Imposter Syndrome

GV Rama Rao By GV Rama Rao, 19th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Do you have the Imposter Syndrome? Anyway, read this piece and help me out.


I suffer from several maladies, mental disorders, phobias and have a bias of all kinds. Unfortunately, I do not suffer from imposter syndrome which I'd love to have. One may ask whether I have lost my bananas to wish for a syndrome, and he cannot be faulted.


Imposter syndrome affects only successful people whose ranks I'd love to join. It's also not a mental disorder but an attitude. Now, very few people can claim to have no attitude, but the attitude individuals with the syndrome under reference have are strange. It is not of arrogance or connected with ego. Instead, these people downplay their success and think they are either fraud to be found out sooner or later or they are plain lucky to achieve the success. This attitude in the face of strong evidence of their success and achievement often baffles many.

Persons affected

This syndrome is more common among women and three out of five successful people have this malaise if it can be called so. Of course, seventy-five percent of people exhibit the symptoms of this syndrome at one stage or other.


There is a great advantage of not having this syndrome for the people afflicted with it work harder raising the bar frequently to the point of burning themselves out just to prove that their success was not a flash in the pan or a matter of luck. They always strive to convince their superiors that they are not frauds. All this in the face of strong evidence of their talent or hard work or merit looks weird. I do not want to look odd for sure. Nor I would like to deprecate my skills or achievements. I may not brag about myself, but I will not run myself down with disparaging comments.

Judgemental traits.

Men and women with the personality trait under reference tend to judge themselves harshly. I, for one, do not judge myself and leave this task to others. If they think I am a genius, so be it, and I am not going the extra mile to contradict that perception. If they think I am an awful writer I just dismiss them as people with little or no knowledge of writing and writing skills. It's no arrogance but just self-confidence and self-esteem in the right measure. I don't walk with a swagger but in sure and steady steps. This is probably an off shoot of the training I received in the navy, but I think it is just a healthy feeling of confidence.

My take

I also believe I might not have achieved phenomenal success in any walk of life to have the imposter syndrome. However, I do have the imposter feelings, and I believe whatever little I accomplished was not due to any luck but due to the hard work I had put in. I always believed the only way to improve one's writing is to keep regularly writing. With this lofty idea, I used to write 3K words every day and advise my friends to follow the same path.


Unlike people suffering from the syndrome I always loved the feedback on my writing. In fact, I used to invite it and take the praise or criticism of the correct perspective. I edited my work taking the feedback into consideration. I learned some eminent authors like Jeffrey Archer revised or edited their manuscript as much as eighteen times before sending it to the publishers.


Lastly luck is something undefinable. Renowned people described success is ninety percent perspiration and ten percent inspiration. Success is therefore directly proportional to the hard work one puts in. The more one works hard, the more the chances of luck finding the person. I read somewhere that shallow men believe in luck while the achievers think in terms of cause and effect.

I felt sad when I read that Albert Einstein also suffered from this syndrome in the evening of his life. If it were true, there is certainly a case for acquiring this syndrome. Since I am no spring chicken, perhaps it's worthwhile to get this syndrome from some of my celebrity friends. I hope it's infectious. If any of my readers is suffering from this syndrome, he may kindly invite me to his residence, serve my favorite evening elixir, treat me with a delightful dinner and also pass on the syndrome in some measure. Needless to state I shall be grateful to him for the last few years of my life for becoming a minor celebrity.


I, therefore, request my wonderful friends of wikinut community to give me feedback on my writing and pass on any spare syndrome at their disposal with love and affection.

Wikinut is the best site to post one's writing and hone his skills with the help of an enlightened community.

Source: Internet
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author avatar Carol Roach
20th Mar 2015 (#)

imposter syndrome is the opposite of what you just said, people are convinced they do not have what it takes to be successful, they feel they are an imposter

It is a psychological condition

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
20th Mar 2015 (#)

I said the same thing. I wrote,"these people downplay their success and think they are either fraud to be found out sooner or later or they are plain lucky to achieve the success. This attitude in the face of strong evidence of their success and achievement often baffles many." We're on the same frequency.

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author avatar M G Singh
20th Mar 2015 (#)

Great post and most interesting

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
20th Mar 2015 (#)

My dear Madan,
Many thanks for your comment.

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author avatar WOGIAM
22nd Mar 2015 (#)

I enjoyed reading this article, it dealt with a topic/trait which many of us would hardly think about.

I am still evaluating my self to confirm if i have the impostor syndrome.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
22nd Mar 2015 (#)

My dear WOGIAM,
Many thanks for your comment. Let me know the result after your evaluation.

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