How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

If you find yourself consistently experiencing self-doubt, even in areas where you typically excel, you might have what is called Imposter Syndrome.

Those who struggle with Imposter Syndrome believe that they are not deserving of their achievements and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them. The sad reality is; the diagnosis is more often given to women.

It is no secret that over the years women in sport have taken great strides in breaking boundaries, but every now and again, the pressures of the environment have us feeling like a fraud at work.

2020 Momentum gsport Awards Woman in Radio winner Itumeleng Banda was recently given the opportunity to MC an awards ceremony. With all her experience and talent, the Radio and Television Broadcaster took to her Instagram account, to share her triggers.

“Dear self…I know putting this up makes you emotional, triggers your imposter syndrome and entirely replays this night like it was yesterday. But, I have a good feeling that this night has set you up for greatness (I know it sounds crazy), it was simply an induction into the life of a broadcaster, MC, or facilitator.

A life that demands you to keep the show going especially when things are falling apart. So, I’m proud of you Kid, no seriously I really am. Like I said, you’ll look back at this day and understand the WHY.

Until then, may your light continue to shine brighter than before, breathe, stay focused and don’t ever doubt your position in this industry.

Love: Your Best Friend, Me.”

While, 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winning defender, Nomvula “Lipstick Lady” Kgoale describes her experience.

“I experienced it at the u17 World Cup in 2010 after missing a penalty. From then onwards I believed that everything I did was not it. It was as if I don’t belong on the field and I even decided that I would retire at 16 because of the shame and embarrassment I felt of disappointing my teammates.”

The Banyana Banyana defender further added how she has managed to overcome it.

“I overcame it recently by talking to a High Performance Coach where she told me to write all my accomplishments since I began playing soccer and asked me for my opinion. I couldn’t believe how long the list was, but internally I felt that I still needed to do more. I wailed myself into the Coach’s arms because for so long I had been stuck in that 2010 moment not realizing that I was still doing well despite that. I felt like I was born again and the soccer practice and games were never the same after that moment.”

If you are personally struggling with imposter syndrome, here are a few tips that can help reduce those feelings.

1.Focus on the facts

Most of the time the feelings have you focused on negative thoughts like you aren’t good enough at your job. The best way is to separate your feelings from the facts. Focus on the story and the facts of the situation at hand.

2.Acknowledge, validate and then let the feelings go

Even though you know your feelings are not based on facts, it doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid. The best way to deal with this is to acknowledge them, validate that it is okay then let those feelings go.

3.Share how you are feeling

Imposter syndrome has the ability to make you feel like you are alone. Try sharing these feelings with someone in the same space as you because chances are they’ve felt the same way at some stage of their career too.

4.Find a mentor

Look for someone in the industry who can give you practical advice and be able to support you. Put yourself in a position to learn from your peers.


Photo 1 Caption: 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winner Nomvula “Lipstick Lady” Kgoale shares her experience dealing with imposter syndrome and how she is learning to overcome it. Photo: Nomvula Kgoale (Twitter)

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