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Breaking Down the Myths of Impostor Syndrome

growth mindset imposter syndrome leadership Nov 27, 2023
imposter syndrome

Myths can keep you from living your best life. They give you wrong information, leading to trouble, as with impostor syndrome.

 For instance, chewing gum stays in your stomach for up to seven years if you swallow it. You only use about 10% of your brain. If you shave your hair, it grows back thicker, denser, and darker. Those are common thoughts that simply aren't true.

 Here are some misconceptions, myths, and outright lies about impostor syndrome. If you believe them, you might never address this common issue that results in a limited version of the life you could be living.

Myth #1 - It's Nothing More Than Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is one aspect of impostor syndrome. You might doubt yourself in a particular situation because of feelings that you are a fraud. You will be discovered as the fake that you are, and you don't deserve credit for the good things in your life.

While people suffering from imposter syndrome certainly experience self-doubt, these aren't identical belief systems. Self-doubt is a symptom of impostor feelings, but the whole impostor syndrome experience is much more limiting and potentially damaging than simple self-doubt.

 Myth #2 - Confident People Don't Have Issues with Impostor Syndrome

 This myth is way off-base. The highest achievers in many fields constantly deal with this issue. They appear confident and driven because they work hard daily to fight their feelings of being inadequate and incapable.

 A high level of confidence can help you face impostor feelings. You become more self-aware that your belief isn't reality. However, confidence alone is not a magic force that keeps impostor syndrome at bay.

Myth #3 - Impostor Syndrome Is Just a Workplace/Career Issue

This harmful and limiting view of reality can certainly crush your career aspirations. It can hold you back on the job in so many ways. However, impostor syndrome can also creep into your friendships. Intimate relationships may also suffer. Believing you are a fraud can limit your financial health and physical well-being and can negatively impact just about any area of your life.

Myth #4 - It Isn't Real

Some people believe that impostor syndrome is a sign of a lazy person. They are just making excuses for underachieving or not trying. This is the farthest thing from the truth.

Feelings of being a fraud are often experienced by people who work harder and longer than others. They are trying to compensate for the negative feelings they are experiencing. This is a real issue for a lot of people.

Myth #5 - If You Don't Have It, You Can't Catch It

You may not experience these thoughts for most of your life, and then, they suddenly appear. This isn't something you either have or don't have. It’s not something you are born with. No one is immune to developing these thoughts.

There are known experiences that trigger impostor syndrome. These include starting a new career, changing relationship dynamics, receiving recognition, and experiencing significant changes.

Impostor syndrome is genuine. It’s often driven by fear, causing the person to overwork to prove their worth or procrastinate to avoid possible failure.  It can come calling on anyone. Its causes are plenty, and it can diminish any aspect of your life. Don't believe these myths that can keep you from addressing the issue and preventing it from limiting your life.

Ready to go deeper? You can take my online course "The Imposter Syndrome Solution" and I will guide you through the complex maze of Impostor Syndrome, shedding light on its intricacies and equipping you with effective tools to dismantle it.


Are you interested in coaching, leadership development or organization consulting support? Lets set up a call, I love to help leaders like you!

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