Is Impostor Syndrome Holding You Back? - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


Is Impostor Syndrome Holding You Back?

Afraid you won’t live up to expectations and will be found out? You’re not alone.


3: Stop Comparing

Comparison is the mother of all (or, at least, most) insecurities. There might be a better woman who somehow manages to do better than you, fueling doubts about your capabilities. It’s important not to compare yourself against such a woman, though that can be difficult. If you do catch yourself making comparisons, try to use those to learn instead of letting them get you down.

Comparison is the mother of all (or, at least, most) insecurities.

Comparing yourself to others isn’t the only kind of comparison that can damage your self-confidence. If you tend to compare yourself to a fantasied view of what you think you should be, but just can’t live up to, it can be just as destructive.

Setting ambitious but realistic goals is a fine line, but one you have to learn to balance to avoid inevitable failure. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take risks or challenge yourself. Challenges are an important part of a fulfilling work life. Rather, understand the difference between a challenging goal and an impossible one.

Impostor Syndrome leads to anxiety and low confidence, so overcoming it is the first step to a fulfilling work life.

Is Impostor Syndrome Holding You Back?

Don’t be afraid to speak up!

4. Risk “Exposure”

The cornerstone of Impostor Syndrome is fear of exposure. Many women do anything it takes to avoid being “found out” as less competent than everyone thinks they are. In the first week of my first job, I was afraid to do anything beyond what was specifically asked of me, scared that I would reveal to my new boss the mistake she’d made in hiring me. It was only after I tried a task that made me nervous that I realized how silly my previous doubts were. After that, I took on challenges despite my fear that they would “expose” me as an impostor. That fear dimmed pretty quickly, and work ended up being much more fun!

If you find yourself skirting away from challenges because you’re nervous about exposure, it’s time to jump out of your comfort zone. In the end, the only thing holding you back is yourself.


Have you ever experienced Impostor Syndrome? How do you overcome your self-doubts?

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Born in France but raised all over the place, Auriane has wanted to write ever since she was old enough to spell her name. In her spare time she loves reading, hanging out with her best friends (even when they’re not in the same time zone), and spontaneous singing with her Broadway-bound roommate.

Reader Discussion: 7 Comments

  1. Very informative piece! Among all my acquaintances I can count on the fingers of one hand the people who never doubt themselves or their decisions. I always used to envy the kind of faith they had in themselves. But with right advice and practice nothing is unachievable! I believe I learned how to handle job-related stress much better in the last couple of years.

  2. Challenges are healthy and good confidence builders. You prove to yourself that you can accomplish great things, even if you are not perfect and make mistakes. Women should love themselves for who they are and realize that imperfections are what make us beautiful. So take your mistakes and fall backs as a learning experience, and appreciate your strengths 🙂

  3. Randie Cadiogan

    I must admit that I'm extremely susceptible to comparing myself to others. But an important life advise I keep reminding myself is– other people's success are NOT my failures! I should never think that I’m doing something wrong if the people around me are gaining success “faster” than me.

    REMINDER TO MYSELF: Never ever compare! Success takes time and hard work!

  4. Courtney Watson

    Yeah, “stop or I should say, never every compare.” It might be a cliche, but each one is unique! I may not be good in Math like my Math wiz classmate but I’m good in Science (which is her weakness)! For me, it’s about learning to appreciate your skills and talents and enhancing them!

  5. Jen Spillane

    Taming the inner critic is an ongoing job, and this article offers some great suggestions. I find that reaching out to other people in my life is especially helpful. It puts things in perspective.

  6. Hannah Mayers

    I didn’t realize that there was a name for this! Admittedly, I do this to myself! I beat myself up over tests, meetings at work and any new projects that I have. Maybe I can let it go and get through them without all of the anxiety.

    Fingers crossed… LOL!

  7. Angela Davis

    I more often than not feel like I'm not good enough for what I am doing and wonder if my boss, friends, etc. will call me out on how bad I am at something. But I really am quite good at what I do. it's the 'others' in my head from when I was young that keep that keep me thinking otherwise. Thanks for reminding me that I'm better than I realize.

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