Ten years ago, actor Emma Watson was at the top of her game. Fresh from the worldwide success of the Harry Potter franchise, she was a household name, set to embark on a glittering Hollywood career, while being lauded for her humanitarian efforts. It was around this time that she gave an interview, admitting that she suffered from imposter syndrome. She said, Now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an imposterAny moment, someones going to find out Im a total fraud, and that I dont deserve any of what Ive achieved.Watsons feelings arent uncommon among women. A KPMG study finds that 75 per cent of all women across industries have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in time. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills.The phrase was first coined in 1978 by psychologists Dr Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes in their founding study The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention. The study revealed that despite earned degrees, scholastic honours, high achievement on standardised tests, praise, and professional recognition from colleagues and respected authorities, high-achieving women do not experience an internal sense of success and often consider themselves to be impostors. They are convinced that they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.Imposter syndrome occurs for a variety of reasons, says psychologist Nagalakshmi Reddy. The first is your family. If you grew up in a home environment that constantly thought your efforts and achievements were not enough and kept pushing you to do more and be more, it could lead to feelings of under-worthiness later in life. Also, if you yourself are a perfectionist and hold yourself to a high or impossible standard even if the job does not call for it you could well be plagued by imposter syndrome. Anyone can suffer from it, right from a college student to the head honcho of a company. Does this mean you should keep thinking you are the best? Absolutely not.Feelings of self-doubt are normal, and even important sometimes. If youve received negative feedback, it is vital to take that feedback and convert it into something positive. However, when the feeling of inadequacy continues or if you feel like a fraud for an ongoing period of time, despite achievements and accolades, then perhaps you could be suffering from imposter syndrome. People with imposter syndrome often suffer from anxiety, since they are afraid that their achievements will be taken away from them after they are found out. Instead of feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment, youre often stressed with your successes.Another common myth is that confidence necessarily translates into competence. Men have had decades of conditioning to take on the alpha role and, therefore, allow themselves to feel and behave more confidently than women at work. This doesnt mean theyre better at what they do. The other factor is that women set high expectations for themselves because were constantly told we need to be twice as good as men to be rewarded. When we fall short of our own standards, it leads to imposter syndrome.Career counsellor and coach, Gautam Medappa, believes that women are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome because they dont have enough role models. For instance, if a woman sees more men in civil engineering or construction, theyre inclined to believe that they dont belong and cant do the job as well as their male counterparts. This is also true for women in the boardroom, who see more men in leadership roles.The gender pay gap is also real and can contribute to imposter syndrome. If a woman is getting paid significantly lesser than a man in her company, shes going to feel like shes not good enough. It is basically feelings of exclusion or stigma in workplace environments that make women feel like frauds. Imposter syndrome is not just created by the women it affects. It is also created by the environment at home and at work. Do not solely blame women for it.Nagalakshmi feels that there is no easy way to resolve imposter syndrome. Self-reflection and mindful assessment of your pluses and minuses in the workplace can help. Show yourself some self-love and compassion. Validation and praise from bosses and peers can also go a long way in making sure you feel better. Seek out trusted friends, mentors and guides in whom to confide. External validation may not always be the answer in the long term, but it can help you overcome initial feelings of imposter syndrome. Keep reminding yourself of your achievements and highlight them, instead of trying to downplay them. Do not attribute everything to luck. Sure, being in the right place at the right time is important, but workplace success is so much more than that.Even Michelle Obama still has imposter syndrome. I still have a little impostor syndrome It doesnt go away, that feeling that you shouldnt take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is. But she also advised young women to start getting those demons out of your head. The questions I ask myself - 'am I good enough?' - that haunts us, is because the messages that are sent from the time we are little are: maybe you are not, don't reach too high, don't talk too loud... Here is the secret. I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at non-profits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the UN - they are not that smart!'