Articles and books on Imposter Syndrome (IS) and the Imposter Phenomenon (IP) are popular and readily available. In these publications, we can discover valuable information about how we disempower ourselves and contribute to diminishing others. It is essential we uncover individual ways this disservice is done. It is personal and ubiquitous. It creates a vicious circle that perpetuates buying into stereotypes and unhealthy messaging throughout one’s life.
I recently read an article from The New Yorker, The Dubious Rise of Imposter Syndrome. It is an interesting article that supports my belief that “imposter syndrome puts the blame on individuals, without accounting for the historical and cultural contexts that are foundational to how it manifests in both women of color and white women. Imposter syndrome directs our view toward fixing women at work instead of fixing the places where women work.”
”Identifying impostor feelings does not necessitate denying the forces that produced them. It can, in fact, demand the opposite: understanding that the damage from these external forces often becomes part of the internal weave of the self.”
I have experienced a sense of agitation about the way society, including workplaces and communities, approach imposter syndrome. Harvard Business Review published an article in February 2021, Stop Telling Women They have Imposter Syndrome, that also addresses how “bias and exclusion exacerbate feelings of doubt.”
My article of May 2020, Transforming Imposter Syndrome is a Two-Way Street, addresses the individual work and the necessary work of leaders in the organization.
There is another way to approach this disempowering phenomenon.
Call for a hard stop.
We are not serving anyone when we propagate this idea about ourselves and others. I believe fully in the immense potential of who we are as humans. Tapping into that potential and power is what I help my clients do. It takes effort, deep work, and putting a stop to self-sabotage, which is how Imposter Syndrome feeds itself to keep the vicious cycle going.