What do Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep have in common? Besides being immensely successful in their respective careers, they have admitted that they feel like frauds. 

And per Gary Frey, author of Silence the Imposter: 7 Weapons to Silence Imposter Syndrome, feeling like a “fraud” or “imposter” is not that uncommon. “At least 70% of the population deals with imposter syndrome but doesn’t talk about it,” he states. Frey, who spearheads business growth coaching and business development for a prominent regional CPA firm in the Southeast, was motivated to spread the word about imposter syndrome when he was talking to a CEO with 10,000 W-2 employees and they told him, “Gary, I don’t know what I’m doing.” Their thoughts and feelings mirrored his for a great portion of his life. 

What is Imposter Syndrome?

First described by psychologists Suzanne Imes and Pauline Rose Clance in 1978, imposter syndrome involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist regardless of your education, experience, and accomplishments. This usually strikes at moments of success or starting something new. Over time, these feelings may subside the more comfortable you get in the role. However, by not addressing it, you are giving it strength. And therefore, causing yourself some unnecessary suffering. 

Frey recommends that the best course of action when you realize this phenomenon is occurring is to address it head on in what he calls “shining a spotlight on it.” By recognizing those internal villains, you can get a start on turning things around, and it is extremely liberating.

How to Counter Imposter Syndrome

Now that you know what imposter syndrome is, here are Frey’s seven ways to silence it:

  1. Realize that you are not alone
  2. Reflect on your past concrete achievements
  3. Share your feelings with a loved one (preferably outside of the setting in which you feel imposter syndrome)
  4. Write down times or places that you feel like an imposter
  5. Expect to make mistakes at the beginning of a new experience
  6. Seek out a mentor who has charted a similar path
  7. Do not compare yourself to anyone else – especially on social media

This should allow you to recognize any signs of imposter syndrome and give tips on how to conquer these feelings. Above all, remember you are not alone. 

To listen to Gary’s Anything but Typical podcast, learn about and purchase Silence the Imposter: 7 Weapons to Silence Imposter Syndrome, or connect with him on social media, go to https://garydfrey.com.


The Five Different Types of Imposter Syndrome (welldoing.org)

Imposter Syndrome | Psychology Today

Imposter Syndrome: What It Is & How to Overcome It (healthline.com)Imposter Syndrome: The Five Types, How to Deal With It (verywellmind.com)

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