Do you feel like a fake?

“I feel like a fake.”

“It’s just luck.”

“Success is no big deal.”

Does this sound familiar? Even if you don’t say them out loud, do they belong to the little voice inside your head or the #shittycommittee?

If these are your symptoms, the diagnosis is “imposter syndrome” and there is no easy cure. Luckily this isn’t a rare condition and you are in good company –  Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Fey, Emma Watson and, chances are, at least 50% of the people (mainly female) that you know all suffer from this.

This was also the topic of a very passionate WiRE session which took place in London, Thursday 11th June at the Research Now offices.

I was lucky enough to be part of the panel and it was an honour to sit with people such as Phyliss McFarlane, Rosie Campbell, Gemma Stokes and Betty Adamou to discuss this issue.

We concluded that if you know you have it, then you can adapt your behaviour to overcome it, or as Jo Rigby said, ignore it! Jo also created the fabulous #shittycommittee.

Imposter syndrome can be crippling, and as a recruitment/talent/career professional I am concerned about the effect it has on your career development.

If you feel like a fake you are less likely to #LeanIN and put yourself forward for promotion.

If you think your success is down to luck, you might be less inclined to initiate, innovate, drive and lead.

If you think success is no big deal then you won’t own it and you definitely won’t make the most of it.

I know women who, rather than stand up and demand advancement, they will leave and reinvent themselves somewhere else. Moving is good for a person’s career but not if it’s for the wrong reasons, and if you are an employer this is costly.

So when you are visited by the imposter syndrome – stop, listen to what it says and argue back.

Remember that (fill in the blanks);

You are successful because ………….

Your success can be validated by ………..

Above all work in a company that values you and tells you. Surround yourself with people who embrace & promote your success, and you will achieve your goals.

You can see the complete presentation here:

WIRe June 2015 – Cracking the Imposter Syndrome

The WiRE panel discussing Imposter Syndrome