Are You Suffering from the Imposter Syndrome? – Robyn Hatcher, Owner SpeakEtc.

A new high-profile role/position opens up. Do you apply for it? Or do you assume it’s not a good fit for you? You haven’t gotten a raise in years, but you’re reluctant to ask for one.  Maybe you’re not really good enough for that raise? OR…

Maybe you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome.

In June, I was honored to present at the Spring 2018 WICE Conference. Those who were there, heard me talk about discovering and owning your brand value, creating an Intro-mercial and networking to get results. Afterwards, someone asked me about Imposter Syndrome. Something I’d neglected to mention. I know it’s a common issue for women, so let’s discuss.

[The Imposter Syndrome] “ ….arises because talented people experience gaps in their awareness of their success because leaps of success often involve unconscious processes and accumulation of unconscious processes can lead to these talented individuals seeking justifications for their success while they believe that something is unbelievable about this.”  – Dr.Srinivasan Pillay, Your Brain and Business, (Pearson FT Press, 2011)

In other words, the steps and skills we used to become successful come so easily and naturally to us that we aren’t conscious of doing the work that made us so successful. And because we don’t remember or VALUE all the great things we’ve done, we end up feeling inadequate, or like an imposter. We try to undermine or downplay our success because clearly there’s been a mistake!

I don’t believe that Imposter Syndrome is more prevalent in women than in men. I believe women and men just deal with it differently. Men tend to assume that if they keep acting the part, no one will notice, whereas women live in fear that if they keep acting the part, someone will eventually find out the “truth.” So we don’t put ourselves out there as much as we should. We don’t apply for the big jobs and we don’t ask for what we deserve.

Dr. Pillay believes that when we become aware of the brain science behind why we feel like we feel, it can help us  rid ourselves of the affects those feelings have on us.

So now that you know your brain has either completely forgotten or was not even conscious of all the hard work you’ve put in to become the great______(Fill in the blank) that you are, what else can you do to combat the syndrome? Here are some techniques I use on myself and my clients.

  • Make a list of all your accomplishment and keep it nearby to read often. Go all the way back to your teen and college years. Some of the unconscious processes that make you successful now, you may have developed a long time ago.
  • Ask friends and colleagues what they appreciate most about you. Because these qualities are part of your “DNA” you may not be owning or valuing them enough.
  • Create visual movies of successful days in your life and “watch them” as though you were looking at yourself from the outside. This helps your brain keep these events in your working memory.
  • Stop using the phrase “Fake it till you make it” – the brain is very suggestable, and nobody wants to be a fake – or imposter. I suggest replacing it with my creations “Own it while you hone it.” Or “Act like it’s a fact.”

Do you have techniques you’d like to share? Let me know. You can reach me at

Also: I’m offering a 2-day Maximize your Speak-tential workshop this October (10/26 & 27) where I will be working on these mindset tools as well as skill set tools to help you conquer any communication challenge. Time to increase your impact, influence and income. Contact me to reserve your spot. I am also offering a few group discounts so talk to your team, company or women’s group about reserving a block of tickets today.