Overcoming imposter syndrome is an all too familiar challenge for many neurodiverse people as we make our way through the twists and turns of both our professional and personal lives. This ‘syndrome’, is essentially where you constantly doubt your abilities and worry about being seen as a ‘fraud’, and it hits very close to home for many! As people who’ve walked this path, we’ve learned a thing or two about tackling these feelings head-on, and we’re here to share some of that wisdom.

First off, it’s important to remember that feeling like an imposter isn’t unique to us neurodiverse folks. However, we often have an extra layer of challenges because of the way society sometimes misunderstands or undervalues our unique ways of seeing the world. Realising this can be the first step in shaking off those negative thoughts that feed imposter syndrome.

Knowing yourself is a key weapon in this battle. As neurodiverse individuals, we bring a special mix of skills and perspectives to the table – and that’s something to be proud of. Our knack for thinking outside the box, spotting patterns that others might miss, and tackling problems from a different angle is a real asset, no matter the field, be it in research or the creative industries. Recognising the worth of these traits in the workplace is a big move towards beating imposter syndrome.

Handy to ‘find your tribe. This could be neurodivergent networks where you can share your worries, or close friends and colleagues you can confide in. A place for your safety net, offering understanding, reassurance, and a fresh perspective on our ideas. 

In the workplace, pushing for an understanding and appreciation of neurodiversity is not just good for us as individuals but it enriches the whole work environment. Encouraging everyone, from bosses to co-workers, to learn about neurodiversity and adopt inclusive practices helps create a space where different ways of thinking are not just accepted but valued. This kind of atmosphere doesn’t just support neurodiverse people – it sparks innovation and creativity.

Setting realistic goals and celebrating all wins, big or small, also helps fight off feelings of being an imposter. We might take a different route to reach our successes, and that’s okay. What matters is recognising and valuing our unique journeys. Remember, there’s no single ‘correct’ way to achieve success.

For those who are just starting out or embarking on new adventures, feeling a bit out of place now and then is of course very normal. But it doesn’t take away from what you can do or the value you add to your field. See your neurodiversity as a strength, not something that is holding you back. 

Getting past imposter syndrome as a neurodiverse person involves a mixture of embracing who you are, building a supportive network, setting achievable goals and acknowledging the unique things you can bring to the table. By doing this you are not just giving yourself a boost but also helping create a more accepting and understanding world for neurodiversity as a whole! And what could be better than that!?