This course was created by Pete Mockaitis of How to Be Awesome at Your Job. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Announcer] This is an audio course, no need to watch just listen. Welcome to the latest edition to LinkedIn learning, podcasts. We've curated some of the best business podcasts and made them even easier to listen to. Each episode is split into sections, use the links and the contents area to skip to whichever section you like. We're always looking for new ways to help you learn and we'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks for listening. - [Pete] I want to start with hearing a little bit about your personal history and I guess origin story for how you and the impostor syndrome topic got to be well acquainted.
- [Interviewee] Well, very, very well-acquainted, I didn't even know there was a name for these feelings until I was in a doctoral program when I was about 21 years old at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and someone brought in a paper by Dr. Pauline Clance and Dr. Suzanne Imes, those are the two psychologists who first coined the term the impostor phenomenon as it is more accurately known to the world of psychology. And she started reading from this study and going, oh my gosh, listen to this everybody. You know, they found that all these intelligent, capable, competent people feel like they're fooling folks they're going to be found out.
I was just nodding my head, like a bobblehead doll. - [Pete] Sounds interesting. - [Interviewee] I was like oh my God, that's me, that's a name for this other people feel this way. So it was tremendously liberating just to know that there was a name. - [Pete] Well, intriguing, so then you mentioned that I guess a little bit of the definition for impostor phenomenon or impostor syndrome, can we hear, I guess the official or since you've done decades of research on this your definition for what do we call impostor syndrome, if you were to give it like a quick dictionary sentence or two? - [Interviewee] Sure, well, I think as it's commonly understood, Pete, is this feeling experienced by countless billions of people around the world cross-culturally, across industries, the sense that I'm in over my head and I'm going to be found out, and what really makes impostor syndrome very specific is that there's concrete clear evidence of one's accomplishments or capabilities and yet people who feel like impostors tend to dismiss them, minimize them or chalk them up to external factors, like luck, timing, you know, computer error, personality, and those kinds of things.
But you know, the overwhelming fear that really is that you're going to be found out. - [Pete] Okay, so the fear it's a fear that you're going to be found out as opposed to, I guess low self-esteem is just like, yo, I'm not really very smart or good or anything but I guess impostor syndrome has that extra dose of there's an outcome that you are dreading and think really that could happen to you. - [Interviewee] Yeah, there's definitely an outcome but I think it additionally Pete and some studies, let me be clear, some studies on impostor phenomenon have connected you know, found a connection between self-esteem and impostor feelings.
Other studies have not found a connection which tells me it's possible to have you know, healthy self-esteem and still have impostor feelings. How I look at it is self-esteem, think of it as kind of a global sense we have about ourselves, kind of across the board but impostor feelings are very specific to achievement arenas, work, school, business career, you know, you don't feel like an impostor when you're walking the dog, grabbing the dishwasher, right, but you do at a job job interview or going to your first pitch when you start your new business or when you're being challenged on your work, you know, things like that.