Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome: The feeling that one feels like a fraud or inadequate despite evidence to the contrary, this phenomenon effects smart and successful persons. It usually appears when a notable accomplishment is gained. Anyone can suffer from this syndrome; however, minorities and women are the hardest group hit. It also is prevalent among Graduate Students.

So It Has a Name

I had never heard this phrase before until one of the professors in my Graduate School mentioned it and explained to us what it was.

“THAT’S IT!” I wanted to shout. That is what I have.

It is not because I’m a Graduate Student, but I have noticed that when I receive any accolades; it could be accolades at work or school, I grow uncomfortable.

fraud copyWhen people tell me I’m a brilliant writer, I think to myself, “You’re just saying that because…XYZ.” It doesn’t matter that these are people from different backgrounds, social status, race, gender, etc. I still think they are full of it.

I thought it was mere modesty, but it turns out, it is a real thing. It is not classified as a mental illness; never the less, it is a phenomenon that occurs in many high-achieving individuals.


My Grass is Greener

I don’t think social media helps one bit. Not only do we have to compete with Real Life People, but with virtual ones as well.

I think I’m the coolest, best at something, and then someone comes along and tops my accomplishment. Or rather, they say that such and such happened. Who knows the percentage of exaggeration or outright lying goes on.

I end up comparing my apple to their oranges, or rather, their orange peels.



There is a lot of information out there that gives advice on how to overcome impostor syndrome.

I’ve skimmed the articles, but I know what I have to do.

I just need to except that I am beyond brilliant, pat myself on the back, and keep it moving.

OK, well maybe that is a little overboard.






About Liz Kelso
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