Must-Read Articles If You're Struggling With Impostor Syndrome
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Are you constantly worried that you’re not up for the task? Do you feel like you’re just faking it until you make it? And are you scared that any minute now the world is going to discover that you’re a fraud—despite all your skills and success? Well, that’s impostor syndrome. And you’ve got it bad.

The concept of impostor syndrome has been around for 40 years. But it really gained national attention during the Lean In movement a few years ago, as women all over the country starting opening up about their self-doubt.

The struggle can be all too real for women of color, especially. Many have opened up to us over the years at our Women of Power of Summit about their struggle with impostor syndrome. And they’ve shared that it can be triggered for them by “being a minority in a majority environment, coming from a challenged socioeconomic background in terms of one’s experience growing up, and internalizing the perceptions and opinions of family, friends, and colleagues—both negative and positive.”

So what to do about it? Here are six articles that can help you slay the inner voice that’s holding you back and help your internal dialogue become more constructive:

If You Need to Get Your Confidence Up

1. Here are 5 Steps to Rebuild Your Confidence and Get Stuff Done. Have you ever thought of borrowing confidence from the positive, self-assured people around you? It’s one of the tips to get your mojo back when you’re feeling a little insecure.

2. Or try 5 Ways to Sell Yourself With Confidence, including preparing a two- to three-sentence brag statement. It also suggests my personal mission for 2018: removing words like “just” that weaken your authority from your professional vocabulary.

If You’re Feeling Like a Phony

3. You must read about Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work as a Black Woman. Four powerhouse women share their advice about how to be successful without pretending to be someone else.

4. Borrow a little wisdom from the younger generation with Millennial Moves: How to Stay Authentic at Work. Two boss babes talk about getting to know yourself, giving yourself freedom, and the importance of self-care.

If You Want to Know How Others Overcame Imposter Syndrome

5. Joyce Roché, the former CEO of Girls Inc. and a Women of Power Legacy Award honoree, wrote a whole book about it: The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Achieve Success. She talks about her personal exploration of why we feel unworthy and the realization that it’s not something you can solve by working harder.

6. This isn’t something that affects only women. Wayne Sutton, co-founder of Change Catalyst, shared his resources for combating lack of confidence as a black man in Silicon Valley. His tried-and-true solutions include mental exercises, positive quotes, and an accountability network.

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Alisa Gumbs

Alisa Gumbs is the executive managing editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE, planning and executing content across the company's print, digital, events, and broadcast platforms, and writing features when she finds a story she's passionate about--including the November 2011, December 2010, and September 2006 cover stories.


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