"You're a Fraud & You Know You Are!"

imposter syndrome self-doubt success tips & tricks May 21, 2024

Yes, I am going to be that blunt and straight to the point because that's what you're telling yourself most days anyway, right?

If not that, maybe it's phrases like:

"Who am I kidding? I have no idea what I'm doing here."

"Thank goodness no one can read my mind and see how clueless I feel."

"I must have some incredible poker face to keep up this whole charade."

"Shh...don't blow my cover! They'll realize I'm totally winging it."

"I'm basically just a con artist at this point. A highly educated con artist."

"I got lucky getting this role, I don't deserve it!"

"Why am I getting praise for that piece of work? It was nothing special. I don't deserve it!"

"I’m not as capable as they think I am."

The list goes on...

If any of those phrases ring alarmingly true or even slightly resonate with you, it may be worth a few minutes reading on. You could be experiencing that prevalent phenomenon known as:


"The persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's efforts or skills."


Hmm...interesting, right? So at least we recognize ourselves as successful on some level! (Always looking at the positives here).

It's estimated that a whopping 70% of women and 60% of men suffer from imposter syndrome to varying degrees. So, if you're a female reading this thinking it's just a "girl thing" - think again! Imposter feelings can affect anyone, regardless of gender, experience level, or accomplishments.

Big names you may know that have “come out” as having imposter syndrome include: - Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, David Bowie, Emma Watson, Serena Williams…you are not by anyway alone!


Spotting the signs

Perfectionism – do you set unrealistically high standards for yourself? Then, when you don’t meet them, you beat yourself up about it?

Overworking – do you feel like you need to work harder than everyone else to prove your worth?

Not accepting praise – do you dismiss compliments from others as “it was nothing”, “I don’t deserve it” or “I got lucky”

Fear of Failure – do you avoid new opportunities because you’re likely to be found out that you’re not as good as they think you are with what you’re doing now let alone something new?


The Root Causes

Getting an understanding of why you think like this can help… here’s a few possibilities: -

Upbringing – It could be from home, where you were compared to your siblings, and they were better than you or you were better than them and you had to “think about their feelings”.

Work Culture – Finance is renowned for “not being like Sales” ... you don’t tend to shout about your successes and are just grateful that you’re not getting feedback on what’s gone wrong or isn’t right this time!

Personality – It could just be that you’re a perfectionist in everything that you do – it needs to be right or else it’s just not good enough!

These may not ring true for you, take some time out and think “where has this come from for me?” … the answer may not come to you straight away, your subconscious can work on it for you and you may be surprised with what comes to you.


The Damaging Effects

Here's the real kicker - all this imposter syndrome malarky is holding us back and making our lives worse so many ways.

The constant self-doubt makes it scary as hell to go after new jobs, promotions, or chances. And bizarrely, while you feel like you’re not good enough, you're also overcompensating by overworking - busting your balls while still feeling inadequate.

It's an endless loop that slowly kills your job satisfaction, self-esteem, and overall thriving. No one wins when “the imposter” takes over!


Easy Wins to Stop Feeling Like a Fraud

Ok, so it’s time to kick imposter syndrome’s butt with some easy mind tricks and habits:

Acknowledge your feelings: It’s ok that you have feelings of self-doubt. You’ve taken the first step to squashing that little imposter by recognising that they are there and that it’s time something was done about it – else you wouldn’t be reading this right now, eh!

Achievement Journal: (Success Journal or even “I’m a Badass” Journal, whatever you want to call it!) Just to say that there is no way that you’ve got this far in life and your career without achieving anything. Grab yourself a new notebook and start writing down your achievements to date – I know this can be hard and you’ll have some brain fog when you’re doing it, so even if you time-block yourself ten minutes a day to start with you’ll soon see that journal filling up … big or small… something that has made you smile and say “Yes! I did that!” Then whenever those doubts creep in, pick it up and have a read.

Accept Praise Gracefully: Next time someone gives you some positive feedback whether it be on a piece of work or just what you are wearing … just say “Thank You” and let it sink in… you don’t need to add anything else on to your acceptance like “it took me forever and I’m still not happy with it” or “this old thing”… just accept the praise! Turn this into a habit, you’ll be grateful for it!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: You are you, you are unique and that is what makes you so god damn special! So, stop comparing yourself to colleagues, celebrities or friends and what they’ve done or achieved – comparing your un-polished behind the scenes reality to someone’s brightly displayed public profile is not comparing like-for-like FACT! Draw inspiration from others around you on what you could do differently and admire their achievements but don’t beat yourself up about them… there will always be someone in front of you, and there will always be someone behind you.

Surround Yourself with Cheerleaders: (I don’t mean the kind with pom poms) “Your network is your net worth”, ever heard that saying before? It is true for so many things! Don’t surround yourself with Negative Nancy’s (sorry Nancy)… these people will bring your energy down and keep you in a place of self-doubt and limiting beliefs… find your tribe who are full of possibility and positivity who will lift you up in the times when you’re having a blip and feeling a bit low – the lows will become less frequent and your highs will be higher … you just wait!



You're Too Legit to Be a Fraud At the end of the day, every promotion, certification, client win - it all comes from your own hard-earned expertise and tireless efforts over years. Not luck, not trickery - your real, proven skills and merit.

That nagging voice saying you somehow tricked everyone? That's just leftover insecurity trying to keep you small. But you've proven yourself again and again with the milestones achieved. You've got way too many receipts to be an imposter!

So go ahead and give yourself permission to park that self-doubt. Silence that shaky inner voice questioning if you belong and start owning your well-deserved place with the same confidence as the talented pro you blatantly are.

Now take a breath, appreciate how far your dedication has taken you, and keep putting that real experience into action - no apologies, no putting yourself down. Start believing in yourself at least as much as your achievements prove you should. That's not arrogance - it's self-assurance earned. Let's get out there and keep levelling up!

With love & faith in you that you can beat this!

Sam x



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