Posts tagged: impostor syndrome

How to defeat impostor syndrome with your own two feet


We recently talked about the phenomenon of impostor syndrome — what it actually means, how it manifests itself, and how to talk yourself out of it.

And though it’s difficult to describe a feeling of perceived inadequacy, especially one that often comes from an irrational place, sometimes a shift in perspective helps make everything a little clearer.

We recently stumbled across a story by Mike Kail who, despite being a high-powered tech executive, also battles impostor syndrome. He recently wrote about his struggle through the lens of running, a habit he picked up in college. What we like about his story is that it offers a very tangible metaphor for how impostor syndrome works and, more importantly, shows how it can be defeated (or, maybe in this case, defeeted):

My first race was the St. Patrick’s Day 8k in Saint Paul, and despite running approximately a 6:30 mile, I wasn’t even
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How to battle impostor syndrome


In my practice as a coach and social worker, the most common confession clients share is that they think they’re a failure or a fraud. “Why are other people so self-assured while I struggle with constantly feeling inadequate?” they think.

This feeling of inadequacy followed one of my clients, Mandi, to work and was beginning to hold her back in her career. By all outward standards, Mandi is successful. She has multiple college degrees, a well-paying job, and was recently promoted to a management position.  

Yet nearly every day she goes to battle with her inner critic, the voice in her head that says she’s not good enough or smart enough. She worries that someday soon she’ll finally be exposed as unqualified for her job. In an attempt to control her fear, she’ll stay up all night perfecting projects before submitting them. Even though her team praises her work, Mandi is
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