January 5, 2021

Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Way Out Tips on How To Stop Feeling Like a Fraud

by Funmi

Instead of celebrating success and accomplishments, does the thought of being incapable or feeling like a fraud cause you anxiety and stress because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re now going to work twice as hard to keep everyone from finding out the ‘truth’. 

In this article I will talking about types of imposters so you can identify the one that best describe you and how you can stop feeling like a fraud starting today. 

This phenomena of imposter syndrome aka Fraud Police mindset is a mentally debilitating mindset that is a collection of feelings of inadequacy that continues even if you’ve already succeeded.

Imposters deal with chronic self doubt and a sense of fraud that overshadows any glimpse of success or external proof of their competence.. 

Imposter syndrome is something that disproportionately affects women, especially in the world of entrepreneurship.

The sexist success culture that exists on 30 under 30 lists and billionaire testimonials leaves most women feeling like they don’t have what it takes to make it big for themselves—but that’s not true!

We have it in us to succeed and there are women crushing it so when it comes to feeling like a fraud, Are there exceptions? And how do you combat it? Here’s what you need to know!

What Causes Imposter Syndrome?

First there are no exceptions, Do you look up to your entrepreneurial role model and think ‘wow, they really must have it all. Imagine being that confidence’… Well, news flash! They aren’t all that confident! Many highly successful people all share one thing—deep down they feel like imposters/frauds too. 

Still in doubt? Let me prove this to you. 

"Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can't do this. I'm a fraud." – Kate Winslett

"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.' " – and that’s by the legend herself - Maya Angelou

I think the Common causes of imposter syndrome include feelings of an overall sense of "intellectual phoniness”, stereotype threat,  stigma, and there are some reports that believe this has its roots in labels attached to some members of the family, where one child can be termed sensitive and another intelligent.

But Now as an entrepreneur, With all the back and forth on how “hard it is to work for yourself” and how “you’ll never make it” or “that’s one in a million”, it can be really debilitating to your self confidence to just brush this off and keep doing you.

As Marie Forloe puts it, 

imposter syndrome

“Because as women and members of other traditionally underrepresented groups, it’s easy to look around and feel out of place or like we don’t belong. And socially we’ve been conditioned to self-deprecate and downplay our abilities, when we internalize that message that we are not the real deal, we suffer major consequences, and not just emotionally or mentally but financially.”

The sad truth when it comes to entrepreneurs is that this self doubt can breed more self doubt in the form of *convincing yourself to drop it all together, *questioning if you’re even worthy or good enough to do this! Who knew self doubt could turn into a coping mechanism of more self doubt! 

imposter syndrome, can come in so many forms. There’s only one supposed imposter but there are so many types—here are four types of imposter syndrome and you’ll might identify with one or two, I’ll tell you mine afterwards. 

Types Of Imposter Syndrome

The Perfectionist

Let’s face it—when you’re starting out on your own, it’s easy to get caught up in the whole “this has to be done perfectly” mindset. Perfectionism and imposter syndrome really do go hand in hand…

These perfection seekers set ridiculously high goals, but when they don’t achieve those goals, they go through increased self doubt and worry about being able to keep up with it.  

Way Out Tip for you:

Calm down on the unrealistic standards, go for tasks that extends you rather than deflates you. It’s okay to have flaws, everybody have theirs so Embrace yours.

Take the chance to be happy with the efforts you put in and stop focusing on what extra 10% you could have further added on your 100%. 

The Superhero

If you’ve convinced yourself that you’re a fraud, but still pushing yourself to work twice as hard to measure up to that idealized version of yourself… this is probably just a façade to conceal insecurities about your abilities.

But you have to remember—this is all in your head. This whole thing is often referred to as the superwoman phenomena… it is an unrealistic expectation that you set for yourself when you don’t need to!

These imposter workaholics become dependent on the validation that comes from working, not the actual work or result themselves. 

Way Out Tip for you

The best thing you can do is to work on realizing this, and catching yourself in the act in order to ease the stress for yourself and rationalize how much work is reasonable.

imposter syndrome

The Einstein Expectation

We’ve all been there—convincing ourselves that the only way others are able to accomplish their goals is because they must’ve been born that way. And it really does look like that..

Think about singers and actors, they seem to have a natural born talent that has helped them get so far with their goals. What do you do if you don’t have a natural born genius inside you? Well the good news is that doesn’t exist!

This is otherwise known as the Einstein expectation… these type of imposter syndrome sufferers are keen on setting the bar ridiculously high just as perfectionists do…

Do you have a long history of receiving “Straight A’s” and living all by the rules? Do you meet setbacks and roadblocks with anger and shame because not doing something right the first time around invokes some sort of shame? It’s okay! You are not alone. 

Way Out Tip for you

The best thing you can do to combat this is to try seeing yourself as sort of a ‘work in progress’.. a person learning and growing as time goes on. You have the ability to create your own path, it’s all up to you to enjoy the process!

The Soloist

Have you ever found yourself refusing help? Preferring to ‘fly solo’.. maybe you think if you don’t do it yourself you’re never going to know how to. It’s alright to want to be independent—and you should be, you’re an entrepreneur after all! 

Way Out Tip for you:

This next chapter is all about opening those doors for yourself! But at the same time you have to remember that even the only child sometimes needs some guidance and some help. 

The most admirable trait a person can have is to know when to ask for help and to then go looking for it! The internet has become such a great and useful tool to help provide the guidance you might need!

Final Thought for Women Entrepreneurs

One Key thing to also be mindful about imposter syndrome is realizing that all of your feelings of self doubt and fraudulence comes along with stress!

Think about it—9 times out of 10 these feelings are coming from a place of starting anew or reaching a milestone! 

From perfectionism to the need to fly solo, there really is no shortage of ways women experience this self-doubt.

The best thing you can do for yourself, no matter the type of imposter you feel like you are, is to take a step back, look in the mirror and realize your worth… if anyone else in the world can make themselves a success story, so can you!

Drown out every self-doubt around you and try to focus on yourself and accomplishing your own goals! You are your own person and your own success story, So pick yourself up and realize that you can do it!


I promised to tell you mine, well I’m between the perfectionist and the superhero, I can’t tell you the back end story about coming online, seriously, like…hmmm.

But one thing is I got over it and made a promise to myself to face my fears aka my flaws, I told myself I’ll deliver value and in the process if I make any mistake, no more beating myself up, no more feeling inadequate, I’ll just enjoy the process, keep learning and Showing Up! 

Do you think you’re suffering from imposter syndrome or if you already identified yours before now, share your story on how cope with this fraud police mindset? 

Below are some link you might want to read more on.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Thoughts-Successful-Women/dp/0307452719

https://www.sciencetheearth.com/uploads/2/4/6/5/24658156/2011_sakulku_the_impostor_phenomenon.pdf

About the author

Funmi

Funmi is Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and by extension their businesses.

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