Overcoming Imposter Syndrome | Sarina Russo

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
By Sarina Russo Editorial Team
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome Sarina Russo

"I don't deserve this”, "I'm not enough", "I just got lucky" are common thoughts people with imposter syndrome have.

Imposter syndrome is when a person thinks they are not worthy, nor deserving of their achievements. They often feel self-doubt, that they’re incompetent or that they’re a fraud.

It can affect anyone regardless of their seniority, background, or experience. However, it is more common among high-achieving individuals and people entering new roles.

Imposter Syndrome Sarina Russo

Where did imposter syndrome come from?

Imposter Syndrome was first defined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes.

Their study, "The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention", studied a sample of 150 highly successful and educated women who struggled to acknowledge their success despite being highly respected in their fields and holding a Doctor of Philosophy.

The participants noted they felt like they were imposters, were mistakenly admitted to graduate school and were not worthy of their success. While this, of course, was not the case, the women strongly believed otherwise.

These behavioural attributes and feelings led to the term imposter phenomenon, or as we know it today, imposter syndrome.

To find out more about this study, please click here.

📖 Related Story: Avoid Burnout and Have a Good Work-life Balance


How to overcome imposter syndrome?

1. Talk to someone

The first step to tackling imposter syndrome is to acknowledge the feelings and acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. Talking to someone you trust will provide you with a new perspective and help you realise what you feel is normal and groundless.

2. List your achievements

Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down all your achievements since leaving high school. Often when you're feeling like an imposter, you overlook your past successes and achievements.

Take this time to reflect on everything you have accomplished. No matter how small you may think your accomplishments are, they have brought you one step closer to your goal.

3. Change your internal dialogue

You are worthy of your merits, and to believe that, you will need to reframe how you think and change your narrative. Whenever a negative or self-doubting thought arises, replace it with a positive one.

Substituting negative thoughts with positive ones will improve your mental health and help you really believe you are worthy.

Examples of overcoming negative thoughts:

Swap "I don't deserve this" with "I have earned this"

Swap "I am not enough" with "I am good enough"

Swap "I just got lucky" with "I worked hard, and I deserved this"

Imposter Syndrome Negative Thoughts Sarina Russo
4. Accept praise

Accept all the compliments and praise that comes your way. Even though you may not believe it, the more you accept it, the more comfortable you will be receiving it.

You are deserving of your merits and accepting recognition from your peers and friends is important in celebrating your successes and believing your worth.

Retraining our brains to be more optimistic takes time. However, if you continuously make an effort to be more positive and accept praise, your outlook will shift over time, and your mental health and personal perception will change for the better.


Want to speak to a professional?

All Sarina Russo Job Access job seekers can access our team of Allied Health Professionals at VOICE for free.

To access VOICE services, simply talk to a Sarina Russo Consultant and request a referral. VOICE is a free service to Sarina Russo Job Access job seekers.

If you're depressed and thinking of harming yourself, please call Lifeline's 24/7 Crisis Support Hotline immediately at: 13 11 14

You may be interested in

Health & Wellbeing
Avoid Burnout and Have a Good Work-life Balance
Resisting hustle culture and prioritising your mental health is vital. When everything is done and dusted, no one is going to remember your late-night work cram sessions or your working overtime 24/7. They will remember the memories they made with you and the person you were outside of work.
Health & Wellbeing
Finding a Job When you Have Depression
Are you finding it hard to gain employment due to mental health issues? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. 45% of Australians experience a mental health condition at some point in their life. ¹
Get that Job
How to be Successful Working from Home
In the past, working from home used to be the dream for many workers, however, it is becoming more of a norm. More people are choosing to leave their full-time corporate lives behind and work from home. A PwC survey found that 83% of office workers were eager to work from home at least one day a week. ¹
Sarina Russo Group acknowledges the First Nations Peoples of this Country, the traditional custodians connected to the land, water and community on which we live, work and help others to live their best lives. We also pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging, who strive to build a better and more sustainable future for future generations to come.