Tuesday, October 19

The positive and hidden side of impostor syndrome

  • Peter Rubinstein
  • BBC Capital

A woman with her hands crossed in an office.


Imposter syndrome is that feeling of never falling short …

For many who experience imposter syndrome – the feeling that your work achievements are undeserved and that you are likely to be exposed as fraud – it is detrimental to success.

Believing that you are unworthy of your accomplishments and that someone will at some point unmask your charade adds an unwanted level of pressure to the workday.

But according to recent findings by Basima Tewfik, assistant professor of Work and Organization Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the behaviors that “impostors” display in an attempt to compensate for their self-doubt can make them good at their job.

By giving rise to feelings of inadequacy – rather than trying to resist or overcome them and put extra effort into communication – those with imposter syndrome can outperform their “non-imposter” peers in interpersonal skills.


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