Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

What’s on offer?

A four-week online course offering a truly transformational professional learning and development experience. Working with like-minded and like-hearted women in a safe, supportive and courageous environment, we explore – and share practices to help manage – that most pervasive and debilitating phenomenon impacting so many women in the modern workplace: Imposter Syndrome.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is a term coined by Oberlin psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in late 1970s to describe a set of beliefs that has us feeling we are frauds, we are in some way lacking or unworthy, we don’t deserve our successes and/or it’s only a matter of time before we’re found out. Research shows that although Imposter Syndrome is experienced by men, it is particularly prevalent among women with over 70% of us experiencing ‘imposter symptoms’ during, and in many cases throughout, our careers.

Why does Imposter Syndrome matter?

Imposter Syndrome is something individuals and organisations should seek to address for many reasons as it:

  • breeds – and feeds on – fear and anxiety
  • leads to exhausting cycles of procrastination and over-work
  • hot-houses self-criticism and low self-compassion
  • undermines confidence and self-esteem
  • undermines connection, relationship and trust
  • contributes greatly to stress and burn-out
  • can lead to loss of talented staff

Impact in the workplace

Imposter Syndrome undermines women in many key professional areas including:

  • motivation and engagement
  • levels of productivity, effectiveness and impact
  • fulfillment, health and well-being
  • ‘staying under the radar’ e.g. avoiding leadership roles, promotions, pay-rises, projects, speaking opportunities
  • not realising their full potential and making their fullest contribution
  • practising – and modelling – unhealthy models of leadership
  • staying stuck in roles for which they are over-qualified

Imposter Syndrome has also been shown to negatively impact organisations in many business-critical areas including:

  • realising the full potential of the whole workforce
  • modeling trust and collaboration
  • fostering creativity, innovation and risk-taking
  • benefiting from the many inherent opportunities of more diverse and inclusive workplaces
  • succession planning
  • competing effectively
  • redressing the present imbalance in the number of women in senior leadership roles

Course content

  • Week 1: The Nature of the Beast – Defining Imposter Syndrome
    Imposter Syndrome: What it is, how it shows up, what impact it can have, why it’s a particular issue for women .
  • Week 2: The Hustle for Worthiness – The Drivers, Beliefs and Behaviours of Imposter Syndrome
    Exploring key drivers of imposter syndrome – the Shame Tapes, how they drive our behaviour and can lead to the Five Deadly Ps: please, prove, perform, perfect, pretend
  • Week 3: Radical Acts of Kindness – Empowering Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
    Practices in mindful self-compassion which can empower us to overcome the behaviours of imposter syndrome and positively impact our professional life, well-being, and leadership.
  • Week 4: The Wizard of Us – Cultivating your Inner Leadership Qualities to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
    Awareness and appreciation of key leadership qualities we have that can be nurtured and utilised as a powerful practice to support us in overcoming imposter syndrome.

The course features a rich mixture of live weekly webinars, buddy sessions (pairing with a different course-mate each week), personal reflection, homework exercises, mindfulness practices, poetry, TED Talks, and more.

Sarah Durrant and I are committed to helping women take their place as wholehearted, authentic and inspiring leaders in the workplace and we’re hugely excited to be offering this course.


If you’re interested in future Overcoming Imposter Syndrome courses, please subscribe to the Mindful Leadership for Women Programme mailing list.