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signs of impostor syndrome

5. Overachieving.

Wait, what? Isn’t overachieving a good thing. “I’m such an overachiever.” Here’s the thing. We’re imperfect beings. All of us. So are you overachieving because you want to do great work for those you serve, put good out into the world? Or are you overachieving to run from the deep dark feeling that you aren’t enough?

More often than not, it’s the latter. We turn into high performers in our work because we’re trying so hard not to feel like we aren’t enough. And on the outside, that leads to career success. On the inside, we STILL feel like we aren’t enough. That we don’t belong. That we’re an impostor among our peers. This leads us to…

Related: 17 Signs You Are An Overachiever and How To Let Go

6. Fear Of Being Found Out.

If we don’t belong… if we’re not as good as others think we are… if we achieved our success because of good fortune… if we’re constantly having to overachieve to make up for our deficiencies… well then it’s only a matter of time before we’re found out.

This is one of the more crippling and painful signs of impostor syndrome because it’s almost like we’re constantly looking over our shoulders, metaphorically speaking. We’re waiting for that other shoe to drop. We don’t know when it’s going to come, but we are so convinced that it will. And yet, here you are, reading this article… and that day hasn’t come.

7. Setting Unrealistically High Goals… So You Can Fall Short.

And this one might just rock your world. This is self-sabotage at its finest. Have you ever told yourself, “I need to get all of this done by the end of the weekend,” just to find yourself unable to complete the work and get down on yourself?

This is an unconscious behavior that creeps its way into so many aspects of our lives. We overcommit, not only to others but to ourselves, so that we can prove to ourselves that we’re not enough.

We always take actions most consistent with who we believe we are. If we believe we don’t belong, if we believe we’re not enough, if we believe we’re an impostor… we’re going to take conscious and unconscious action consistent with those beliefs. The key to beating impostor syndrome lies in the truths of who we believe we are.


Signs of Impostor Syndrome pin
7 Signs of Impostor Syndrome
signs of impostor syndrome pin
7 Signs of Impostor Syndrome
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Dr. Karthik Ramanan, NMD

Dr. Karthik Ramanan, NMD ("Dr. K") is a licensed Naturopathic Physician and your Emotional Health Mentor. Dr. K completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University with dual bachelors degrees in Biological Sciences and Applied Economics and Management. He went on to work eight years on Wall Street, a period of time that spanned the recession of 2008 and the years after. After experiencing a life-changing 100 pound weight loss journey, he left his career and attended Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona to become a naturopathic physician. Today, Dr. K is committed to helping other high-achieving entrepreneurs and professionals end burnout so that they can stop chasing joy and begin living in wonder.View Author posts