Imposter SyndromeLB's Corner
#GirlsClub Guide to: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is not an actual diagnosis (apparently). It’s a behavior pattern that is so common (and equally common among men and women, by the way) that in 1978 Suzanne Imes and Pauline Clance coined the term. 

Imposter syndrome is defined as “a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”

And although men may experience it as often as women, I think it stops us women from achieving more often than it does men. In fact, combine imposter syndrome with the confidence gap and our relentless pursuit of perfectionism and this thing is much bigger than a behavior pattern – or even a syndrome. This is a pandemic. No really. It’s widespread, it’s debilitating, and it’s utter crap. 

The only cure? Self-confidence. 

Gee, thanks LB. I’ll just order up some of that and we’ll get on with it then. Yeah, sorry about that. This is going to take some serious commitment to beat. And it’s going to take all of us. Don’t worry. I’ve got a plan!

Welcome to installment one of our new series on Beating Imposter Syndrome. We may need a better name. We’ll definitely need a lot of installments. And I desperately need your input. 

Going forward this space will be dedicated to sharing supremely executable, BS-free hacks on growing our confidence, crushing perfectionism, and feeling more worthy of our accomplishments. 

And here’s one to get us started: Stop posting perfection! 

The very best Christmas card I’ve ever received was from Marissa Chacon who sent a 5×7 of her little boy completely melting down on Santa’s lap. Epic! I still chuckle and smile thinking of it. It was awesome because it was REAL. 

I know you work hard to get great family pics (the struggle is real) and we’re proud of our vacation snaps, and totally chuffed with the glam shot we took at just the right angle (I can’t get into this one, could a millennial help me understand the camera posing?). We all want great social media shots, but ladies! Perfectionism is part of the problem! 

Stop feeding the beast. Stop posting perfection!

And if you can’t go cold turkey, try this: right after you post the perfect pic, post the hot mess you took just before? The one with the mascara goo and the bad lighting or your dog licking his butt? 

And let’s celebrate the women who do this! More likes for peeking bra straps! Hearts for kids picking noses! Applause for the unphotoshopped pictures!

Let’s. Be. Real. 

Are you feeling me? If you’re ready to embrace this, try lovingly asking each other for something more real. When you see the perfect selfie pose, challenge her to post a fail too! 

Stay tuned to this space for more fun ideas. And please submit yours! Here’s how:

  1. Ditch the theoretical whimsical crap. Make it something I can take action on this week.
  2. Get it to 500 words or less.
  3. Leave a comment below and tell us how you own it. 

This is going to be hard, but SO worth it.


Becca Sherrill

I recently accepted an opportunity to serve as CEO for a company owned by a long-time (woman) friend. Never been a CEO before…gulp, and at an [ahem] advanced age. My 30+ years working in leadership roles in the software world with companies like SAP? Didn’t mean squat – I felt like the world’s biggest imposter and it was only a matter of time before someone pulled off the mask. So I bought a couple of books, but most importantly, called a trusted friend and colleague. I went through the list of responsibilities in the role, and as always he listened. When I finished, he said, “There isn’t a single thing on that list that you can’t and won’t be able to do.” Suddenly I could breathe. I knew he was right, and I haven’t looked back. So reach out to someone who will listen to your fears, who knows you for the wonderful and capable human you are!

May 25, 2021 at 8:21 pm
Linsey Shelton

I post video content every Friday and have vowed to do it in one take and post it even if it’s not perfect. Thank you for advocating for REALness.

June 1, 2021 at 3:43 pm
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