“Linus, the young and gifted character in Peanuts, once said, “I am burdened by a great potential.” And so are you.

You’ve spent years explaining away your success… convinced that you’re really not as successful or as competent as everyone else knows you are… waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But there is another truth and that is:


Consciously you’re afraid that people will find out you’re inept. But deep down you know you’re “smart”—or at least smart enough. As Marianne Williamson famously observed, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Buried under all the debris of fear and self- doubt is the certain knowledge that you are infinitely capable. You’ll probably even smile when I tell you that leadership expert Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries considers the impostor syndrome to be “the flip side of giftedness.”

Read Dr. Valerie Young’s, a former impostor herself, full article in the first edition of Honestly Woman magazine.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Internationally recognized expert and “recovering impostor” Dr. Valerie Young has spoken to over 80,000 people at such diverse organizations as Facebook, Boeing, P&G, Intel, Chrysler, IBM, Ernst & Young, American Women in Radio and Television, Society of Women Engineers, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton. Her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, from which this article was adapted, is available in five languages. Her career-related tips have appeared around the world on the BBC and in The Wall Street Journal, More, Inc., Woman’s Day, Chicago Tribune, Globe & Mail, Glamour (UK), The Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere. Visit her online at www.ImpostorSyndrome.com.