Amy Cuddy Wants You to Know That Everyone Feels Like an Impostor

by ParentCo. September 21, 2016

About five years ago I returned to part-time freelance work after staying home to raise my children full-time. I pitched a story to the local public radio station – a four-part series that would take several months of work and have me interview, write, and produce stories about several families in depth.

I met with the VP of programming and after following-up with samples of my past work, the project was given the green light. Thrilled and excited to be accepted back in the game, I hadn’t really thought about what happens beyond that. A meeting was set up to get the ball rolling on the project.

Figuring I was just going in to meet with a producer or the VP to whom I had made the initial pitch, I wasn’t too nervous about it. But when I arrived at the offices of the radio station, I was ushered into a conference room where there were five other people waiting for me. There was the VP of the station, the director of the digital media team, the news director, a sound engineer, and a photographer.

There must be some mistake, I thought to myself, my heart beginning to race. Why are they here to talk to ME? This was just an idea….I'm not really qualified to be here.

Even though I was qualified, I felt like an impostor.

In Episode 3 of “Where Was I…?” (our podcast about the transition back to work after being a full time caregiver or what we like to call "Empty Nest Version 1.0"), Angela and I spoke with Amy Cuddy, a renowned Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist, about impostor syndrome.

Turns out, it’s a thing – a bona fide experience that ALL humans feel at some point or another in their lives, regardless of gender or education or prior success. Famous authors and CEO’s all feel it at some point. We feel as if we don’t know what we are doing, like we're fooling everyone to believe in us. Who am I to be doing this?

Angela and I had an enlightening conversation with Amy, whom many of you may know from her immensely popular 2012 TED Talk on power poses and impostor syndrome or her bestselling book,Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.” In Episode 3, she talks to us about how to conquer impostor syndrome (even temporarily) by identifying your core values. This is not only relevant and important information but guidance and insight for lead parents who are trying to figure out, “what’s next?” now that your children have entered school. Take a listen and share a story of your own experience with impostor syndrome on our Facebook page.



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