The Imposter [Syndrome] Among Us

Aderinsola Oluwafemi
3 min readJul 26, 2021
Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash

I’m scared. I’m panicking. I’m worried.

I feel like any second now, I’ll be outed as the scam I sometimes believe I am.

For context, I’m a designer. A Product Designer. A really good Product Designer, if I do say so myself. For the past couple of months, I’ve been working at this amazing organization — Eden Life — and it’s been a really great journey.

I work with one other designer who has basically become a role model to me. He’s exceptional at what he does and I honestly aspire to be as great as he is. I’ve learnt so much working with him. But now, he’s leaving.

And I’m scared.

I’m scared because a part of me feels like I can’t do this without him here. I’m scared because him leaving means I have to step up and fill his shoes. They’re really big shoes. I’m scared that his absence would be so obvious and it would become clear that I’m not as good a designer as my employers and teammates think I am. I’m scared that I’ll be outed as an imposter who somehow scammed her way into working here.

If it isn’t clear already, I struggle with imposter syndrome. I think we all do in one way or the other.

I’m trying to encourage myself and remind myself that I’m badass at what I do and despite being the badass that I am, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because we’re always learning and always growing, right? Nobody knows it all. A lot of the people I look up to have repeatedly told me this.

As I write this, I’m listening to Flames by Sia and the lyrics are exactly the encouragement I need right now. I feel better than I did 5 minutes ago. I was literally on the verge of tears… Okay, that’s a lie. I was actually full on crying. Before you judge me, I should confess that I cry when I get stressed or feel under pressure.

I am extremely great at what I do. I know this. People tell me this. So why do I doubt it?

I’m working on getting to a point where I fully understand and accept that being great doesn’t mean being above mistakes. It doesn’t mean knowing and understanding everything. It doesn’t mean always having the answers. It just means that at the current level I’m at, I’m great and I recognize that I can be even greater by being open to learning more everyday.

There’s this pressure to act like you know it all and have all the answers but I’m over that. I don’t know it all and I don’t have all the answers — and that’s fine, as long as I’m constantly making the effort to learn, grow and improve.

I’m not an imposter. I earned where I am. I deserve to be where I am. I’m amazing at what I do. I know it. Everyone around me knows it.

You’re not an imposter either. You earned where you are ❤️

I also have an episode on my podcast where I talk about battling imposter syndrome with a friend of mine — Lede Adeniyi. You can check it out here:


Y’all…I was minding my business doing my work when I got a notification for a new article up on this blog I’m subscribed to. I clicked it, scrolled through — with a plan to go back and read it fully later in the day — and I came across this paragraph that seemed like it was written specifically for me. It says:

It really is OK to doubt yourself…but it is never OK to sell yourself short. Doubting doesn’t mean you can’t do it or won’t do it — doubting yourself is just a sign you need to figure out a way to keep going.

I’m sharing it here for anyone who needs the encouragement. You can read the full article here.