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What Is Imposter Syndrome And How Can You Overcome It?

0 2 years ago

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome refers to the inability to internalize your success. According to Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin, a psychologist, executive coach and author of Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life, imposter syndrome is the experience when you are skilled, accomplished, credentialed and experienced but you haven’t internalized it. As a result, you fear being exposed as a fraud for things like making mistakes or falling short, and to compensate for this, you either overwork or self-sabotage.

The result can be burnout, disconnecting from goals or interests or feeling stuck in your career. Additionally, people with imposter syndrome may micromanage those who report to them because they are worried their performance will reflect poorly on them. Those experiencing imposter syndrome may overwork for the sake of others, find it challenging to leverage key moments at work and rate themselves lower than others would.

What are the signs of imposter syndrome?

As a career and executive coach, I often partner with leaders struggling with imposter syndrome. Some of these executives have had it for years, while others are experiencing it for the first time as the result of starting a new job. Either way, they worry that they will soon be found out and the house of cards they’ve built will metaphorically come crashing down.

If any of this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing signs of imposter syndrome. While the signs vary from person to person, they often include feeling like you are a fraud, experiencing persistent self-doubt and worrying you will be found out or discovered. This results in working harder and more to prove yourself and your abilities. It’s exhausting.

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