Blog Archives

Strategies for Coping with Impostor Syndrome

gtchat 11162017 Impostor

What is Impostor Syndrome? It’s feeling like you’re going to be found out that you are a fraud. You can never accept or enjoy success or accomplishment. Impostor Syndrome is at the crux of social anxiety; always feeling inadequate. “At university, impostors realize that there are many exceptional people; their own talents and abilities are not atypical. Often dismiss own talents; conclude they’re stupid when not the very best.” (Clance, 1985)

“Impostor Syndrome is when you are (mistakenly) sure that soon it will be obvious to all that you do not really belong in the gifted group.” ~ Jo Freitag, Coordinator – Gifted Resources, Victoria, Australia

Impostor Syndrome can manifest in many different ways such as perfectionism, the person who doesn’t ask for help (go it alone), or setting oneself up as an expert. Impostors can be workaholics (if they just work hard enough, they’ll succeed) or the profoundly gifted (setting the bar even higher).

Those dealing with Impostor Syndrome experience a negative impact on their psychological well-being. Burnout, emotional exhaustion, loss of intrinsic motivation, poor achievement, including guilt and shame about success are reinforced by the Impostor Cycle (Chrisman et al., 1995).

“I see a lot of the self-deprecating imposters. People that talk down about themselves to beat you to it.” ~ Kate Faulkner, Intervention and Enrichment Coordinator for Elementary Science in Sugar Land, TX.

How can family dynamics affect Impostor Syndrome? Family messages about the importance of being naturally intelligent are assumed to influence ambitions and expectations of Impostors from early childhood. (Clance ’85) Impostors have a strong need to please (Bussotti,‘90); may cause children to alter their behavior to prevent loss of affection from parents (Clance,‘85).

“Giftedness manifests in many ways. Some siblings’ gifts fit the academic paradigm, while others’ gifts may go unrecognized.” Jeffrey Farley,M.Ed.,  Principal of Odom Academy, Beaumont ISD, TX.

Perfectionism is a trait that is believed to have a marked impact on the development and maintenance of impostor fears. Impostors set “excessively high, unrealistic goals & then experience self-defeating thoughts and behaviors when they can’t reach those goals” (Kets de Vries, ’05).

There are coping strategies that can be used to overcome Impostor Syndrome. Realize you’re not alone. Many experience Impostor Syndrome; few talk about it. Consider a mentor. If you or someone you know feel overcome by Impostor Syndrome, seek professional help. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


The Five Types of Impostor Syndrome and How to Beat Them

Feeling like an Impostor? You Can Escape this Confidence-Sapping Syndrome

Is Imposter Syndrome a Sign of Greatness?

The Impostor Phenomenon (pdf)

The Dangers of Feeling Like a Fake

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

The Impostor Phenomenon: Differential Effects of Parenting and the Big-Five Personality Traits (pdf)

7 Coping Strategies to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (Amazon)

Beating the Impostor Syndrome (Amazon)

The Curious Case of Impostor Syndrome

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Island – Testing, testing …

Sprite’s Site: Pleading the Pink Slipper

7 Ways Teachers Can Push Past Imposter Syndrome


Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Adults and Impostor Syndrome

impostor syndrome

What Is Impostor Syndrome? That was the question we attempted to answer during #gtchat as well as ways to combat it. Feeling like a fake, just lucky, or false modesty are all characteristics of Impostor Syndrome. It is at the crux of social anxiety; yet, unlike simple insecurity, it drives one forward.

Highly successful; highly accomplished people often suffer from Impostor Syndrome. More women than men express feelings of being a fraud. More so minorities; those from low SES suffer from it.

Why does Impostor Syndrome happen in successful people? One reason is too much praise too early. When failure inevitably comes, one questions oneself. Also, when normal means coming in first, second place feels like failure.

What can be done to combat Impostor Syndrome? Realizing you are not alone. Many experience Impostor Syndrome; few talk about it. Pat yourself on the back. Remind yourself of what you’ve done. Find a mentor/become a mentor. Remember … a little humility can go a long way.

A full transcript may be found here.


Phony Impostors or Merely the Burden of Great Potential? 

Redefining Success: Owning My Achievements

‘I Always Feel Like a Failure…’

Women Entrepreneurs: Are We Successful Impostors?

Are There Downsides to Success? The Third Metric

Do You Suffer From Impostor Syndrome?

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

The Impostor Syndrome

TED@NYC: Impostor Syndrome, Activate!

Feeling Like a Fraud? You’re Not Alone 

10 Signs That You Suffer From “Impostor Syndrome” At Work

The Curious Case of Impostor Syndrome from Byrdseed Gifted

The Impostor Syndrome

Is Impostor Syndrome keeping women out of open technology and culture?

Managing Your Impostor Syndrome

How to Stop Feeling Like and Impostor

How I Cured My Imposter Syndrome

A Cure for Impostor Syndrome?

Expert Enough, Take 2: Why Impostor Syndrome Matters & How to Overcome It

Do You Feel Like a Fraud? You Might Have Impostor Syndrome

%d bloggers like this: