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How to deal with the impostor syndrome

 Are you a high achiever? Do you feel like a fraud? Like you could be caught at any moment? Even though you have the knowledge and skills, you still feel you need to be better all the time? If that’s a yes, it might be that you are suffering from the Impostor Syndrome.

What is the Imposter Syndrome?

Melody Wilding on fastcompany.com describes it as a “psychological phenomenon, that reflects a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.” On Time.com psychologist Audrey Ervin is quoted stating that people who are not able to internalize and own their success, are at a high risk for thinking their accomplishments have more to do with luck, then with their own capabilities. But here at Eve and Elle we firmly believe in Oprah, who is convinced that luck is no more than preparation meeting opportunity.



So stop denying yourself to be proud of what you have accomplished, you’ve worked hard to get where you are (even if you do not believe it).  Valerie Young an expert on the syndrome has identified 9 different types of people who are more likely to suffer from the syndrome, in her book The secret thoughts of successful women. And most probably you are one of them.


It is dangerous to find yourself in an Impostor Syndrome Loop. Because you believe you’ve gotten everything by chance and luck, you don’t feel worthy of promotions, new projects or other responsibilities. But that will become a huge hurdle the further you get in your life and career.

How to deal with the Imposter Syndrome

  1. Acknowledge that you feel like you will be discovered as a fraud any day
  2. Separate your feelings from the truth. What I mean is, write down a list of things and really think about it. Did you get that job by luck, or because you went to school, studied, maybe specialized, wrote a letter, a call, went to an interview, nailed the interview and only then you were offered the job? See how by breaking it down, luck seems to have very little to do with it.
  3. Stop comparing yourself with others. They all have different background, grew up in different families, went to different school and have different skills. So what if your colleagues seems in your eyes to deserve that promotion much more than you. You don’t have to make that decision, your boss does. So let her decide who is the best person for the job, and don’t stress on it yourself.
    the imposter syndrome girl sitting in chair

    Do I have the Imposter Syndrome?

    Does all this resonate a little too much? Check if you are suffering from the Impostor Syndrome, you can take a test here.

    The Imposter Syndrome TED Talk

    There are some great TED talks to help you understand the Impostor Syndrome and how to deal with it. TED even set up a full playlist with videos worth watching if you feel you are dealing with the Impostor Syndrome. You will find our picks below.

    Thinking your way out of the imposter syndrome by Valerie Young

     The surprising solution to the Impostor Syndrome by Lou Solomon

    So the goal is to start believing that you deserve what you've worked for. It wasn't just luck. It was preparation meeting opportunity. It is also something many women in leadership deal with on a daily basis. We are teaming up with ECWO from Erasmus University Rotterdam and are able to give you 15%off on tickets for the next masterclass on women in leadership. Find out more here.

    Are you suffering from the Impostor Syndrome? Leave a comment on how it has influenced your life and how you try to deal with it.

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    We are Olivia & Morgan

    So both in our 30's, with exciting careers including fast track to CEO positions, we met at RSM Business School during our MBA in The Netherlands. 

    Always afraid to drop the ball, we quickly figured out life after 30 is not about having everything together, but more about developing yourself, knowing who you and what your goals are and ESPECIALLY  knowing how to get there.

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