things about a group of people. Greater diversity leads to more perspectives, better problem-solving, more interesting conversations, and greater opportunities to learn from one another. 


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