I have often observed imposter syndrome getting in the way of fantastically able professionals showcasing their expertise effectively. The Harvard Business Review defines imposter syndrome as 'a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success'. In my role here at Passle it has surprised me just how many very clever, impressive experts suffer imposter syndrome and how this has prevented them getting their voice heard online.
What I had not thought about (probably because I am white bloke in his 40s) is that evidence shows that those under-represented in their fields disproportionally suffer imposter syndrome disproportionally eg women in tech or in the boardroom.
Below I have copied 5 tips US philanthropist Melinda Gates shared last week on the best ways to tackle imposter syndrome and if you have time do check out the video:
- Recognize that other people—even really successful people—experience this, too
- Fake it ‘til you make it
- Use your time machine. Remember this is not the first time you have felt uncomfortable
- Remember you can always improve
- Question where these feelings are coming from - we are all a product of our experience and many of them arise from prejudice against us
Impostor syndrome strikes all kinds of people, but evidence suggests it’s especially prevalent among those who are underrepresented in their fields—for example, women and minorities working in tech. When you’re the only woman or person of color in the room, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the wrong room. As Proday Founder and CEO Sarah Kunst puts it, “There's a saying about succeeding in the face of systemic oppression—'you have to be twice as good to get half as far.' Impostor syndrome says the opposite, that somehow you are half as good and got twice as far undeservedly.”