The Impostor Syndrome

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to WILM&A (Women in Leadership, Mentorship, and Allyship) out of London. WILM&A is a global organization that is helping women leaders create a vibrant community to overcome gender inequality. Our topic yesterday was—The Impostor Syndrome.

Who hasn’t felt like an impostor at some point in their career? Men and women alike. It’s not a good feeling. I first felt the impostor syndrome when I was working for Prudential back in the late 1980’s. My mind started to convince myself that I wasn’t as smart as everyone else there. My confidence and self-esteem plummeted. It was not a good time. And there was no internet at the time to Google “Impostor Syndrome,” to get clarity or support.

The truth is, we create this “impostor” in our own head by comparing ourselves to others, fixating on our flaws, and our own critical self-talk. What if we paused that unhelpful conversation we are having with ourselves and start one that is more positive, more accurate, and more helpful. What if, instead of “impostor,” we started thinking in terms of self-awareness. And instead of fixating on the flaws, what if we started to take note of all of our amazing attributes and skills? You and I are not impostors—not by a long shot. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change! You are in control!!



P.S. An impostor, by definition, is someone who has the intent to deceive. None of us are intentionally trying to deceive anyone, therefore we cannot be an impostor.

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