What to do when (not if) you suffer from imposter syndrome

A characteristic I notice frequently as I listen to clients is “imposter syndrome”, so called because there are times when we don’t feel worthy enough to carry the responsibilities of leadership.

Imposter syndrome happens when we compare our inside to other people’s outside.

Always a mistake.

One of the benefits of being a coach is the realisation that everyone has an inside that is very different from their outside and that imposter syndrome is a daily occurrence for most of us.

It’s how we deal with it that matters, not how we remove it.

The very best way to deal with imposter syndrome is to share your feelings of insecurity with a trusted friend or advisor (not with your family or your team – they will panic and head for the lifeboats).

The good friend or mentor will share their own insecurities, help you to accept your own and ask you to move forward.

You are a leader.

Sometimes leadership is about that touch of humility that allows you to say:

Follow me

I have made this journey

I survived the trials

I pushed through the pain

I overcame my own imposter syndrome

I made it to the summit

Now I’m going to show you the way

Follow me

If you experience imposter syndrome this week – listen to my voice in your head saying “that makes two of us.”

Then shine a light.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.