This episode is for anyone who has ever felt like they aren’t “good enough” or “qualified enough” to go for or perform a certain job or role — especially women. I asked imposter syndrome expert Valerie Young to break this social and psychic phenomenon down for us AND give us some tips on how we can learn to manage it.
Let’s face it, no matter how successful some of us are — or well educated or well trained — many of us (including myself) have secret thoughts that they don’t deserve the success that’s either bestowed on us or that we’re reaching for.
Usually this manifests with being afraid to try: to cold call that agent, apply for the funding, go on that audition, even tell your friends and family members your ideas. We hold ourselves back OR when we do get that promotion we get worried people won’t think we’re talented enough and we will be “found out.” We compare ourselves to others, we walk around with the most NEGATIVE thoughts in our brains and we feel depressed that we suck and can’t pull out of it.
The idea here is to not blame yourself for your imposter syndrome — we’ve picked up and internalized messages since we were a child that confirmed our worst fears. Valerie’s book (The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women) cites many studies that show us how men and white people are picked over women and minorities all the time. Or, maybe our parents never told us we could accomplish our dreams with lots of planning and hard work.
Valerie says the idea isn’t to cure our imposter syndrome; it’s to have imposter moments in our lives not live an “imposter life.” Three of her simple tips teach us how to manage these emotions which, PS, can’t be talked away.
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