Over 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome

Recently I was talking with a couple of well qualified and experienced colleagues when someone brought up the idea of feeling like an imposter.

It’s that Who the Hell Do You Think You Are? kind of feeling you get when you get a promotion, submit a proposal for a large project, or go for more education. Or as a friend with a Master’s degree and a ton of experience once said when looking at his résumé, “That guy should be really confident. But I don’t feel that way.”

I have had that feeling many times and now see it as a sign to keep going because I’m growing. But I was surprised by how many people share that shakey feeling. In fact, I was just about to write about it for my blog when Huddle Today posted a great article. So why re-invent the wheel? (republished with permission. Thanks!)


Unmasking Impostor Syndrome
by Cherise Letson

“Why did they even hire you?”
“You just got lucky, that’s the only reason why you’re here.”
“You really messed up big time, they definitely are going to can your ass now.”

These are some pretty harsh things to say to a colleague. These are pretty mean things to say to anyone in general. But the reality is, countless workers are being told this every day– and it’s coming from themselves.

Impostor syndrome is defined as a “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.”

Often felt heavily among high achieving women (though nobody is immune, unless you’re like, a total narcissist), over 70 per cent of people have experienced it at some point during their careers. In fact, according to Psychology Today, some people even considered a “rite of passage” when building your career.

That’s nice, but it doesn’t make someone experiencing it feel any better, especially if you’re a young person who’s still learning the ropes as you try to make a career, or build a business. Because this is when impostor syndrome can be at its worst, when your skills or ability are in question, or even slightly critiqued. This is unfortunate since getting feedback and critiques is an important part of life and work, especially when you’re just starting out.

Read the full article


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