Not an Imposter

What exactly is Imposter Syndrome and why do we feel that self-doubt creep up on us when we least expect it?  And how can we deal with Imposter Syndrome and even turn it into something positive rather than a barrier to our progress?

Why You Should Speak Up

Imposter syndrome comes at us in all sorts of different ways. It can become a vicious circle and a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you procrastinate to speak up in a meeting, the harder it is to break out of it. We all have the thought ’I won’t speak at this meeting so nobody will know how silly I am or that I haven’t got anything to say.’ But if you don’t say anything, then actually it makes you look weaker than you are.

It’s important to think about adding something and contributing and being part of it.


Be Your Authentic Self

It’s much more important to move from thinking about being an imposter to recognising your authentic self. It’s OK that you might not have all the answers.

You might feel that it’s more important that you ask other people to contribute; that you’re not sure of the way forward. That doesn’t make you an imposter. We’re all working in very uncertain times at the moment and we don’t have all the answers.


Give Yourself Space to Reflect

Another way of dealing with impostor syndrome is to take your space and recognise what makes you different and what’s unique about you. You have knowledge, skills and experience that others don’t.  That gives you something valuable to add to the meeting, to the work that you’re doing, to your business, or to your team.


Remember Your Successes 

Remind yourself of your successes. Too often, we focus on the times we’ve not done well and we forget our successes. Make it a point to have visual reminders of your successes around your working space. This can be as simple as a post-it note on your computer.

Giving Feedback

Giving colleagues or your team feedback can be a powerful way of supporting them in dealing with Imposter Syndrome. Give them examples of when they’ve spoken up in meetings, presented something well or managed a challenging audience. Help them see where they have transferable skills to support them in the situations they are finding challenging.

Tools, Tips and Techniques 

Practice is the most powerful tool you can use to overcome Imposter Syndrome. For example, if you’re going to go into a difficult meeting practice your introduction or the key points that you want to get across. Think about how others might respond. Consider what could go wrong and then think of ways to address those scenarios. You don’t have all the answers but you will be a lot more prepared.

Managing Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome 

In this full podcast episode, I chat with Nihal Salah about how we can manage Imposter Syndrome and the self-doubt that creeps up on us when we’re learning something new.