5 Reasons You Feel Like An Imposter Even If You’re Successful

The clinical term for this is the Imposter Syndrome, which can affect your right to live a happy life. It can have detrimental effects on your work or business. This is the very real fear of being exposed, “found out,” the feeling you’re not as competent as others might think you are.

These thoughts persistently plague those who are successful, such as top executives or accomplished actors and athletes, as these feelings haunt their well-being.

Other than those who are serial narcissists with huge egos, there’s no one who can avoid these feelings of self-doubt, the ones which fuels the Imposter Syndrome.

Signs Of The Imposter Syndrome

You work hard, you’re successful and as a result have become financially stable, yet you feel inadequate and not that confident.

What’s known, is there are steps to overcome these feelings, by mindfully guiding yourself to accepting and managing your accomplishments.

These feelings can become overwhelming and debilitating. If it happens to you, and begins to affect your everyday life, never be ashamed to seek out help.

There are reasons why this happens, along with proven strategies to resolve them, so you can see yourself as others view you.

Personality Types Affected By The “Imposter Syndrome”

What’s known is the imposter syndrome is broken down into a few distinct personality subcategories, who are the most affected.

These include those who are perfectionists, the overachieving superman/superwoman, native geniuses, self proclaimed experts, and those who are creative.

The imposter syndrome and the perfectionist goes hand-in-hand, as what they’ll do is set their standards way too high, then feel guilt or shame once they don’t reach their goals.

The “superman” syndrome, who has a need to over achieve while putting their personal life on hold, feels they’re never doing enough.

What the native “genius” will do is base their success on their mental abilities, rather than their efforts. For instance, if they need to work hard at something, they’ll assume they must be bad at it.

Self-proclaimed experts and those who are overly creative, feel they’re spinning their wheels and never getting anything done, or advancing in life.

5.- Documenting Your Achievements Help

Those who suffer from the imposter syndrome, never feels they’re worthy enough for one reason or another.

They constantly need to remind themselves of all the hard work, along with the achievements they’ve accomplished, is what got them to where they’re currently at.

The key becomes to write them down as a reminder, however small the accomplishment might be.


If you’re not comfortable posting that list on your desk wall at work, you could write them down in a journal, or save them on your phone or computer.

Make sure you review the list every morning before starting your day. Set an alert on your phone, if you need a reminder.

4. – Rejecting Compliments

Those suffering from imposter syndrome, has an extremely difficult time accepting any type of praise from others, or they’ll refuse to personally congratulate themselves on their success.

What they’ll often do, is discount the compliments as being invalid or just gratuitous.

What they have is a lack of self-esteem, believing they’re not worthy of this praise, especially if it comes from their peers or superiors.

All they need is to just thankfully accept the praise, and not think it’s just fake acknowledgement.

Often, they feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when receiving any type of praise, as they don’t enjoy the attention focused on them.

3. – Feels The Success Wasn’t Earned

Some who feel like an imposter, think they didn’t work hard enough for the success they’ve had. For instance, those who were born into that privilege.

They realize they’ve been given certain opportunities, others may never get. They feel the opportunities they got, aren’t earned or deserved.

Many who are born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in their mouth, as a result are unaccomplished in life.

What needs to be remembered, is it still took effort to end up where they’re at. They followed the path that was given to them, and they just took it.

2. – Is It More Common In Men Or Women?

What’s known when it comes to those who feel they’re an imposter, especially when it comes to the corporate world, is these feelings of inadequacy appears to be more of a female-centric issue.

This appears more common, especially in environments or industries which are dominated by men.

What’s known is there are more women who feel inferior, even though everyone but them knows it’s not true.

They’re also more less likely, to apply for jobs they know they’re not qualified for, because of this feeling of inadequacy.

What some men will do for instance, is they’ll boldly apply for positions they know they’re not qualified for suited for.

1. – The Belief They’re A Fraud

This is a genuine psychological syndrome, which can start from post-secondary graduate students, to those who’s experienced and achieved some level of success.

What they feel instead of accomplishment is anxiety, that they cheated their way to success somehow, once getting a few wins in life. What they feel is fraudulent, and that the bubble will soon burst.

They believe they’ve somehow deceived their way to their success, and at any moment they’ll be exposed, and everything will be taken away from them.

They genuinely believe, they’re a fake and don’t deserve what they’ve accomplished, although they know they’ve worked extremely hard for it.