What is imposter syndrome? Demi Moore admits to 'never feeling good enough'

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Demi Moore admitted to feelings of inadequacy at the start of her career. [Photo: Getty]

Demi Moore recently opened up about feeling like she “wasn’t good enough” at the beginning of her career.

In her acceptance speech after winning the Woman of the Year Awards by the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House, an addiction recovery centre, Demi revealed her battle with feelings of insecurity.

She told the audience: “Early in my career, I was spiralling down a path of real self-destruction and no matter what successes I had, I just never felt good enough.”

While few of us are award winning actresses like Demi, many can still empathise with how she felt when starting out.

Some two thirds of women in the UK are said to suffer from not feeling good enough at work, a phenomenon which is also known as “imposter syndrome”. Here’s what it is, and how to beat it.

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological condition where you feel like a fraud in your own life.

It can often be accompanied by fear, insecurity and low self esteem – so if you’ve ever felt scared to speak in a meeting, or talked yourself out of going for that promotion, you’ll know how it feels.

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, tells Yahoo UK: “Imposter Syndrome is a widespread but little-known phenomenon so understanding how to overcome fraudulent feelings and nurture a more confident self will go a long way towards bolstering confidence and performance.”  

How do you overcome imposter syndrome?

Winwood advises those suffering from imposter syndrome to follow the ‘TRUE’ method.

  • Talk to a supportive friend, colleague or family member – don’t keep your fears to yourself
  • Remind yourself of your successes, document them and be inspired by your achievements
  • Use evidence to dispute and diffuse your inner bully
  • Evaluate how you’ve overcome imposter moments and share your learnings with others

He adds: “It’s important not to let self-doubt exacerbate our fear of failure, which may overwhelm us or crush our confidence. Instead, own your fears – use them as a positive, motivating force.

“Channel your fear into situations that daunt you and push yourself. Ask ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ And go for it, with a more resilient mind-set.”

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