Research shows 70% of people may suffer from imposter syndrome

Feelings of inferiority are a sign of imposter syndrome

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Do you feel like a fraud? Is everyone else smarter, brighter, better? If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. In fact, 70% of people feel this way at one time or another. It’s called imposter syndrome, and these feelings of inferiority can impact you at work, school, and home.

“It’s very easy to look around and be like, I don’t, I don’t feel like I belong here. And it’s because I just see what I don’t have,” said Ethan Gwen, a BYU graduate student.

“I just felt very inadequate and felt very lost and worried about the future,” said Chelsia Liu, a BYU graduate student.

“I wasn’t supposed to be fitting in where I am,” said Matthew Johnson, a BYU graduate student. These college kids all have experienced imposter syndrome.

“They struggle to internalize their own success, they’re constantly worried about or concerned that other people are going to find out that they’re a fraud or a fake in the social group,” said Jeffrey Bednar, PhD, an associate professor of management at Brigham Young University. He spearheaded research into imposter syndrome.

A Twitter poll found 87% of people said they had experienced it.

“I feel it right now. I feel like everybody else knows so much more,” said Jason Stewart, a BYU graduate student.

In academia, most at risk, women in graduate programs, perfectionists and first-generation college students. Birth order and parenting styles can also play a role. Children who are praised for their grades instead of the process are more at risk. As for dealing with it, Bednar found many people binge to try to mask the feelings.

“By engaging for hours and hours at a time and watching movies or doing other things that really didn’t help them contribute to their success,” said Bednar.

A more successful approach … “Having someone outside of your particular social group, where you’re feeling like an imposter who can help you to recalibrate your perspective,” said Bednar. And remember, you can still have imposter moments, but you don’t have to live an imposter life.

Another important step to overcoming imposter feelings — acknowledge your thoughts and put them into perspective. Professor Bednar says you can experience imposterism at any age, and at any stage of your life.

To see if you may be suffering from it, there is an online test you can take at


Contributor(s) to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at:

About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter on weekday mornings at KSAT 12. He is also part of the Solutionaries team. He has deep South Texas roots: born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and worked in Harlingen and Corpus Christi before coming to KSAT 12 in 2019.