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In this week’s podcast and newsletter, we talk IMPOSTER SYNDROME. 

onstage with imposter syndrome

Recently at Talk About Talk, we talked about confidence-related topics including INTROVERSIONEXTROVERSION, and SHYNESS. CONFIDENCE is key to effective communication. 

This week, we cover IMPOSTER SYNDROME. Read on to learn what it is, where you can take the imposter syndrome test, and some good news about this scary topic…

Let’s do this!



In 1978, psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes published research on high achieving women and found that many felt like frauds or posers in their careers. The term “imposter phenomenon” was born.

we all feel imposter syndrome

IMPOSTER SYNDROME means lacking confidence, having an exaggerated sense of doubt about your abilities, feeling like a fraud or a poser.  Many people who suffer from imposter syndrome are worried that they might get identified as a fraud.

Here’s your LINK to an IMPOSTER SYNDROME TEST created by one of the pioneers of this term, Pauline Rose Clance:

Important points regarding imposter syndrome:

  • Imposter syndrome can affect both men and women, though it seems to be more prevalent in women.
  • Imposter syndrome can feel debilitating, potentially affecting your career and relationships.
But there is good news…

How the Imposter Syndrome Discourse has Shifted

Yes, Imposter syndrome can feel debilitating.  But there’s good news.  Here are 3 ways that the discourse (the TALK!) about imposter syndrome has shifted recently:

✅MOST OF US Suffer from Imposter Syndrome

  • We used to think of it as an exception. It turns out that MOST OF US suffer from imposter syndrome!
  • Yes, even those confident-looking celebrities suffer from imposter syndrome, like Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, writer Maya Angelou, actress Natalie Portman, and everyone in between. (Yes, including men!)

Maybe it’s NOT YOU!

  • Perhaps it’s not you. Perhaps it’s your environment.
  • Instead of focusing exclusively on improving people’s confidence, there’s been a shift to focus more on fixing toxic work environments. Thank goodness!

Imposters can be SUCCESSFUL Leaders 

  • The most successful, innovative, impactful executives are, almost by definition, imposters!  Think Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Sarah Blakely,… Pioneers are imposters! 
  • Do you have to have a lot of confidence to be successful?  Apparently not. “Confidence does not equal competence”!!!

Enjoy the podcast!


🌐 Click HERE to listen directly on the Talk About Talk website


🎧 Click HERE to listen on your favourite podcast player


📄 Click HERE to read the printable shownotes

Please forward this email to anyone who might like to learn about confidence and communication skills.  Thank you! 

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach

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