5 Daily Life Factors that can Contribute to Imposter Syndrome in Us

Feeling like you’re a misfit, constantly doubting your abilities, and fearing that someone will find out you are not as smart or capable as they think. If so, you may be struggling with imposter syndrome. This condition is surprisingly common, affecting men and women of all ages and backgrounds. But what causes it, and how can we overcome its effects? To help you, I’ll go over key factors that contributed to my feeling of imposter syndrome at UC Berkeley and how they made me feel inferior or not smart enough. So stay tuned while I talk about this hurdle we often come across! 

Imposter Syndrome in a Word

Imposter syndrome – you must have heard this term a lot lately, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, imposter syndrome is the feeling of being an inadequate or an unworthy person, despite evidence to the contrary. This can manifest in many ways, such as feeling like you’re not qualified for your job or that you’re only successful because you’ve been lucky. 

For some people, imposter syndrome is a chronic condition that affects their everyday lives. Others may only experience it in certain situations, such as when starting a new job or giving a presentation. When I went through a bout of feeling like an imposter, I internalized the feeling that I was not smart enough, and that’s why I  was in the remedial English class at UC Berkeley. 

While imposter syndrome can be painful and frustrating, it’s important to remember that many highly successful people experience  imposter syndrome at some point  in their life.  

Top Factors that Trigger Imposter Syndrome 

Do you find yourself insufficient, despite your qualifications and accomplishments? If so, you might be going through imposter syndrome, a common phenomenon that can affect anyone in any field. But what are the factors that contribute to imposter syndrome in us? When I started putting more thought into my self-doubt and negation during my college days, I found these top 5 things to be my biggest triggers: 

  • Comparisons in All Forms


It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of constantly comparing ourselves to others. We see what they have and what they’ve achieved, and it can make us feel like we’re not good enough. We start to doubt our abilities and accomplishments, wondering if we’re cut out for this. The key at this point is to remember that everyone has unique talents and strengths. Comparison is only going to hold you back. Once I pinpointed that my habit of comparing myself to other college students was making me doubt my capabilities, a switch flipped in me. That’s when I decided to focus on my journey and trust that I have what it takes to achieve my goals.

  • The Pressure of Perfectionism 

Many of us strive for perfection in everything we do, which can harm our mental health. When we’re constantly trying to make everything perfect, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. This can lead to imposter syndrome, where we feel like we’re not good enough or a fake. We may start to second-guess our abilities and hesitate to take risks. If you’re struggling with perfectionism, it’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay. Accepting our imperfections is an essential step in managing imposter syndrome. Try to focus on your successes rather than your failures, and give yourself credit for your hard work. Remember that activity beats perfection.

  • Fear of failure 

Another big reason we might feel insufficient is the constant pressure to succeed. We’re constantly being told that we have to do our best and be the best. As a first-generation professional, we shoulder the responsibility of our family’s sacrifices and success.  Unfortunately, this pressure can lead to a fear of failure. When we’re afraid of failing, it’s easy to believe we’re not good enough. After all, if we were smart or talented, we wouldn’t be afraid of failing, right? Wrong. Imposter syndrome doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough – it just means that you’re human and capable of feeling scared and uncertain sometimes.

  • Lack of self-confidence

A big part of imposter syndrome is a lack of self-confidence. We doubt our skills and wonder if we can do the things we have accomplished. This can lead us to feel like we are always one step away from being found out as incapable and not-so-smart. If we can work on building our self-confidence, it can help us to overcome imposter syndrome and believe in ourselves more. Talking to a therapist or counselor can help in this area because they’ll provide guidance and support as you build your self-confidence.

  • Internalized Shame and Bias

Internalized shame and fear can lead us to believe that we’re somehow undeserving of our accomplishments. Moreover, societal bias contributes to imposter syndrome by telling us that we must be perfect to succeed. I also believe imposter syndrome is often perpetuated by a lack of mentorship and support. 

We worry that we will be exposed as frauds or odd ones and that our actual lack of talent or ability will be revealed. This can result in anxiety, depression, and a feeling of powerlessness. But it doesn’t have to be this way because we can choose to believe in ourselves and our abilities.


It’s normal to feel like an imposter at some point in your life. After all, we’re constantly bombarded with images and messages telling us we’re not good enough. Whether in school, work, or in our personal life, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others.  I want you to know that with all your talents and imperfections, you are good enough.  You have the qualities to succeed.  If you’re still doubting yourself , start by identifying your trigger points and then devise a strategy to overcome them.