Is imposter syndrome real?
At some point we all feel like we are just faking it ...
According to author Leslie Jamison, and researchers Pauline Clance, Ph.D. and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., a majority of high-achieving women experience what these two researchers coined “The Imposter Phenomenon.” In 1978 Clance and Imes recorded their findings on what causes the women in their sample to be “particularly prone to ‘an internal experience of intellectual phoniness,’ living in perpetual fear that ‘some significant person will discover that they are indeed intellectual impostors,’” in a paper, “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention.” And in recent years, the rise of social media, per Jamison, and more of a focus on mental health and wellbeing, per me, have fueled the newer widely-used term “Imposter Syndrome.”
In over 50 interviews I have conducted in my podcasting career (since my 2020 covid project for my business school initially launched that passion), I have heard too many highly accomplished women talk about imposter syndrome in some way shape, or form. (Almost no men did, but they do make up a smaller % of my interviews). Many women answer my signature question of “What would you tell your 26-year-old self from where you sit today” with “have confidence,” “believe in yourself” and “don’t let other’s opinions hold you back.” All great advice for combatting “Imposter Syndrome.” I think. What do you think?
Interestingly, in a new episode fresh off the microphone, and unprompted by me, my former work colleague, uber-successful tech exec turned venture capitalist, Katie Jacobs Stanton advises women “get rid of imposter syndrome.” Definitely, something to listen to in context, and you can access it early HERE.
Have you ever experienced Imposter Syndrome?
P.S. Next steps? Share this newsletter, then listen to this podcast episode, share that, perhaps read the article when you have more time, and then share that with a friend as well. Pay it forward. We are all in this together.