8 Key Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome

I’m always a little surprised when I’m asked “What is Imposter Syndrome?”, but then I’ve been immersed in it for a while now. I share 8 signs you might experience Imposter Syndrome, whether you knew it or not. I have also developed an online course to help professionals combat Imposter Syndrome, you can check it out here.

I first came across an article on it several years ago and I recall feeling immense relief that it was a recognized thing (a phenomenon even) and that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. Before this, I had started to believe there might be something wrong with me!

Imposter Syndrome is actually very common – with approximately 62%* of the UK working population experiencing it from time to time within their work. It’s also not uncommon for high achievers to experience it, so we could console ourselves that we’re in good company!

But, that still doesn’t explain what it is…

What is Imposter Syndrome? 

Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear common definition, but these elements resonate with me:

  • a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success – i.e. we can do it and there is proof that we can, but we just don’t feel it.
  • an inability to acknowledge & internalize accomplishments – i.e. we’re not taking ownership of some of the great stuff we do and have done.

In my experience, these feelings come and go – and can crop up unexpectedly – rather than being ‘on’ all the time. This is a huge relief.

However,  Imposter Syndrome can become debilitating if it’s ignored and allowed to build.

So, what are the signs that you might be experiencing it?

What is imposter syndrome? Is it just in my head?

8 common thought patterns

Imposter Syndrome is very much something that’s going on inside our heads, often quite invisible to those around us. There are a number of things that we might be telling ourselves, when we’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome, including:

  1. “I feel like a fraud or imposter” (hence the name)
  2. “I’ll get found out”
  3. “I’m out of my depth”
  4. “I’m not worthy”
  5. “I doubt myself”
  6. “I’ve just been lucky”
  7. “I can’t do this”
  8. “They’re better than me”

Do any of these sound familiar?

Am I an Imposter?

OK, so perhaps you’ve identified a couple of these that resonate with you? Maybe you too experience Imposter Syndrome from time to time. Remember, we’re not alone and are in good company!

  • The first step in dealing with something is often acknowledging it and understanding it. Calling it what it is and not just letting it fester and bother us.
  • The second step is realizing that it’s just your mind telling you stories, your ‘inner imposter’ if you like. Give it a name if you think this might help. Mine’s called Izzy (The Imposter).
  • The third step – the best news – is that there are some simple, positive steps that you can take to quieten your inner imposter.

I feel different, do I have imposter syndrome?


How to quieten your inner imposter

So, what can you do to quieten the voice in your head?

Man disguised as an imposter but what is imposter syndrome


Imposter Syndrome is very common – with approximately 62%* of the UK working population experiencing it from time to time within their work.

It’s actually just your mind (you ‘inner imposter’) telling you stories about what you’re capable of, despite evidence to the contrary. The great news is that there are positive steps that you can do to quieten your inner imposter and live your best life.

* according to a study by Access Commercial Finance


Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.