The Silicon Guild
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The Silicon Guild

Imposter Syndrome in the Silicon Guild

A few months ago, the Silicon Guild held a virtual session to discuss imposter syndrome. While the authors who make up the Guild are among the most accomplished people in their field, including a disproportionate number of the Thinkers50, including six of the top 10 thinkers in the world, we found that most of our members still felt imposter syndrome on a regular basis.

Many of those who feel imposter syndrome believe that if they just accomplish enough, the feeling will go away. The experience of our Guild members shows that achievement is not the solution to this problem.

We believe that it’s our responsibility to share our own stories of imposter syndrome, so that people understand that even the most famous and accomplished professionals in their field still struggle with these feelings, as well as what we’ve found to be the best interventions to manage and live with imposter syndrome.

As part of International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day, members of the Silicon Guild have joined forces to share their thoughts on and experiences with imposter syndrome. You can read their essays at the links below.

How I Overcame My Imposter Syndrome (by Scott Anthony)

Scott describes how he learned to be comfortable with discomfort and balance confidence in his abilities with a foundational humility.

I don’t have imposter syndrome…That’s what I said. (by Whitney Johnson)

Whitney shares how achieving one of her field’s highest honors caused her to feel like an imposter for the first time in her life, and how she learned to do what she needed to do to be what others thought she could be.

Imposter Syndrome: If you can’t beat it…Stuart Smalley it! (by Alison Levine)

Alison describes a time when someone told her, “You have no business being here,” and why continuing onward even when you feel like an imposter gives you the chance to decide for yourself whether or not you’re worthy.

Mind Your Introductions! A Short Essay in advance of National Imposter Syndrome Day (by Rita McGrath)

Rita explains how society contributes to imposter syndrome, and how you can be a better ally to the people around you, especially when they don’t belong to the majority group.

Running from Ourselves (by April Rinne)

April writes about how our primal fear of going slower traps us in a “speed vortex” of societal expectations, and how therapy helped her find a more sustainable pace for herself.

The Two Types of Imposter Syndrome, and How to Harness it for Good (by Caroline Webb)

Caroline writes about how becoming an author triggered her imposter syndrome, and how learning to focus on measuring herself against herself let her transform her imposter feelings into a motivational tool.

Five Ways To Inoculate Yourself Against Imposter Syndrome (by Chris Yeh)

Chris confesses to not feeling imposter syndrome, and shares the five actions he takes to boost his psychological immune system against the ever-present danger of these feelings.

#NotAnImposter #IISAD2022 #ImposterSyndrome

To find out more about International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day and how you can get involved, visit



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Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath

Columbia Business School Professor. Thinkers50 top 10 & #1 in strategy. Bestselling author of The End of Competitive Advantage & Seeing Around Corners.