Business Magazine

The Secret Thoughts of Professional Women

Posted on the 19 June 2017 by Candacemoody @candacemoody

Embed from Getty Images

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. —Bertrand Russell

Valerie Young, author of  The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It starts her book with the quote from Bertrand Russell above. I’ve written about Impostor Syndrome before – the feeling that no matter what you’ve accomplished or what people think, deep down you’re convinced that you are an impostor, a fake, and a fraud.

Young writes that many highly-accomplished people doubt themselves, despite years of evidence to the contrary. When they succeed, they attribute their success to luck, timing, charm, or the low standards set by the challenge or the people praising them. Even Meryl Streep, the most Oscar-nominated actress in history, doubts herself. She once told a reporter, telling a reporter, “You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie?’ And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?” If Meryl Streep feels that way, it’s no wonder that many of us do, too.

Young offers this quiz to determine if you might be feeling like an impostor.

  • Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing, or computer error?
  • Do you believe “If I can do it, anybody can”?
  • Do you agonize over the smallest flaws in your work?
  • Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your ineptness?
  • When you do succeed, do you secretly feel like you fooled them again?
  • Do you worry that it’s a matter of time before you’re “found out”?

Young directs this book at women because, in her experience, women suffer more from Impostor Syndrome.  Research indicates that men feel very differently about their performance; men often feel that others underestimate them. Young writes, “…It really is funny how so many presumably intelligent, capable men exude this level of confidence while as many equally bright, competent women struggle to do the same. How women find it so hard to recognize their own competence while men feel unacknowledged for their brilliance by others. …Research consistently finds that in fields ranging from finance to teaching to athletics, males regard themselves to be more knowledgeable, secure, or capable than women rate themselves.”

Young also writes that it’s not just all in our head. “Research has found that people are more likely to attribute a man’s success to ability and yours to luck. In other words, when he achieves a positive outcome it’s because he has “the right stuff,” but when you pull it off it’s because you just got lucky.”

It took me months after following writer James Chartrand, owner of the blog Men with Pens, to figure out that he was a woman.

Young cites her post “Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants” and writes that “the implied credibility and respect meant less negotiating over fees and even having the same bid submitted as a man win out over the one submitted as herself.” Writing under a male pseudonym, “opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service. No hassles. Higher acceptance … Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.”

You may not want to pose as a man, but it might help to think like a man.

Back to you: have you suffered from Impostor Syndrome? How do you get past the negative feelings? Leave a comment and let me know.

Advertisements

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 – Daily Updates – Day 4 – Alan Young

    Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 Daily Updates Alan Young

    Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 - Daily Updates - Day 4 ?Ray K was my houseguest as we were not required for "security " duties. ?About 1 am we reached... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Abichal
    OTHER SPORTS, OUTDOORS
  • Summer Festival Preview: Tanglewood

    Summer Festival Preview: Tanglewood

    Another summer under the trees offers gods, rainbows and Mahler. by Paul J. Pelkonen The Koussevitsky Concert Shed at Tanglewood, guarded by a really big... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Superconductor
    CULTURE, THEATRE & OPERA
  • What is The Death Gate and What Happens When It Opens

    What Death Gate Happens When Opens

    A mystery artist has created a puzzle to be solved in the form of The Deathgate... and it opens on 30 June. It's counting down right now! It may not seem obviou... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Tomatrax
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Reasons Why the UK is Better Than Ohio

    Reasons Better Than Ohio

    Well, I just felt like listing a few of the things that make the UK better than Ohio. The UK is twice as big as Ohio (242,900 sq.km versus 116,096 sq. Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Ravenswingthog
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • A Sense Of Possession In The Industry

    One of the things that I love about music is the sense of possession you get out of it. The fact that you can have a record that is your favorite record of all... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Indiemusicpromo
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Calling All Meat Lovers: Windy City RibFest Returns to Uptown

    Calling Meat Lovers: Windy City RibFest Returns Uptown

    Windy City RibFest in Uptown will be back again this year to dazzle your taste buds with melt-in-your-mouth slabs of meat and saucy concoctions. Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
    TRAVEL
  • Tinted Glasses

    Tinted Glasses

    To enhance a casual look, tinted glasses are perfect to jazz up your look. This inspired look from the 70s has traced the surface yet again to give a comeback b... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Chayanikarabha
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE, SHOPPING

Magazines