When You Feel Like a Fraud — but You’re Really Not

Professional women often feel inferior for no good reason, but they can take steps to banish these phantom feelings and enjoy their hard-earned success.

Heidi Dulebohn
Jul 14 · 5 min read

What’s the problem?

Imposter syndrome, or imposter phenomenon, is a form of intellectual self-doubt. Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., and Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D. first described the condition in 1978, and back then people figured it was a woman’s thing — typical, right? But that has since been disproved — it occurs in men and women.

It’s no longer a man’s world.

I was once a young commodity trader, and there were few women in my field or company at my level. As you can imagine, my male peers had quite a bit of fun at my expense. It was also a highly stressful, complicated position.

You can move on from your angst.

All these years later, it’s still a relief to share that I moved past this, and so can you. However, first, you have to admit a few things. In her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of it, Dr. Valerie Young, who has spent decades studying imposter syndrome, identified five subgroups for it. They are:

Face the truth. You’re great!

I left grain trading behind many years ago, and now I’m an international cultural consultant and etiquette expert. Yes, I’m an expert, and I coach people who, while not necessarily suffering from imposter syndrome, may not have adequate confidence. A good tip to either help you overcome imposter syndrome, to build your confidence, or both is to take a good look into your toolbox. Inside you will find all the tools that you need to wield confidently.

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Thanks to Margie Pearl

Heidi Dulebohn

Written by

Cracking Social Codes for Good| International Cultural Consultant | https://twitter.com/heididulebohn

Middle-Pause

Helping you to create an oasis in the middle of your crisis of managing work, family, relationships, parenting, menopause, and caregiving.

Heidi Dulebohn

Written by

Cracking Social Codes for Good| International Cultural Consultant | https://twitter.com/heididulebohn

Middle-Pause

Helping you to create an oasis in the middle of your crisis of managing work, family, relationships, parenting, menopause, and caregiving.

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