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Your inner imposter is the real imposter

In 1978, clinical psychologist, Dr. Pauline Clancy, and Dr. Suzanne Ames coined the term "imposter phenomenon" to describe fear, self-doubt, and feeling like a fraud in high-achieving women.


From their data on female college students and faculty, they deduced that feelings of imposterism were pervasive and came up even in the face of success; in fact, especially in the face of success.


If you are worried someone is going to find you out, that you are one mistake away from being cast out of your profession, or that it was luck or some outside force that got you where you are today, well...then you are in good company.


Maya Angelou felt like an imposter.


Albert Einstein called himself "an involuntary swindler".


Imposter syndrome. Imposter phenomenon. Imposterism.


All of it is a misnomer.


There is no "imposter syndrome" in the DSM-V.


It's not a diagnosis or a condition.


It's dysfunctional thinking.


You are not an imposter.


You are not a fraud.


You are a board-certified surgeon.


Every time you take action despite feeling insecure...


  • that surgery you dread because of a previous complication

  • taking care of that patient even though they trigger you

  • showing up to the OR with a heavy sense of self-doubt and dread


Every time you do your embody COURAGE.


You are not an imposter.


You are BRAVE.


Your inner imposter is feeding you a story of not being good enough, smart enough, or skilled enough.


"Who the hell do you think you are?" "You should refer the patient out." "You're not good enough." "You don't belong." "What do you think you're doing?"


These are all just thoughts: words in your mind.


They don't mean anything unless we believe them.


They are stories fed to us long ago.


They are NOT our stories.


We merely repeated them so many times, they became beliefs about ourselves.


Now is time to change those beliefs.


You ARE enough.


You ARE capable.




You are doing your job and doing it damn well.


There is no threshold of achievement that will assuage your inner imposter.


You have to change your thoughts and beliefs about yourself.


It will take practice and time, and I know you can do it.


To owning your amazingness,



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