Understanding imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome has become more commonly recognized in the recent times, with many people relating to the feelings it entails.

In this syndrome, a person feels like a sham. They think they do not deserve the success they have achieved. Most people undergoing this syndrome chalk their wins to sheer luck, as they think they do not possess the talent to have achieved it otherwise.

There is a constant fear amongst such people that their life will come crumbling down any minute as people realize that they are a fraud, and their talent is completely bogus.

IS can strike anyone, though is more common amongst professional women, for whom it was originally coined for. They then require help from mental health experts practicing at reputable places like Shifa International Hospital.

Signs of imposter syndrome

Don’t own their achievements

Since imposter syndrome causes people to think of themselves as a phony, they don’t take ownership of their achievements. They think of they got these due to luck, or other factors that helped them win. They had nothing to do with it.

Lofty goals that yield disappointment

To prove their mettle and worth, people suffering from imposter syndrome tend to set up lofty goals. Naturally, big goals take a lot of time, hard work and luck to come to fruition.

However, IS causes people to judge themselves when they do not manifest these goals, in the unrealistic time limit they set upon themselves.


As IS makes people think they aren’t good enough, or worthy of their job, they then tend to work extremely hard to accomplish their goals. The sad part is, they still are not convinced of their achievements.


People who have imposter syndrome also have a perfectionist nature. Since perfection is not always achieved, they always then undersell themselves.

Moreover, they also then are in a habit of constantly criticizing themselves. It is very hard for them to be happy with their performance.


Self-doubt lies at the very root of imposter syndrome. People suffer from IS because they are not convinced of their own capabilities and deny their talent altogether then.

Their doubt in their own talent might also then make them sabotage their own success. As they consider themselves to be a fraud, they sabotage themselves to be found.

Sell themselves short

Since imposter syndrome causes people to not be cognizant of their talents, they don’t think they have any. Consequently, they sell themselves short. Their assessment of their own skills is rather modest.

Work hard, and then some

People who have imposter syndrome tend also to be very motivated, since they think they need to then work harder to be the person that others perceived them to be. However, this also then causes anxiety in them.

Moreover, they also then believe that they are only able to achieve their goals due to their hard work, and not their talent. This also then paints a very skewed work-and-life- balance picture in their minds.

Reject their success

One of the most challenging things for those suffering from imposter syndrome is recognizing their success. They are unable to assimilate this nougat of information.

Do you have imposter syndrome?

It is important for people to at least recognize that they have imposter syndrome so that they can work on it, as it has a grave impact on their quality of life.

Alongside the signs above, other things that can help you identify if you have imposter syndrome include:

Mistakes are unacceptable: For you, making a mistake is akin to cardinal skin. Your work needs to be flawless.

Sensitive to criticism: You tend to take critique very personally.

Overtly modest: You are in habit of undermining your own skills and talent. You think your success is not your own doing.

If you have these signs, perhaps you should get help from an expert like the Psychiatrist in Islamabad.

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