Imposter (usurper) syndrome was noticed and named in the 1970s. The term was coined in the 1970s to describe feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy that often arise in high achievers. People who are ambitious and focused on development often struggle with negative, recurring thoughts, as if they don’t deserve an achievement, a position, a well-paid or developing, prestigious job.


Why is this happening?


Our culture is oriented toward continuous development and the need for education. In the most demanding industries (medicine, high-tech) or where evaluation is purely discretionary (art), it is most difficult to cope with ever-changing demands or the changing, capricious judgment of the critics’ body. We don’t have time to celebrate our tangible successes, because after reaching a given peak, another one looms in the distance. Satisfaction with success is temporary, and the inner critic tells us that there is still a lot of work ahead of us, and once again we will not be able to “cheat the system” and gain the next important success. Such feelings can cause measurable damage not only to our psyche, but also to our careers. Doubting oneself, one’s accomplishments, talents, unique, positive character traits brings truly deplorable consequences.


As TrueMe, we are aware of what a significant social problem the cheater/sucker syndrome is. That’s why we prepared and recorded a meeting with Dagmara Brzezinska, business mentor, long-time leader, vice president of Inpost and author of the Vogue podcast “My Way.” During the webinar, we covered the following topics:


5 things you should and should know about usurper/usurper syndrome:


1 It affects a huge number of people, especially those of us who are successful, whose share is social advancement, whose success is measurably greater than that of people from their backgrounds.

2 This syndrome often gives us a hard time at the moment of the greatest success in life, making us unable to enjoy it and we question it. We don’t celebrate the achievement, but worry that someone will finally discover that we managed to “fool” everyone. This is a very sensitive moment that can project our future career. Being in a weaker condition, we may indeed perform worse and worse, and thus cease to “deserve” the hard-won position.

3 The imposter syndrome projects not only on the person with this affliction, but also on those around him, especially those who are dependent/dependent on this person. Subordinates of a person feeling “usurper” may also feel this syndrome; such a superior does not praise her team at meetings, does not emphasize their merits, because she feels they are not worth much – and neither are her personal merits. A mother with imposter syndrome is unable to appreciate her children’s successes – they too, like herself, just “made it.”

4 You need to actively counteract the imposter syndrome by always having your accomplishments in the back of your mind – in order to recall them more easily, it’s a good idea to write out a list of them and keep them in sight – for example, in a desk drawer at work or proudly displayed on the wall of our home office.

5 It is important to seek help when we see the first signs of the syndrome, when we question our achievements and try to earn a new position by working beyond our means. We can discuss this both with a mentor in our company and by reaching out for coaching support (for this you can contact us at


TrueMe’s mission is to get to know ourselves as we are – to be open about our flaws, our strengths, the values we hold dear and the personality traits that determine our behavior. It is also a way to level the imposter syndrome – by getting to know ourselves, we know exactly what we are capable of. Our inner “imposter” or “usurper” will not then convince us of a distorted version of ourselves.


Are you curious about the aforementioned webinar? Would you like to receive a gift from us? Watch the video, available