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  • AutorenbildVeronika Höller

Everybody is talking about Imposter syndrome

A women feeling cold and alone thinking about what other persons think about her she deals with imposter syndrome
Dealing with Imposter Sydrome

Imposter syndrome was first mentioned in an article by psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes in 1978.

They asked several female executives how they got their positions, and the answers were shocking:

  • I had luck.

  • I don't know exactly; the others overestimate me.

  • vitamin B/ good connections

  • Can't answer, maybe they wanted a woman in this position etc..

Self-doubt = imposter syndrome?

We all have self doubts sometimes—but not all of us dealing with the imposter syndrome. People with imposter syndrome suffer from such tremendous self-doubts:

  • uncertainty

  • Inner unrest

  • Non-self-confidence

  • No recognition of own achievements and successes

  • Afraid others might expose them as an Imposter

  • sleep disorders

  • Mental stress or illness

  • social distancing

  • Total focus on career (only in BusinessArea)

  • Outstanding perfectionism

  • etc.

They are absolute high performers! - they're blind to their successes.

They often appear to their colleagues:

  • withdrawn

  • powerful

  • threatening

  • ambitious

  • perfectionist

  • arrogant

Inwardly they are anxious, insecure and always close to burnout. A daily, lonely struggle

This fight can lead to serious diseases!

  • Colleagues with imposter syndrome will not ask for help - even if they drown with work – close to burnout

  • They won't talk openly about their self-doubt - because they don't want to be exposed as impostors.

  • They will always go beyond their limits.

  • Social distancing - because the constant fear of being exposed – leave the company

How can we support people with imposter syndrome?

We have to change our mind-sets - By paying more attention to what we say!

  1. You should take advantage of the opportunities you get!

  2. I am proud of you!

  3. you deserves that!

  4. I am happy with you!

  5. You`ve worked so hard you deserve the recognition

  6. You can do it, I believe in you.

Instead of

  1. Wow, but what about with the kids? Something falls down...

  2. Do you think you can do it?!

  3. You had luck to get this job!

  4. Come on, who did you get along with to get the job?

  5. 26 men and 5 women, they probably just wanted to pimp the women's quota

Subconsciously we are so negative that we often don't even pay attention to the effects our statements can have on others. People with imposter syndrome get lost in the negative statements and feel confirmed in their suspicion of being an impostor.

How can I break this cycle?

If you recognize yourself here:

  • uncertainty

  • Inner unrest

  • Lack of selfconfidence

  • No recognition of own achievements and successes

  • Afraid others might expose them

  • sleep disorders

  • Mental stress or illness

  • social distancing

  • Total focus on career

  • outstanding perfectionism

Reflection, acceptance ….

A tip I got:

Write on a piece of paper what you have achieved so far.

  • A higher position.

  • Further training that has brought you further.

  • All Business Achievements.

Take it in front of the mirror, look at yourself and accept that you are where you are because you worked hard for it! Read the note out loud and tell yourself I'm proud of myself.

Many are now smiling and probably thinking what nonsense … But without self-reflection and acceptance you cannot get out of this cycle.


With reflection and acceptance comes the Handling

  • Recognition of Achievement.

  • Self-consciousness.

  • Sleep, Health & Wellbeing.

  • Be aware of your strengths & weaknesses.

  • Open, honest communication.

  • Accept yourself as you are, even if you are always on the gas pedal and want to bring 150%.

  • Continuing education because you decided it for yourself - not because you think you have to.

Be completely open with your know-how to the outside world - if you hear a statement like: “You must have much luck to get this job!" Answer calmly: "I deserved this, I worked hard for it.“

Try it out the faces are funny J you can never please someone 100% - the main thing is that you are at peace with yourself.

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