Let’s Stop Talking About Imposter Syndrome
posted on November 1, 2018 | by Heather Bien
Let’s talk for a minute about Imposter Syndrome. If you spend time on Instagram or Twitter, I’m sure you’ve heard the term a time or two. It’s the feeling that you don’t deserve to be where you are, that you’re just waiting for those around you to realize that you haven’t adequately earned your seat at the table. It’s a feeling that is referenced overwhelmingly by women – women who are successful in their careers, women who are brilliant entrepreneurs, women who are out there doing amazing things.
Imposter Syndrome seems to have become a status symbol of sorts, a trendy hashtag that we toss out there when we’re doing something awesome. Do we use it because it’s seen as the humble way to talk about how we’re crushing it professionally? Do we use it to avoid being seen as self-promoting? Are we too embarrassed to talk about how proud we are of ourselves without saying, “but I can’t help feeling like an imposter!”?
And that’s why I’m saying enough is enough.
Let’s stop it with the Imposter Syndrome. Validating, encouraging, and bonding over Imposter Syndrome undermines the hard work that all of you are doing to find success and meaning in your careers, your lives, and in your businesses. Imposter Syndrome may make for emotional fodder and engagement on Instagram, but it’s doing nothing for our confidence and we deserve more.
As women, we need to build both ourselves and each other up. We need to place value in our self-worth. We need to realize that all of those late hours, all of those study sessions, all of that networking, all of those weekends spent pouring over business plans – it has all paid off and that’s why we’re here. You earned this. You’ve got this. And you are not an imposter.
I realize that many people would suggest that by discussing Imposter Syndrome it makes others realize they aren’t alone in their feelings. But, we need to shift the conversation. Don’t dilute your own success by choosing to talk about why you don’t feel confident in your role as a woman who is in control of her own future.
Instead, let’s focus on why you deserve to be here and encourage each other’s successes and challenges. When we concentrate on moving forward, rather than dwell on what’s holding us back, that’s when we will make the greatest strides.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?
Great post and a breath of fresh air! It’s so important to celebrate success and working HARD to get where you are- being proud is far more empowering and talking about how to be purposeful when stepping into a new role is a way better conversation than dwelling on insecurities. I would love to see more of this conversation across blogs and social media in general. Owning success and mentoring is a much more productive use of time.
I am a big fan of the content depth on advice from a thirty something these days!
Alyson Hempsey Says
I think you make some great points here. We HAVE earned this! We HAVE worked hard! I think it’s an awesome perspective you bring to the table of changing the conversation to bonding over our common successes, as opposed to ways we feel inadequate.
I would say though, that imposter syndrome is a signal of something deeper and more embedded within society. I think it points to how girls are treated differently than boys growing up, and how when a woman is being assertive she’s is called “bossy,” but how in the same position a man will be called “strong” and “authoritative.”
I think you’re spot on, we need to change the conversation. Perhaps there is a way to acknowledge it exists, but not get so wrapped up in it!
Thanks for the article!