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The Impostor Syndrome

The Impostor Syndrome

describes a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to him/herself (and not to others.) It's especially common in fields where people's work is constantly under review.

Effects of the Impostor Syndrome

Women experiencing the impostor syndrome may be

less willing to put themselves forward, feeling that they are

not qualified, by such as:

  • Not applying for jobs, promotions, and other employment opportunities

  • Not submitting papers to conferences or journals

  • Disclaiming or understating their experience/skill when speaking or writing

  • Nervousness about talking to others in their field, especially if those others are perceived as highly skilled/experienced

  • Feeling like a fraud

  • Worrying that someone will find out their lack of qualifications and fire them

  • Having higher stress

  • Overpreparing for tasks

  • Attributing successes to chance or luck


How To Overcome the Impostor Syndrome

Here are a few ways that you can begin working through feeling like a fraud. You don't have to be perfect. Just be yourself.

  • Focus on the value you bring; not on attaining perfection

  • Own your successes. You didn’t get lucky by chance

  • Cease comparisons. They’re an act violence against oneself

  • Hold firm to ambition. Risk outright exposure

From Margie Warrell, the best-selling author of Stop Playing Safe

The only way to find out who you are is to allow your authentic self to emerge and act courageously to use your gifts.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

C.S. Lewis

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