Did you know?

You are one of them- the IMPOSTER SYNDROME is real.

Afsheen Khan
Published in
5 min readNov 28, 2021


Since we have been in our best efforts to elevate mental health and air the wave of positivism in individuals.

Imposter syndrome is something that every person experiences at one point in their life, specifically at the workplace. Roughly 1 out of 4 persons face imposter syndrome. Surprisingly, 3 out of 4 people are unaware of the term ‘imposter syndrome.

According to a review in 2020, 9%–82% of people experience impostor syndrome. The numbers may vary depending on who participates in a study.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a feeling of doubt about your intelligence, capabilities, and abilities to perform. Even if you achieve something, you are triggered with an avalanche of self-doubt.

It often leads you to masquerade as someone’s competency is better than yours; hence you think you don’t deserve it.

It’s a feeling of unworthiness, and an imposter thinks that they are misleading others by showing what they are not.

Due to societal pressure, the major presence of one gender at the workplace, and a glass ceiling approach, more women tend to experience it. It’s not only you or I who have been facing it. The stories of many other big-shot ladies are replete on the internet.

After receiving one of her two Oscars, Actor Jodie Foster expressed,

“I thought it was a fluke. I was afraid I’d have to give it back.”

Advocating for the women’s fear and stress that constantly hit mental health and personal progress-that certainly needs attention to conquer against it. However, imposter syndrome has been feeding into women more than men by endorsing the social aspects with biological ones.

The imposter syndrome may be the unisex phenomenon or feeling that is felt by both genders.

The chances are higher when gender bias and racism are explicitly institutionalized with women and women of color.

According to a survey, 90 % of women experience imposter syndrome.

However, both men and women experience it. Perhaps, only 25 % of them are aware of it.

In societies where women are grown up with the messages that they are being valued based on their looks, not on their intelligence. And that women are highly incompetent in finance and not good at maths. Women can’t be good leaders because they are too emotional and weak. To prove things are associated with distorted biological facts.

Obviously, on accomplishing in her profession or achieving a promotion, she may have ended up self-doubt, or the feeling of fraudulence may take over.

Zappala was also beset with self-doubt on achieving her mid-level management. Maureen Zappala is a former literal rocket scientist. She worked at NASA for 13 years. She expressed her feelings;

For years I thought Nasa only hired me because they needed women.

Similarly, absence or lack of physical representation with pervasive racist stereotypes can cause endorsement and feed imposter syndrome. (SOurce )

Doubt and anxiety due to imposter syndrome can halt your professional competency and progress.

Indicators of Imposter Syndrome

  • You don’t internalize your success.
  • You think your success is luck.
  • You make extra efforts to compete against your colleagues in small tasks.
  • You may run after perfectionism for small things.
  • You quickly get disheartened when you try for something then you start doubting your intelligence.
  • You believe yourself as a soloist. Not accomplishing any task individually, you consider yourself unworthy.
  • You want to be an expert on your topic. Failing to answer anything related to it leads you to think of yourself as a fraud.

There may be many other feelings of self-incompetencies that we might have missed — however, the sense of masquerading and guilt fuels anxiety, depression, and mental stress.

How to Conquer the Imposter Syndrome?

Although many of us are not aware of this syndrome, we experience it. The only way to strive through it is to acknowledge it. The best strategy is being aware of it, knowing it, spotting it, and then working on it. The worst part is that people do not know. Hence they do not work to feel better. Some may overcome it. While many live with this as their hidden fact, which they fear to be revealed.

Imposter syndrome is not a mental disease that needs individual attention. It’s a result of societal pressure and constricting norms that abide one gender into a restricted periphery.

The solution is two-way; self-help and another is a collective effort.


  • Let go of perfectionism. Practically it’s a myth.
  • Create a realistic perspective by sharing your feelings with your people.
  • Celebrate your achievements, no matter if they are small.
  • Failures are part and parcel of life. Learn from it and do better next time.
  • Do not lose your mind to negative thoughts.
  • Tap your back for success. Yes, you deserve it.
  • Measure your path, avoid comparisons.
  • It’s ok if you lack some knowledge. Not everyone knows everything.
  • Sharing a workload builds a team. You don’t need to do everything individually.

Collective Efforts

The imposter syndrome is somehow a society-created gender-discriminatory phantasm.

Like other social issues, it also needs collective effort. The below-given tips and measures help combat the imposter syndrome and accelerate the positivity in the environment.

  • An inclusive workspace with an open environment will also yield productivity.
  • Regular feedback works like a magic wand. It helps people to accept their accomplishments and encourages them to do better.
  • Recognizing others’ success also surfaces a healthy environment.
  • Treating and reminding your employees that they are humans is one of a kind gesture.
  • Mistakes are part of work. Channelize it the way to make your employers expert in their domain.

The Bottom line

Although imposter syndrome is real yet no one wants to talk about it. We, as a global society, need a collective effort to combat and channelize it. Ironically, marginalized mindsets have made collective efforts to put an onus on one gender; women.

Absurdly, society wants to fix women rather than fixing the workplaces and abject mindsets and norms. Even if women demonstrate ambition, intelligence and act otherwise than the set norms, the stereotypes and racists would push us down.

However, on a lighter note or exhibiting positivism, Research suggests that imposter syndrome is viewed as a competence gap that may affect the quality of work. To fight against imperfections, they work relentlessly to improve the quality of work.

And yes, if you think that this write-up somewhat matches your experiences.

Then tap yourself because it’s a domain of high achievers. You are among those who aspire and strive to outshine.

Fujn is a platform that promotes women’s learning, success, intelligence, happiness, and emotional wellbeing. Join Fujn to learn, grow, get jobs, and make money. Launching in 2022.

Authored by Afsheen Khan for Fujn