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How to overcome imposter syndrome | Codette Celebration Day 2019

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.

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How to overcome imposter syndrome | Codette Celebration Day 2019

  1. 1. How to overcome imposter syndrome & make better use of your resources Andra Zaharia Freelance Content Marketer focusing on cybersecurity & privacy
  2. 2. What exactly is imposter syndrome? “That special brand of disillusionment that makes you feel worthless despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.” Coined by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in the 1970s and used to describe her observations during therapeutic sessions with high-achieving women.
  3. 3. What imposter syndrome feels like
  4. 4. It can also feel like: ● Inferiority ● 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
  5. 5. Follow James.
  6. 6. Imposter syndrome can become toxic. It can make you: ● Less productive ● Risk-averse ● Anxious ● Isolated ● Unhappy ● Depressed
  7. 7. Read the article.
  8. 8. Why we need to talk about imposter syndrome
  9. 9. 70% of people will experience at least one episode of impostor syndrome in their lives Source.
  10. 10. 62.5% of people working in Marketing, advertising, and PR have experienced imposter syndrome in the past year Source.
  11. 11. 68.37% of people working in in Information Technology have experienced imposter syndrome in the past year Source.
  12. 12. 86.96% of people working in Creative Arts and Design have experienced imposter syndrome in the past year Source.
  13. 13. It can occur in all kinds of settings ● A new environment ● Academic contexts ● In the workplace ● In social interactions ● In relationships (platonic or romantic)
  14. 14. Read the article.
  15. 15. Read the tweet.
  16. 16. “It wasn’t until I started talking to others about my fears of being a phony that these fears started to go away.”
  17. 17. Imposter syndrome is not a personal problem. It’s a cultural one. ● It’s a reflection of daily discrimination & stereotyping ● It highlights how organizational culture is lacking ● Data reveals the scale of the problem ● More stories uncover what it’s like to experience it
  18. 18. Imposter syndrome is defined by 6 characteristics
  19. 19. OVERWORKING “If I work harder, I’ll feel better about myself.” IMPOSTER SYNDROME “I’m not good enough to be here.” FEAR OF FAILURE “If I don’t work harder and harder, I’ll certainly fail.” SELF-BLAME “It’ s my fault that I can’t be as productive as X..” SOMATIZATION & DECREASED PRODUCTIVITY Imposter syndrome goes round and round 1. The Impostor Cycle
  20. 20. Read the article.
  21. 21. Victoria Wood, CBE - comedian, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter, producer and director.
  22. 22. It boils down to various types of fear The fear of not knowing enough. To fear of not fitting in / not being accepted. The fear of failure.
  23. 23. 2. The need to be special or to be the very best “Impostors often dismiss their own talents and conclude that they are stupid when they are not the very best.” Source.
  24. 24. Read the article.
  25. 25. "Impostors often feel overwhelmed, disappointed, and overgeneralize themselves as failures when they are unable to fulfill their perfectionistic goals." Source. 3. Superman/Superwoman aspects
  26. 26. Read the article.
  27. 27. “For Impostors making mistakes and not performing at the highest standard precipitates feelings of shame and humiliation.” Source. 4. Fear of failure
  28. 28. Read the article.
  29. 29. "Impostors attribute their success to external factors (luck) to a greater degree than non-Impostors." Source. 5. Denial of competence and Discounting praise
  30. 30. Follow Lindsay.
  31. 31. "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.” Source. 6. Fear and guilt about success
  32. 32. Read the article.
  33. 33. Source: The creative cycle
  34. 34. 20 things that help you manage imposter syndrome
  35. 35. “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. Follow Paul.
  36. 36. “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. Follow Paul.
  37. 37. 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 relationships ➔ Live bravely and take more chances ➔ Adapt faster to new situations ➔ Build a life and career you truly love
  38. 38. 4. Remember it’s temporary. Read the article.
  39. 39. 5. Get perspective from others. Read the article.
  40. 40. Try the My Unique Ability exercise Source.
  41. 41. 6. Build a support system. Read the article.
  42. 42. 7. Try therapy and coaching. ➔ Build self-awareness ➔ Understand your reactions ➔ See your thoughts from a different perspective ➔ Solve underlying issues that lead to self-doubt ➔ Learn how to cope with challenges ➔ Become kinder to yourself
  43. 43. 8. Try journaling. Gratitude journal Achievement journal ● X things I’m grateful for ● What I’m learning from my challenges ● People I’m grateful for ● The best part of my day ● Achieved goals ● Milestones ● Compliments and recommendations ● Unexpected praise and opportunities
  44. 44. 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.
  45. 45. 10. Stop apologizing Avoid apologizing for: ● your beliefs ● your desires ● your goals ● your past ● the fact that you are a woman/man ● things you can’t control. When you don’t apologize, you: ● Feel empowered ● Become more confident ● Increase your self-respect ● Strengthen your integrity.
  46. 46. "The sorrys are taking up airtime that should be used for making logical, declarative statements, expressing opinions and relaying impressions of what we want." Source.
  47. 47. 11. Believe in your ability to learn Follow Donn.
  48. 48. 12. Reach out to people you admire.
  49. 49. 13. Share your own imposter stories.
  50. 50. Follow Chad.
  51. 51. 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
  52. 52. 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 people.” “We're counting on you to trust yourself enough to speak your own version of our future.” Seth Godin Read the article. Read the article.
  53. 53. 16. Give yourself some credit. Read the article.
  54. 54. 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.” Conan O'Brien
  55. 55. “There aren't really any experts, though, just people further along in their individual journeys.” Paul Jarvis - Everything I know
  56. 56. “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.
  57. 57. 19. Even if it doesn’t go away, you can handle it. Follow Lindsay.
  58. 58. 20.
  59. 59. SOME imposter syndrome can be a GOOD thing. ● Shows you’re challenging yourself ● Keeps your ego from ballooning ● Indicates progress ● Points out you're gaining experience Read the article.
  60. 60. Read the article at:
  61. 61. Read more stories about imposter syndrome: ● Impostor Syndrome: How I Fool My Bosses, and You Too ● A few words on “Impostor Syndrome” & women in STEM ● The three levels of self-awareness ● I can handle my critics – apart from the nasty voice in my head
  62. 62. Find me here: | @andrazaharia