I won’t lie: I haven’t found a permanent solution to silencing imposter syndrome but I do have some practical tips on how to deal with it in a way that doesn’t keep you from thriving. Maybe you’ll find them helpful.
How to overcome imposter syndrome | Codette Celebration Day 2019
How to overcome imposter syndrome
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What exactly is
“That special brand of
makes you feel worthless
despite plenty of
evidence to the
Coined by psychologists Pauline Rose
Clance and Suzanne Imes in the 1970s
and used to describe her observations
during therapeutic sessions with
It can also feel like:
● Inadequacy and not fitting in
● Not internalizing success
● Believing you’re a fraud
● Unhappiness and anxiety
● Hesitancy and indecision
● Shame or guilt
● Self-doubt and self-sabotage
● Believing your achievements were based on luck
● Beating yourself up for things you can’t control
“It wasn’t until I started talking to others about my fears
of being a phony that these fears started to go away.”
Imposter syndrome is
not a personal
It’s a cultural one.
● It’s a reflection of daily
● It highlights how
organizational culture is
● Data reveals the scale of
● More stories uncover what
it’s like to experience it
Imposter syndrome is defined
by 6 characteristics
“If I work harder, I’ll feel
better about myself.”
“I’m not good enough to be
FEAR OF FAILURE
“If I don’t work harder and
harder, I’ll certainly fail.”
“It’ s my fault that I can’t be
as productive as X..”
round and round
1. The Impostor Cycle
"For example, when their successes are unusual in their family
or their peers, Impostors often feel less connected and more
distant. They are overwhelmed by guilt about being different
(Clance,1985) and worry about being rejected by others.”
6. Fear and guilt about success
20 things that help you
manage imposter syndrome
“If you frame ideas as experiments, you can’t technically fail at
anything. You're just going to prove or disprove a theory you've
arrived at through experimenting. And if it doesn't work the first
time, you can iterate and try something different. It doesn't work
until it does.”
1. Reframe failure as experimentation.
“Courage doesn’t come from an absence of fear; it comes
from being afraid and moving forward anyway.”
“You’re afraid of what you haven’t already done enough.”
2. Build and improve your process.
3. Build self-awareness.
➔ Act consciously instead of reacting to people & events
➔ Learn to genuinely to appreciate and love yourself
➔ Be authentically happy
➔ Enjoy life experiences more deeply
➔ Manage and redirect your negative thoughts and
emphasize positive ones
➔ Build positive and rewarding interpersonal
➔ Live bravely and take more chances
➔ Adapt faster to new situations
➔ Build a life and career you truly love
7. Try therapy and coaching.
➔ Build self-awareness
➔ Understand your reactions
➔ See your thoughts from a different
➔ Solve underlying issues that lead to
➔ Learn how to cope with challenges
➔ Become kinder to yourself
8. Try journaling.
Gratitude journal Achievement journal
● X things I’m grateful
● What I’m learning from
● People I’m grateful for
● The best part of my day
● Achieved goals
● Compliments and
● Unexpected praise and
9. Avoid generalization.
I never do anything right. >>> Sometimes I screw up and
that’s okay. (failure = experimentation)
I’m never going to be a pro at this. >>> I’m not the best
at this right now but I made a plan to master the craft.
I always fall short. >>> I can’t always be the best at
this but giving it my best effort is good enough for me.
This always happens to me. >>> This happens to me
sometimes. I’m going to reflect on it and see if it’s
real, why it happens, and what I can do about it.
10. Stop apologizing
Avoid apologizing for:
● your beliefs
● your desires
● your goals
● your past
● the fact that you are
● things you can’t
When you don’t apologize,
● Feel empowered
● Become more confident
● Increase your
● Strengthen your
"The sorrys are taking up airtime that should be used for
making logical, declarative statements, expressing
opinions and relaying impressions of what we want."
11. Believe in your ability to learn
14. Read good books.
● The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
● Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone
● The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
● If Only I'd Listen To Myself by Jacques Salomé & Sylvie Galland
● The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
● Becoming by Michelle Obama
● Linchpin by Seth Godin
15. Unpack feedback
Who is it for? Is it for them?
“The goal isn’t to serve everyone. The goal is to serve the right
“We're counting on you to trust yourself enough to speak your
own version of our future.”
Read the article.
Read the article.
16. Give yourself some credit.
Read the article.
17. Remember that nobody knows what they’re doing.
“Nobody knows really what they're doing and there's
two ways to go with that information. One is to be
afraid and the other is to be liberated, and I choose to be
liberated by it.”
“There aren't really any experts, though, just people
further along in their individual journeys.”
Paul Jarvis - Everything I know
“In the beginning, you might fear that you won’t be successful. Once you
achieve some success, you might be afraid that you won’t get any more.
Once you have a lot of success, you might worry about letting down your
now-sizable audience if you change anything or say the wrong thing.
At any stage, there are always fears.”
18. Define what enough is for you.
19. Even if it doesn’t go away, you can handle it.
syndrome can be
a GOOD thing.
● Shows you’re
● Keeps your ego from
● Indicates progress
● Points out you're
Read the article.
Read the article at:
Read more stories
● Impostor Syndrome: How I Fool
My Bosses, and You Too
● A few words on “Impostor
Syndrome” & women in STEM
● The three levels of
● I can handle my critics –
apart from the nasty voice in
Find me here:
AndraZaharia.com | @andrazaharia