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Throughout the duration of these last few months, I have participated in meaningful dialogues with various individuals who have delved into subjects such as confidence, stereotypes, facades, and leadership styles. These individuals possess exceptional intellect and introspection, all while nurturing a profound desire to instigate substantial social and personal transformation. However, for many of us, the struggle to lead authentically persists as we combat psychological patterns that incessantly undermine our self-worth.

In this mindset, it frequently appears as though our achievements are merely a product of chance or our ability to deceive others into perceiving us as more capable than we genuinely believe ourselves to be.

As an impostor, will we ever attain a state where we genuinely feel competent?

It is highly probable that we will, but only if we actively engage in introspection and strive to alter these detrimental thought patterns — it would appear. One plausible explanation for why we subject ourselves to such behaviours is ‘Impostor Syndrome’, a term I initially encountered a few years ago when I contemplated abandoning my passion for writing due to feelings of inexperience and inadequacy.

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*For reference: The term ‘Impostor Syndrome’ was originally coined by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978 -This is described as a pattern of thinking where individuals live in fear of being exposed as not being competent enough in their fields, even when this is not the case*

Despite wading through a relevant degree, revisiting my English grammar, receiving encouragement from a supportive group of individuals, and receiving feedback that strongly indicated my writing talent — All the things I felt I needed to develop — I still grappled with overcoming these negative thoughts. I often pondered why this was the case, but I persevered through the fear and pursued my passion regardless, even though I felt like an absolute failure. This week, the term ‘Impostor Syndrome’ has resurfaced on multiple occasions, prompting me to reflect on this peculiar phenomenon that erodes our self-assurance and how we can potentially conquer it.

I have devised a simple analogy involving a Greek deity named Flaunta, which serves as a metaphorical tool to emphasize my point. Please bear with me as I engage in a brief storytelling session.

Flaunta the Goddess of confidence — Flaunta, a divine being, symbolizes the external facade we frequently adopt to conceal our insecurities and emotions.

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Flaunta’s journey is one of self-discovery and gaining confidence in a unique way. Despite lacking the apparent confidence needed to attract admirers, she observed from afar what beautiful women did to gain confidence, even though she was a beautiful woman herself. Despite facing backlash from jealous women, over time, Flaunta persisted in her quest. Her confident and beautiful cousin, Aphrodite, eventually passed down the baton of confidence to Flaunta who in turn, became the Goddess of confidence, even though she wasn’t confident in the true meaning of the word. Why? Because she consistently studied and admired her goal, even if she did this from an internal standpoint. She also got it handed to her …

A combination of factors to consider

This story is relatable to many people who struggle with Impostor Syndrome and fail to recognize their unique skills and abilities. In Flaunta’s case, this delayed her goal, however, her persistence granted her something much bigger but it was ultimately her connection with her cousin that sealed the deal.

Obviously, we mere mortals do not have divine power, so I have pulled together some general tips from my own experience, but also from some basic research into the topic. I’d appreciate any comments to complement what I have concluded on.

I am no expert, so I suggest if this has sparked some interest, click the links at the bottom of the page which may give further insight, or look into this further.

I feel it’s important to step outside of one’s comfort zone, measure achievements and remember that perfection is unattainable. Sometimes it’s about acknowledging the qualitative steps taken. Such as reflection. Most importantly, it’s crucial to be kind to oneself. In fact, many people who have discussed this topic with me recently have offered a level of kindness that we often fail to extend to ourselves. Unlike Flaunta, no one has the power to crown your confidence in yourself, but you.

Confidence and self-assurance are not achieved overnight, but rather through a combination of factors. If you have exhausted all ways to improve in your field of expertise and still feel inadequate, you may be experiencing Impostor syndrome.

I have looked (briefly) into what the causes are of Impostor Syndrome. I feel this is a much bigger discussion and one that may stick around for another day.

While I’m not an expert on the subject, I have found some helpful links that may be of use. If you have any insights to add to the discussion, please feel free to comment, send a message, or connect on LinkedIn .


You can also see my original post on LinkedIn here

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