5 Tips for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Raise your hand if you've ever felt it… that feeling of anxiety or insecurity about whether you deserve something.  Whether you belong.

Imposter Syndrome is self-doubt.  It's limiting beliefs.  It's the fear of what would happen if everyone knew “the real story”… the back story… and are we even qualified for (insert the thing)?

5 Tips for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

What is Imposter Syndrome?

I first heard about Imposter Syndrome about 10 years ago.  It crosses all fields. About 70% of the population has experienced it. Even brilliant people like poet and author Maya Angelou. Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once said: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.' ”  

Imposter Syndrome - Even Santa Suffers


How You Might Feel

Imposter Syndrome is often experienced when someone is trying something new, or switching careers after a long period of time.  While you might have felt entirely qualified in your prior position,  you may experience feelings of inadequacy as you attempt to prove your “new” skills.  Your may feel you're in over your head. You might not believe you were entitled to get (or take) the new job/part/offer.

It's rarely discussed but when it is, nearly everyone can relate.

How to Deal With It

  1.  Remind yourself how common this feeling is… fear and excitement have equal physical reactions… tell yourself you are excited, not afraid.
  2.  Stop comparing yourself to others, and especially do not compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
  3.  Own your successes. Make an “Already Accomplished” list to remind yourself of your achievements.  
  4.  Re-frame your thinking. Don't expect to be perfect… expect to bring value. That's all.
  5.  Fake it till you make it. You may have to psych yourself up/out to bring your A game, but if you do it enough times… it'll start to come naturally.

Downloadable Checklist

Want a copy of the 5-point checklist? It might be handy to look at when you need a reminder. [convertkit form=5180965]

Other Resources ~ TED Talks About Imposter Syndrome

You may enjoy listening to these:

The Surprising Solution to the Imposter Syndrome ~ Lou Solomon (20 minutes) — at about 7 minutes she speaks specifically about artists

Thinking Your Way Out of Imposter Syndrome ~ Valerie Young (8minutes)

Five Tips for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome


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Photo Credit to Drew Graham on Unsplash


  1. lizzy giggs on April 8, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Hey Marjie!
    This was a well thought out article. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with my underwhelmedness! I think the most important thing is to keep truckin’. Fakin’ it til you make it. I especially like point 4 on re-frame your thinking. So true. Sometimes my husband reminds me that Perfection is the enemy of the good. Meaning…do the work – try not to overthink the end result…or you may not start the job in the first place!

    • Marjie Kemper on April 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks, Lizzy. What a great point about overthinking leading to not starting… love it… keep on showing up!

  2. Kelly Dannemann on April 4, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Really needed to hear this today, thank you for posting this. So many thoughts and so much doubt, I actually finally after 8 years updated my Etsy page to get it open to sale my hoarded Handcrafted Items.. Thank you Marjie.

    • Marjie Kemper on April 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

      I’m so happy you found it valuable. Good luck with that Etsy shop, Kelly!

  3. Susan Kesselman on April 4, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for these invaluable tips! They are appropriate for many aspects of our lives. Having just passed the 1 year mark of widowhood I can appreciate this advice now as I embark on the rest of my journey through life. Now to put them into play!

    • Marjie Kemper on April 5, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Wow, a year already! You’re so right, Susan, about it being relevant to so many aspects of life. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bev Wilson on April 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Marjie!
    Thanks for this post on Imposter Syndrome!
    Good stuff. I’ll just have to print and post it by my art table.
    :) bev.

  5. Anne R on April 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Hmmm Marjie, there is pretty good advice in there, thanks so much for sharing! x

    • Marjie Kemper on April 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Glad it resonated with so many. Thanks, Anne!

  6. Linda Kopp on April 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Oh yeah, definitely suffer from imposter syndrome. Thanks for the helpful tips.

  7. Carol on April 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

    I stuggle with this. Though I understand the concept of faking it till I make it, that concept also aides in the imposter syndrome, lol. I’m getting better at it (so, I tell myself). Great post, thank you.

    • Marjie Kemper on April 5, 2018 at 9:52 am

      I’m glad you found it useful. Thanks, Carol.