Believe in yourself and overcome imposter syndrome

Do you feel like you shouldn’t be doing the job you do? Or that you aren't deserving of your partner? Or do you feel like a phony and that someone is going to catch you out? Or maybe you feel like you have only landed this role because you are lucky and not because you are capable and qualified, looking over your shoulder wondering when your luck is going to run out?


If you can relate to any of the above, it could be that you are suffering from imposter syndrome.

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome makes you feel like you are a fraud which can often escalate into severe anxiety and panic attacks. 

In 1978, psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes identified imposter syndrome. This involves feelings of self-doubt or feelings of incompetence regardless of qualifications, background, knowledge, or skills. Imposter syndrome can often make you feel like a fraud. Surprisingly it affects more high-achievers, who find it difficult to accept their achievements however, anyone and everyone regardless of their career or status is susceptible to experiencing this. 

Even though imposter syndrome isn’t a psychiatric diagnosis or listed in the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) both men and women experience this paradox which can often exist side-by-side with depression and anxiety.

Sufferers often describe that they are feeling like they are going to be caught out, or it was only by luck they managed to secure their job and many more similar statements. They often feel like praise is unwarranted and unjustified.

Here are some helpful tips on how to stop feeling like an imposter:

  1. Talk. You would be amazed at how many people feel the same or similar to you.
  2. Develop a healthy response to failure as nobody is perfect.
  3. Understand you won’t always know the answer, you may have an unproductive day, and you are allowed to ask for help!
  4. Reframe your thinking. Instead of punishing yourself for not knowing the answer, tell yourself you are an intelligent person and you can go and find the correct answer.
  5. Visualise success. Picture yourself beforehand successfully carrying out a task i.e. a presentation, or calmly raising a question in a meeting or in the classroom
  6. Learn to give yourself a mindful pat on your back and congratulate yourself when things go well.

Self-doubting can often lead to anxiety and stress. When this happens it can sometimes cause burnout or in extreme cases depression leading to dissatisfaction and underperformance at work. The majority of individuals suffering from imposter syndrome are high achieving, highly successful individuals indicating this isn’t related to low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence but is strongly linked with perfectionism.

Imposter syndrome doesn’t only affect people in the workplace, but within a personal relationship too, where thoughts relate to the unworthiness of affection from their partner. There are many situations causing these feelings to trigger. Whether it’s by race, gender, age, etc. Whatever generates these feelings can lead to detrimental habits.

How does hypnotherapy help?

Put simply, imposter syndrome is a negative thought pattern of self-belief, almost like a bad habit. During hypnosis, your subconscious mind is able to form a new more positive habit creating inner self-belief and confidence. Hypnotherapy can change undesirable thoughts, feelings, or behaviours. By reframing these unhelpful behaviours it allows pathways to be built leading you to your own desired goals making you feel happier and relaxed which in turn, allows you to take back control to whatever is right and natural for you.

If you can relate to any of the feelings I have mentioned, why not speak to a hypnotherapist to begin your journey of embracing a new confident you!

Quotation from The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy:

“Sometimes I think you believe in me more than I do,” said the boy.

“You’ll catch up,” said the horse.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Solihull, B91
Written by Angela Cain, D.M.H, D.Hyp, CPNLP - Clinical Hypnotherapist
Solihull, B91

Angela Cain, Clinical Hypnotherapist (DMH, DHyp, CPNLP). I specialise in stress and anxiety especially in teenagers and young adults. I use a unique combination of treatments and therapies including EMDR, NLP, Meridian Tapping and Hypnotherapy.

Show comments

Find a hypnotherapist dealing with Confidence

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals