Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Owning Your Skillset

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Owning Your Skillset

Written by Gillian Turner for the American College of Healthcare Sciences

What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome (noun): “A psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.” [1]

According to a study from 2020, between 9-82% of people will experience it at one point in their lives. [2].

A person with impostor syndrome may feel:

  • Like they are a failure despite proven success
  • Like they are a fraud and it’s only a matter of time until someone notices
  • Like they are unable to recognize their own accomplishments


Anyone can feel this way, and I have seen that some new wellness practitioners experience it as they are starting their own businesses. They have the skillset and the knowledge; they just have yet to gain the confidence.

During my time at ACHS, I have spoken with many ACHS students and graduates about their experiences graduating from college, starting their jobs, and owning their skills. So if you are feeling any self-doubt, I want you to know that you definitely aren’t alone! And just like they did, you can overcome any obstacles in your path and shine like you are meant to.

Here are some of the ways that you can work to overcome impostor syndrome and have confidence in yourself:

  1. Focus on your strengths and on the skills you learned in school. What were your best subjects? Focusing on what you know best can help to build your confidence. If you studied at ACHS, you might have taken our stress management courses which are also a great resource.
  2. Allow yourself to fail and try again without giving up completely. Oftentimes if we make a mistake it can be discouraging and we want to give up on our goals. A way to build your skills and confidence is to see it as a learning experience and try again. Over time you will learn that a small setback doesn’t mean a permanent failure.
  3. Recognize that you aren’t alone and that many people feel this way. When we see people showing only their best on social media, it can be hard to believe that they have gone through many struggles of their own and have probably been on quite a journey to get to where they are today. Realizing that other people may have the same struggles as you, no matter how perfect they seem, can help you to feel less alone.
  4. Write positive affirmations and speak kind words to yourself. This may sound cheesy, but it can be really helpful for many people. It might feel awkward at first, but over time, it can help build up your inner confidence and help you believe in yourself.


Always remember that life is a learning process, no one else is as perfect as they look on the outside, and if you believe in yourself, things can only get better from here! If you are an ACHS student or alumni looking for any career advice or resources, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of Alumni and Career Services Amy Swinehart at alumni@achs.edu 


[1] Impostor syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/

[2] Bravata, D., Watts, S., Keefer, A., Madhusudhan, D., Taylor, K., Clark, D., . . . Hagg, H. (n.d.). Prevalence, predictors, and treatment of impostor syndrome: A systematic review. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

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