How Did I Get Here? Beating Imposter Syndrome


Course Info

Hours 2.5

Course Summary

Imposter Syndrome is that gut wrenching fear of being exposed as a fraud or fake when you take on a new challenge like a job or study or when you feel that you don’t deserve your successes. Imposter Syndrome can play havoc with your health and well-being, not to mention your career trajectory. In this module you will discover how to recognise Imposter Syndrome, learn some strategies to deal with it and see it as a positive step on the pathway to success.

Course Details

Have you ever felt that landing the job of your dreams, winning something beyond your wildest expectations or being accepted into that top 1%-er University course was just a fluke? Did you fear that sooner or later your boss or your professor would find out that you didn’t have the skills or aptitude to be in that job or in that course?  Does taking the credit for your achievements and success sit uncomfortably with you?

Well, you might be one of many high achieving executives, managers, professionals, new graduates, students, celebrities and a host of others who are once, occasionally or always bowled over by Imposter Syndrome. Take actor and director Jodie Foster, for example, who said,

‘When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, “Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep.”

Funnily enough, Meryl Streep shared her imposter niggles when she asked, “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

Howard Schultz, Chief Executive of Starbucks says that we are all more or less vulnerable to Imposter Syndrome, “Very few people, whether you’ve been in that job before or not, get into the seat and believe today that they are now qualified to be the CEO. They’re not going to tell you that, but it’s true. So everyone you meet has a level of insecurity”. So true!

My own imposter experience began when I was accepted as a mature age student into Bachelor of Medicine Degree at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Surrounded by bright eyed and freshly minted high school duxes, I believed that I didn’t have the smarts to study Medicine and I would soon be found wanting intellectually. At the time, I was too anxious to reflect rationally on my bona fides. I had already a Bachelor’s Degree with a higher than credit average score, had passed a battery of psychometric tests and had survived an interview to receive an offer of 1 of 64 places from an original field of around 1500 candidates.  I had completely discounted the contribution of my vast life experience to everyone’s learning!

So, if you identify with any or all of the preceding anecdotes, this eLearning module might help you to “out” and embrace any of your own imposter tendencies.

Read more  

Celebrity quotes on Imposter Syndrome, Marie Claire,

Good C.E.O.’s Are Insecure (and Know It) New York Times 9 October 2010,