For countless professionals, growing and advancing in their careers involves a combination of skill, hard work, and a bit of luck. What’s often left out of the equation is your own psychological well-being – and this can have a serious impact on your job satisfaction.


Imposter Syndrome, a pervasive phenomenon affecting individuals across industries and professions, is characterised by feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and insecurity in spite of evidence to the contrary. It’s an insidious feeling that can sap confidence and hinder both personal and professional growth. Many talented individuals doubt their accomplishments, fearing they will be exposed as frauds. However, with the right strategies, you can overcome imposter syndrome, boost your confidence, and achieve your career goals.


Following are seven effective ways to overcome imposter syndrome and thrive in your professional journey.


Recognise and Acknowledge Imposter Syndrome

Understand that imposter syndrome affects numerous high-achieving individuals, irrespective of age, experience, qualifications, or competence. In fact, according to a 2020 study published by the Journal of Internal Medicine, up to 82% of people have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. This can result in a host of mental health issues such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. It can also impact career growth, by causing individuals to doubt their accomplishments, take fewer risks, or simply experience burnout.


To overcome imposter syndrome, it is essential to acknowledge its existence and be conscious of its effects. Once you have identified the presence of imposter syndrome in your life, you can start taking proactive steps to address it.


Reframe Negative Thoughts

Imposter syndrome often stems from negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs. You can transform these thoughts by reframing them in a positive light. Replace self-doubt with self-affirmation and remind yourself of your past successes. This process involves visualisation to shift your mindset and boost your confidence. In an article in the New York Times, Maj. Nicole Miner, a former instructor at West Point, indicated that self-talk helps her to trust her judgement and better handle situations before they occur.


It’s important to focus on the skills and expertise that you already have. When negative thoughts arise, take a deep breath, and calmly remind yourself that you have the skills to do the job at hand. Reframe your self-talk with positive affirmations like “I can do this” or “I am capable of achieving my goals.” With practice, reframing can help you move past imposter syndrome and take ownership of your career.


Seek Support and Share Experiences

One of the most valuable steps for overcoming imposter syndrome is to seek support from trusted individuals. Reach out to trusted colleagues, mentors, or friends who can provide guidance and support. Share your feelings and experiences, and you may discover that many others have faced similar challenges. Collaborating with a supportive network can help alleviate the sense of isolation and provide valuable insights to overcome imposter syndrome. Another benefit of sharing your feelings with others is that they can point out the successes and strengths in you that you may be overlooking.


Seeking professional help is another important step in overcoming imposter syndrome. Talk to a therapist or coach who can provide valuable guidance and support from an objective perspective. They can help challenge irrational thoughts, develop effective strategies for managing imposter syndrome, and build your self-confidence.


Embrace Continuous Learning and Growth

Imposter syndrome often emerges from a fear of being exposed as lacking knowledge or skills. Contributing to this is the misguided idea that you must be an expert in every aspect of your field. Counter this by adopting a growth mindset and shifting your focus towards personal growth and continuous learning. It is completely acceptable to not have all the answers; by seeking out knowledge and expanding your skill set, you’ll boost your confidence and dispel feelings of inadequacy. Embrace learning opportunities, whether through professional development courses, workshops, or mentorships. By adopting this mindset, you’ll relieve yourself of the burden of always trying to be perfect.


Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Milestones

Setting realistic and attainable goals is crucial to combat imposter syndrome. Break larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, and track your progress. Each milestone achieved is a testament to your capabilities and should be celebrated. Recognising your accomplishments and celebrating successes reinforces your self-belief and empowers you to strive for greater achievements. Lisa Orbé-Austin, Ph.D., is a psychologist and executive coach based in New York, and coauthor of Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life. She indicates that celebrating achievements, whether it’s getting a promotion or just having a good client meeting, can help gain confidence and internalise your success.


Practise Self-Care and Well-being

Taking care of your mental and physical well-being is essential in overcoming imposter syndrome. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Maintain a healthy work-life balance, exercise regularly, and prioritise self-care. Many people are extremely empathetic toward others but often fail to extend the same compassion toward themselves. Cultivating self-compassion can serve as a powerful antidote to the emotions commonly associated with imposter syndrome, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. Everyone experiences moments of doubt or failure, but learning to accept and forgive yourself can help you move past these moments and build a sense of self-worth. This can do wonders in helping you break free from the negative cycle of imposter syndrome and foster a healthier, more positive mindset.


Challenge Perfectionism and Embrace Authenticity

Perfectionism often fuels imposter syndrome, as individuals strive for unattainable standards. Recognise that perfection is unrealistic, and that embracing authenticity is more valuable. Understand that making mistakes is an inherent part of growth and that vulnerability can lead to stronger connections and professional development. In an article from the American Psychological Association, Jessica Vanderlan, Ph.D., indicates that focusing on the progress you’ve made rather than seeking perfection is an important part of overcoming imposter syndrome. You can maintain your standards but consider revising your definition of success so that you can better recognise and appreciate your achievements.



Imposter syndrome can be a significant barrier to personal and professional growth, but it is a challenge that can be overcome. By recognising its presence, reframing negative thoughts, seeking support, embracing continuous learning, setting realistic goals, practising self-care, and challenging perfectionism, individuals can thrive in their careers. Remember, you are not alone in this experience, and with a combination of self-awareness, guidance, and resilience, you can overcome imposter syndrome, reach your objectives, and achieve your goals.

Corinne 1

About the Author:

Corinne is the founder & CEO of Polyglot Group. Corinne is a strong advocate for diversity & firmly believes in the necessity for leaders to be active in their community. Corinne is also a Trade Adviser for the French Government and continues to be a leader amongst the French community in Australia.
Read more about Corinne Bot.