Not Part of the Club? Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong?  Like someone made a mistake about you, and thought you were “all that” when you know deep down you are not “all that”? 

Most of us have felt this way at times. Why do we believe that we’re imposters, when we have what it takes to be successful at what we’re doing?  

So called “Imposter Syndrome” describes when you feel like you’re in a club in which you don’t belong, you’re not qualified. We feel this when we see the amazing work of our colleagues and think “Why did they hire me?  I’m not as good as they are.”

Valerie Young, author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, offers tips for overcoming imposter syndrome:

  • Don’t wait until you feel confident – take a risk and your confidence will grow
  • Visualize your success – imagine that an upcoming interaction will be positive and have positive outcomes
  • Know that feeling like an imposter is common, particularly if you’re one of the “firsts” (e.g. a women in a mostly-male tech firm)
  • Take Henry Ford’s advice “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

I am so pleased to be speaking on this topic at the 2021 Women Who Code conference in November – the largest & most active community of technical women internationally!

If you or someone you know would like to work through imposter syndrome, send me a note.

Til next time,

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