You know the feeling you get when you get the big assignment or the big promotion, that you have fooled your boss into believing you are more qualified than you really are. You know that you are supposed to accept the challenge but wait for the moment that you will be exposed. You feel like a fraud being credited with rewards that you don’t deserve. We have all experienced the insecurity of potentially saying the wrong thing, making the wrong decision, or not having the answer to the tough problem.


We have been told how hard it is to achieve success and that the challenges sometimes seem insurmountable, so when you are recognized for something that didn’t seem to require the avalanche of effort success seems to require, you feel like you haven’t deserved it. There has been a mistake, and you will be found out. You feel like an imposter.


Imposter feelings can hold you back, keep you on the edge, and prevent you from being your best and adding value. Listening to the noise of this phenomenon will affect your behavior in a negative way, and prevent you from enjoying future success. It may show up as moodiness, not speaking up, not sharing valuable information, becoming belligerent when you feel people are questioning your competence, stalling rather than making decisions, fearing asking questions or taking on the full responsibility of your new position. These actions are, in effect sabotaging your success. You received the recognition because you can provide a perspective, a skill, insight or because you have the unique quality required for the position. The expectation is that you step up to participate confidently.


There is a cost to companies when qualified employees are influenced by imposter feelings -fearing risk, fearing being exposed, procrastinating or getting caught in perfectionism – rendering them less effective, less engaged and causing them to contribute less. Read the complete article in Positively Magazine to learn the steps needed to move past the fear to empowerment.