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Leadership is more than giving orders and being in charge; it requires good communication and delegation skills. It requires the ability to motivate and push people to give their best and confidence to go ahead with decisions despite associated risks. Many potential leaders are weighed down by personal baggage and do badly in their positions. One infamous type is impostor syndrome.


Impostor syndrome makes you doubt your accomplishments, feats and capabilities. You constantly feel like a fraud, filled with anxiety and fear of being exposed. You are plagued with feelings of self-doubt and undermine your role in achieving success and attribute your success to luck. You do not believe in your competence as others believe and see; you wave off compliments in the name of ‘lady luck’.


Symptoms of Impostor Syndrome

  • Feelings of self-doubt
  • Inability to objectively assess your competence and underplay your abilities
  • Attribute success to external factors.
  • Undervalue performance
  • Exhibit phobia for not measuring up
  • High disappointment when results fall short self-standards
  • Engagement in negative self-talk
  • Dwelling on past mistakes
  • Feeling of anxiousness at every new job or role
  • Constant comparison and self-doubt

Effects of Impostor Syndrome

  • Lose out on amazing opportunities
  • Battle with low self-esteem and self-worth decline
  • Un-productivity
  • Undervaluing your work and losing adequate monetary value for your work
  • Feelings of guilt arise when things go wrong
  • Depression and frustration

Dealing with Impostor Syndrome

  1. Speak up about it:

Talking to friends and people is the first step to overcoming it. Open up to trusted people, this allows you see everything from an objective perspective and makes it easier to rise above it.


  1. Separate feelings from facts

You have to separate your feelings from facts. Mistakes do not make you undeserving of the positions you hold today. You must understand and accept that everyone makes mistakes.


  1. Emphasize the positives

Do not focus on the negatives, mistakes and failures of the past: acknowledge the good moments, the success, hard work and commitment that got you where you are today.


  1. Accept failures and mistakes

Do not beat yourself up over past mistakes and failures but learn from them and move on.

  1. Positive pep-talk

Develop the habit of speaking positively to yourself until you believe it. Speak words of affirmation to yourself. Believe in yourself.

  1. You are not perfect

There will be times when you are unsure and lack the right answers. Embrace the lessons in these moments and do not see it as a sign of your ineptitude but a moment for growth.

Impostor syndrome is not a death sentence, you can overcome it. You need to take a bold step towards confidence and recovering your self-worth.



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