PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome


Melissa and Siria discuss Imposter Syndrome, what it is, what causes it, and how we are not alone in this feeling of not belonging in certain settings. Joining them for the discussion is Dr. Noelle Lefforge. Dr. Lefforge is an Associate Professor-in-Residence in the faculty of the UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

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Imposter Syndrome – Roundtable With Dr. Lefforge

In this episode, we discuss Imposter Syndrome, what it is, what causes it, and how you are not alone in this feeling. Joining us for the discussion is Dr. Noelle Lefforge. She is an Associate Professor and Resident in the faculty of the UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and is a licensed Clinical Psychologist.

I am excited about this topic because I had experienced Imposter Syndrome and I had no clue what it was until you shed some light on it, Siria, because you had talked about how you experienced that as a baby lawyer.

As a baby lawyer, it came up.

What was interesting to me was when I was talking about Imposter Syndrome to friends and my spouse, they had no idea what Imposter Syndrome is. Did you ever experience anything like that?

Once I got the label, I understood what it meant. I was like, “I had that feeling of feeling like I don’t belong.” What is interesting for me is where it pops up. It will pop up in different settings where I don’t know people or I haven’t been my full self. There are many different things, but everybody is talking about Imposter Syndrome.

It is a good opportunity for us to discuss it and see which way it goes. I know, for myself, I have felt like I needed to dress the part to be a lawyer. If I wasn’t suiting up when I was a baby lawyer, I was like, “What am I doing?” When I did suit up, I would feel like I was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Now, I don’t even care. I can’t even go back to wearing a suit right now after this year of not going to court. I’m like, “What is this? It is so constricting.”

Imposter syndrome feels like being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Click To Tweet

Wolf in sheep’s clothing is the perfect analogy because, as COO of an international company that specializes in appreciative inquiry, I got to this level within the company because of my level of experience. I still found myself questioning my skillsets and values. Do I even deserve to be where I am? I was interviewed by a Penn State student who was charged with interviewing an AI practitioner.

For the longest time, I would decline these interviews because I would say that I was too busy. It was because I didn’t consider myself an AI practitioner. It wasn’t until I got off the phone with my first-ever interview with this Penn State student that I realized, I was like, “That was a lie I was telling myself. I am meant to be here. I am an AI practitioner.” When you mentioned that you knew someone that could speak with us about this, I was like, “Yes.”

I’m excited to invite Dr. Noelle Lefforge. She is an Associate Professor at UNLV in the Department of Psychology. She teaches principles and practices of psychotherapy, diversity issues, professional practice, and group psychotherapy. Thank you so much for being here and joining us in on this conversation on Imposter Syndrome.

Thank you so much for having me. I am excited to talk about Imposter Syndrome, both as somebody who has experienced it firsthand, hears about it from other folks, and knows a thing or two from looking at the literature on it.

A lot of people that I was talking to, like my spouse, and even some of our readers as I was sourcing out questions, had no idea what Imposter Syndrome is. How would you define it?

It was originally a term that came up in 1978 for research. It is feeling not good enough to be in the role or setting that one is in and not feeling like you have the expertise or credentials that have been attributed to you. I like the way you said it, Saria. It is this feeling of not belonging at its core. If I had to break it down, there are a few things I hope we will touch on. One is this idea of confidence and/or competency, and also this idea of belongingness.

What causes someone to experience this?

It is common. Let me say what I like about it and what I don’t like about it. I like it being defined as Imposter Syndrome because of being validating to have a word that describes this experience that is pretty pervasive. It is not necessarily widely talked about. If you find yourself experiencing it, the last thing you are going to do is tell one of your colleagues, “I don’t think I belong here in this job.” There is not a lot of certain space to bring it up. I love that there is validation. They were like, “There is a term for this. Other people experience this.”

What I don’t love about it is this idea of Imposter Syndrome. It resides within the individual who is experiencing it. There is something potentially wrong with somebody because they are not feeling a more competent or greater sense of belonging in the situation that they are in. One of the things about Imposter Syndrome is it is way more common in people with marginalized identities. Women experience it. Racial and ethnic minorities tend to experience it more than White people do. We should step back and think about what is causing it.

PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: Imposter syndrome is way more common in people with marginalized identities. A lot of it’s caused by the environments we create that don’t provide a sense of belonging for everybody.


A lot of it is caused by the environments we create that don’t provide a sense of belonging for everybody rather than somebody who doesn’t have confidence within themselves. We see this all the time. People who are confident in other situations find themselves experiencing it predominantly in the workplace. If we think about settings where White supremacy, misogyny, and all of those constructs, loom large, those are places we tend to see a lot of Imposter Syndrome. We tend to see it in people who aren’t historically meant to belong in those situations.

When I think of Imposter Syndrome, I often think of career development or career advancement. Can Imposter Syndrome be found in other areas of our life?

You can find it anywhere that maps onto competency. You could feel it in a lot of areas, but it is mostly going to come up in academics, work, or places where your performance is frequently evaluated.

I find it interesting that you are talking about how it seems to be if it is a traditionally White male-dominated space, that is where you are seeing this. As women and people of color break through those glass ceilings, it sounds like they are more likely to experience this phenomenon than their colleagues.

If I have to break it down and think about the micro level, day-to-day life as a woman of color in a workplace in a professional setting. I am sure you had an experience where you are sitting around a conference table, you throw out an idea, and somebody else echoes that idea and gets all the credit for it, even though you are the one who said it. These things happen all the time. Women are not getting promoted, even though they have done the same work and they are having the same outputs as people who are getting those promotions. I don’t understand how we could receive that feedback from the environment and part of ourselves doesn’t question, “Am I where I belong? Am I as competent as other people?”

The thing I also want to say is it can generalize. Even if your microcosm is one that has made progress and more validating of your identities, you still have the generalizations that came from going through the education system and all these different arenas where we are taught to evaluate our competencies. We are taught what is valued and what isn’t valued. Male styles of communication tend to be more valued than women’s styles of communication. What one brings to the table, there are often these internalized standards of what that is. All of that is at play when we start to think about Imposter Syndrome.

I’m glad you brought up education because that is something that is bubbling up right now of how often I am in higher education. The higher I went in my education, I started feeling like, “I don’t belong here. I’m the only one here. How am I the only Latina in this honors program?” It didn’t make sense to me. Hearing you talk about we need to evaluate all of the processes is valuable.

In a workplace that values solutions over process, somebody coming from a solution-oriented culture is going to get rewarded all the time for having contributions that align with those implicit, usually unspoken values. Whereas somebody who has maybe a lot more process-oriented is going to have valuable contributions to give. It is almost like the setting doesn’t know what to do with that.

I like what you said about confidence versus competence. If a person recognizes that they are experiencing Imposter Syndrome, what advice would you give them to slowly help build confidence? It sounds like we typically have the competency needed for whatever, whether it is that academic program or profession. What advice would you give someone that is looking to build their competence?

It is an important distinction. If we are talking about Imposter Syndrome, given that the person has the competence. This is not the same scenario as somebody who is getting objective feedback that they are not performing. Imposter Syndrome is when all the signals are saying, “You belong here. You are doing a good job.” Your internal stuff is saying, “I don’t know about all that. They haven’t found out I don’t belong here yet.”

Imposter syndrome is when all the signals are saying, “You belong here, you're doing a good job,” but your internal stuff is saying, “I don't know about all that.” Click To Tweet

It maps onto shame concepts. I start thinking about Brené Brown’s work on this. One of the best ways to find your way through it is to do what we are doing like we are talking about it. You have to be aware of what dynamics exist within the setting where you are experiencing it. I wouldn’t say if there are these major power differentials that you necessarily want to communicate with those colleagues about it. My guess is that there are other allies in most settings within the space that you are feeling or outside in your other professional networks, exactly like we are doing here.

All three of us have acknowledged that we have experienced that. That starts to chip away at attributing it to incompetency. When I look at you and Siria, I see competence. The fact that I now know that you both have these thoughts starts to bring up this doubt of, “If I see them as competent, but they don’t necessarily see it themselves, what does that mean about my feelings of Imposter Syndrome?” Talking about it and sharing it is one way to start to mitigate it.  

Part of it is perception. I see two strong, competent, and accomplished women, but at the same time, you never know what is going on on the inside with people. This is one of those things that is happening. I can speak for myself. Once I had the language of it, I was like, “That is what that is. I now know what that is.”

I can’t say I have come up with any tools for myself how to get myself out of it. I have tried the power posing before depositions and breathing. It is interesting to see where it pops up because in some settings, I’m confident and I got this. At other times, it is not there, even though nothing else has changed.

You can’t change the environment you are in depending on where it is that you are. For me, it has been a lot of work on that self-worth that I am worthy, what I’m contributing is important, and my voice is important. I have done a lot of work with that. With that said, is Imposter Syndrome considered a mental disorder or illness? Is it an emotion felt?

It is not something we diagnose. It could lead, if it were severe, to other things that we might consider problematic because they impair functioning, but it is just a phenomenon that frequently occurs. As we are talking, a couple of other things come up for me. It is important to validate the experience and have some understanding of where it stems from.

One idea that I have one thing that has been on my mind a lot is how do we transform these systems that exist. Why do we have to be confident in every situation? Why is the expectation that we have to appear all-knowing infallible? All of that is also tied to things like White supremacy and misogyny. We could all benefit if there were fewer expectations of doing those things because the evidence is clear. People that have self-doubt are probably more productive and likely to be right.

It is a quality to be self-reflective, accurately view where my weaknesses may be, interested in working on those areas and be forthcoming about where the limits of our knowledge lie. We live in a society that values brief answers, clarity, one solution, and no ambiguity. This may be getting outside of what we were intending, but it is all connected to this idea of Imposter Syndrome.

You hit on one of the words that I don’t want to say is my pet peeve, but expectations. I have issues with expectations because I have figured that out for my own expectations. I can do that. When other people put expectations on me, I’m much more rebellious now than I have ever been, even more so than as a teenager because we have that expectation.

As a first generation, I feel like there are all these expectations of you are supposed to do this, give back to your family, and usher the way for the next generation. I was like, “I’m trying to do me now.” Knowing that expectations play a role in this, is it a cause-and-effect relationship between Imposter Syndrome and expectations?

One thought I have is Imposter Syndrome can help keep the status quo going. What happens is people internalize unrealistic expectations. They think, “It is me. I’m falling short. No one else is experiencing this.” The system gets to keep asking for more. When we opened and you were saying, “Everybody is talking about this,” I immediately was like, “That is interesting. Why is everybody talking about it now?”

PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: Imposter syndrome can really help keep the status quo going because what happens is people internalize unrealistic expectations.


Expectations are a big topic throughout this pandemic. Everybody I know has these unrealistic expectations of how they should be surviving a pandemic. There are all these ideas about what one should be doing, how one should be working and what one should be producing. Yes, expectations and Imposter Syndrome are tied up together.

I love this idea of transforming this system because, as you were talking about, being a consultant, people often think that I’m this expert. In Western culture, we are taught that you have to have the answer. It doesn’t have to be the right answer. It has to be an answer because you have to play this part. I love what you are saying, which is like, “We need to get back to asking questions and being real and authentic.” These expectations are things that we are putting on ourselves that our profession is putting on us, but they are often unrealistic.

What values underlie it is because it is getting us away from valuing truth, authenticity, and genuineness. Those are things that I care about and a lot of cultures care about. Buying into this whole system moves us away from those and more into quick sell and that feeling of satisfaction and knowing the right answer, even though it is wrong. I’m less interested in participating in all that.

Good for you. I’m excited about that.

Good for you too. I hear your rebellion as well.

I love what you said there about how this Imposter Syndrome is enforcing the status quo. Can you talk more about that?

What you do is you have a bunch of folks who are rising through the ranks and who haven’t been in these power positions before. When one is lost in their Imposter Syndrome, what do they do? They shut down, get quiet, and expect more of themselves. They try to accelerate their behavior to match the expectations so they don’t feel the Imposter Syndrome, rather than looking at the system is messed up. I’m going to bring my value. The Imposter Syndrome makes people uber-productive, but yet silent. It is the reinforcement of the status quo.

When you are feeling less than or not worthy of your position, you are thinking, “ Is it what I’m going to say? Is it going to be of any contribution or value? If so, who would want to listen to it anyway?”

It sounds to me like there is also a relationship to burnout. If you are going to be uber productive and you are going to be like, “I’m going to run, bill, and do more than anybody else because I have to show that I earn my place here,” you are going to eventually leave that spot and you got into that cycle of, “I didn’t belong at that place because I wasn’t smart enough.” It is this vicious spiral.

Spending one’s lifetime trying to chase unrealistic expectations is a great way to end up completely exhausted, unfulfilled, and ready to leave.

Spending one's lifetime trying to chase unrealistic expectations is a great way to end up completely exhausted, unfulfilled, and ready to leave. Click To Tweet

As you are mentioning burnout, I know that I have experienced that, and Sidia has. When you are feeling these feelings of inadequacy, it leads to depression, anxiety, and lower productivity at work. It snowballs into something greater.

I think about how that reinforces the status quo because what you end up with are empty seats that somebody who is not experiencing all of this is happy to take. If you are not carrying the burden of all this Imposter Syndrome, it was like, “Everybody wants to hear my opinion.” There is research that shows that if you start to get into differential in positions and salaries for men and women, in large part, men “There is no way I’m going to get that.” They will put in the application anyway. Imposter Syndrome can function as the self-regulator that is on overdrive that holds a person back, and somebody who is not doing that will take that seat.

Are there certain things that we could teach people to help them get out of their own way?

I’m big on identifying these systemic oppressive forces. Let’s attribute this where it belongs. The problem is the moment that we start talking about what to do about this. The tension falls on the individual. What is the person experiencing Imposter Syndrome supposed to do to not do that? No, what is the system supposed to do? What are the highest levels of leadership of that organization supposed to do to minimize their employees and colleagues feeling Imposter Syndrome? Some of it is pulling back the veil that we are pulling back and seeing where the source is coming from.

For someone experiencing low self-worth or inadequacy in their job, I’m curious if you have any insight as to maybe how they find the courage to amplify their voice or speak up, because talking to your boss could be extremely intimidating. What advice would you give someone like that?

This has to do with belonging in a core. As human beings, we are susceptible to negative impacts if we don’t feel that belongingness. You need to get your shirt up first. Find where you do belong. Get your energy, recharge from that, and figure out ways that you can be rebellious in these other situations where you are not feeling it.

Even before we expect somebody to change the whole system they are in, I do want to take a case for the role of building self-compassion. Self-compassion can be a huge antithesis. If I’m experiencing self-compassion, that doesn’t leave a lot of space for Imposter Syndrome. If I notice it coming up, those thoughts are about doubt or comparison. Is my work as good as this other person’s work?

PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: Self-compassion can be a huge anti-thesis to imposter syndrome.


If I can turn that on its head and say, “I’m having those feelings and thoughts. I work in a world that doesn’t always value the contributions that people like me make.” I’m a conscientious person. That is part of what got me as far as I did. Unfortunately, sometimes my conscientious part is on overdrive, doesn’t say helpful things, and starts to get into like, “You are not as good as you think you are.” It starts to question the things that I am good at. If we can start to talk to ourselves like that, we start to mitigate some of this.

I have a question from one of our readers, Leanne Waddington, from Canada. She was curious if Imposter Syndrome is a normal part of the transition and if Imposter Syndrome can be a good thing. If so, at what point is it no longer healthy?

For most of us, it is a normal part of the transition. If you have a lot of protective factors, including privileged identities, lots of experiences of pure success and the road has been paid for you, maybe you can do transitions without Imposter Syndrome, but a lot of us do experience it. You are going to transition at the right time for Imposter Syndrome because there is so much unknown. You are relearning things. You are trying to sort it out. That makes a lot of sense.

It can be adaptive. The things that I said, like engaging in self-reflection, questioning one’s abilities, and doing a scan of where am I strong? Where are my growth edges? Doing something about those growth edges, all of that is good. One thing that comes to mind when we talk about psychology is there is an anxiety performance curve. You want to be at an optimal level of anxiety to be at your peak performance.

With too little anxiety, you are probably not worried enough to do as much as you can to do a good job. If you go into overdrive, your anxiety takes over, you are in that fight, flight, freeze place, and you can’t do a good job. Some Imposter Syndrome can be some of that fuel to ignite performance. When does it get to be too much? It is when you start to cross over into questioning yourself that you are frozen, paralyzed, you can’t do the work, you are silent and it shuts down your performance.

Some imposter syndrome can be some of that fuel to ignite performance. When does it get to be too much? When you start to cross over into questioning yourself so much that you are frozen and it shuts down your performance. Click To Tweet

I want to go back real quick. Growth edges. I have never heard that term before. Can you please tell me what that is?

I do a lot of clinical training and supervision. As a professor and supervisor, that is the way we tend to think about competencies and how to develop is you have your strengths and everything else is a growth edge with this. Some of this fits into growth mindsets versus not. Imposter Syndrome fits with that too. Imposter Syndrome is much more, “I’m like this. There is no room to grow.” Whereas growth mindsets are all about, “I don’t know, if you water and seed that patch of ground, you are probably going to grow some good stuff out of it.”

I have another question from another reader. Her name is Kelly Montenegro from Las Vegas. She was curious if Imposter Syndrome is something we develop in childhood or does it manifest later in life.

I don’t know the technical answer to that. There are seeds of this that develop. I have memories as a kid of feeling like I didn’t belong or wasn’t quite good enough to be where I was. When you are developing as a kid, there is so much more room to think, but I will get there. One of the biggest things that change through development is if you look at little kids, there is a reason little kids think they will be able to fly one day or outgrow because they are constantly being surprised by what they couldn’t do yesterday that they could do now. As we settle into adulthood, measuring what we are capable of is a different question. I have never heard of Imposter Syndrome being used with children or even adolescents. It is more of an adult phenomenon, but by that, I don’t want to say that there aren’t analogous experiences earlier in life.

I want to go back to self-compassion. Another space that was talking about Imposter Syndrome was eliminating the vocabulary or the words saying, “I’m lucky.” Not saying that anymore. That was the suggestion. As I’m hearing you talk, I’m thinking that is a way of practicing some of that self-compassion instead of saying, “I’m lucky that I got here.” No, you worked hard to get here. Reframing that can be an act of self-compassion. Do you have any thoughts on the language that we could use to help us shake off that feeling of Imposter Syndrome?

I will pivot to talk about a little bit that was sparked by what you were saying. If we look at cognitive-type therapies, one thing that we know is people make a lot of misattribution. People who are distressed or struggling are a lot more likely to attribute other people’s success to their efforts and their own to circumstances or unchangeable factors. They do the opposite for the good things that come in life. You could see how this would set you up to go down that spiral. If you are attributing all your success to something that you couldn’t change, all your failures to being all your fault, and you are doing the opposite for everyone else, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: If you’re attributing all your success to something that you couldn’t change and all your failures to being all your fault, and you’re doing the opposite for everyone else, it can really become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Coming back to what you were talking about, the way we talk to ourselves. Sometimes we can use comparisons in a compassionate way, like experiencing gratitude for what we have. The way that you said that, like, “I’m lucky.” There is the superficial unexamined not taking credit for what one may have invested and accomplished.

I delve a lot into social constructionism. Everything forms our reality. That includes the people we hang out with, the books we read, the organization we work for, and the language we tell ourselves, it becomes our reality. I love what you are saying. It is like everything down and looking at the language we are telling ourselves and how that might impact or influence what we are feeling in terms of Imposter Syndrome.

When were we talking about the systems and seeing why the system is doing this, how does one try to navigate in a system where they don’t acknowledge or recognize that Imposter Syndrome might be a thing that people are experiencing?

I’m glad you are doing this show to open up dialogue about it. It helps to not feel entirely alone with it. It is worth at least some reflection, like, “Am I in the system that I want to be in?” In my life, my Imposter Syndrome has been the worst when I was in situations that weren’t a great fit for me. Part of it is normative. Whenever you are learning something new, you are not going to feel competent at it. Sometimes, I need to wait it out. This is part of my path, but noticing that it is getting better.

It would be a worthy point of reflection in one’s life if you have been in it for quite a while. There is a way that you have given yourself enough time to acclimate, but you are still constantly feeling like you don’t belong. You are not taking advantage of your skillset. Rather than turning it upon yourself and saying, “There is something wrong with me that I don’t fit into this system,” look at what is going on with this system and is this a square peg round hole situation?

You have provided me with a lot of food for thought. I’m sorry, I’m quiet. I’m here reflecting. I’m like, “Are these things that I’m telling myself? What is the system like?” I never thought that the system itself, the organization, and the industry could be what is perpetuating what I was feeling. Thank you for bringing that to light.

There are some things that don’t fit. One option is always to leave that system, but that is not the only option. We talked a little bit about if you can find support or connection within the system, great. If you do feel comfortable with your boss or your colleague, go ahead and talk to them. That may not be the case.

For me, it has been finding outside networks. Siria and I did meet through Emerge and that is an amazing group of women who are all about lifting one another up and being reflective about this is where I see your strength and it is impossible. I found to be immersed in that and go into another setting without it rubbing off and bringing that light of, “These people over here think I bring a lot of value to the table. Why is that not being seen in this particular setting?”

There is also something there about earning your place or that feeling of it. One of my team members reached out to me and was like, “There is something I want to do. I want to get this special license plate.” It has got a name that she doesn’t want me to air because she still hasn’t secured it at the DMV, but wanting to know, “Do you think I can do this because I haven’t earned it yet? I haven’t earned the thing that I’m aspiring to.” I stepped back and said, “Is it going to remind you of your goal every day?” She was like, “Yes.” I was like, “Go for it. You don’t need my permission as an attorney to say you can go get that legal-related thing because it is something that you want.” Sometimes we feel like, “I haven’t earned it yet. I haven’t been practicing enough.” it goes back to all of that enough stuff. I rather stay small and it will be safer here.

We are starting to talk about a few things. One is allyship. Even if we haven’t worked through it in every realm of our life forevermore, how do we act as allies to people coming after us who are talking about feeling these things? One of the barriers there is systematic. We have this idea that you shouldn’t ask for that reassurance. You shouldn’t need somebody’s permission to do something because that would be. Dependency.

We are socially wired. We need other people to provide validation and approval. I’m not saying you need to constantly go around saying, “Is it okay that I did this?” It is helpful, as you are exploring what my role is, what I have achieved, and what is of value to have somebody who you can ask in the way that she asked you and that you can say, “You are good enough for it.” What is this even about? That is immensely powerful.

Kudos to you, Siria, for creating a space where she felt comfortable to share or to ask because we are talking about looking at the systems and you are helping create a system that invites dialogues

I didn’t share it for that, but mostly for knowing that a lot of times, we feel like we need that permission from somebody. I told her, “I’m going to give this to you even though you don’t need it from me. If that is what you feel that you need in order to do this thing that is going to help motivate you and drive you towards your end goal, here you go.”

An important part of allyship is looking across the system and moments when somebody might not feel belonging and not always making them ask for it but reaching out. As a supervisor and professor, I’m often telling my students their value unsolicited by them because they need to hear it. They are not always getting that message. Their internal dialogue is not always providing that message. Why would I withhold that? We are socialized sometimes to withhold it. They need to find it on their own. That is true. The way we figure out who we are is through our interactions with others. Somebody is saying, “I see you. I value you. You are good at this.” We all benefit from that.

PMH 37 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: The way we figure out who we are is through our interactions with others. And so somebody’s saying, “I see you, I value you, you’re good at this,” we all benefit from that.


Even with you mentioning your students and bringing them up, it is the same with the student who reached out to Melissa. That’s that validation of, “I’m going to bring you here because I think that you have something that I want to know.” If we are able to plant those seeds in other people, they start seeing it for themselves. I can certainly say that I have had mentors and colleagues who have done that for me and nominated me for things that you wouldn’t have done it yourself. Somebody else saw that potential in you and you go, “I guess I can try to lean into that a little bit.”

Those are such good examples of making this a reality. We have to contain the feedback the system isn’t providing. Based on all the things I said about the status quo, people are already hearing certain things from the system. If you get an A on a paper and you win your trial, that is the way the system says, “You are good enough.” Looking for ways that you know are not intrinsically going to be valued or rewarded by the system and being the one to give voice to those is immensely powerful.

Noelle, I could talk to you about this all day. I find what you say fascinating. My page is all filled up with quotable quotes, growth edges, and all these things. Thank you so much for spending this afternoon with Siria and I. What we do with each guest that we bring on is we like to ask two signature questions. I know you didn’t get the form ahead of time, but I’m going to ask about it anyway. The first one is, looking back, what would you tell your younger self?

This is on the mind because of what we are talking about. If asked outside the situation, I probably still say the same. I wish that I could tell my younger self, “You are enough.” In a way that my younger self would be able to let some of it in. Don’t spend so much time trying to prove it, but enjoy it.

Don't spend so much time trying to prove it. Enjoy it. Click To Tweet

That is something that, as much as I want to hug my twelve-year-old self, I’m not sure she would let me sometimes.

I can imagine my younger self rolling her eyes. You don’t know me well enough to say that then, but if I could, I would.

Looking forward, what one wish do you have for yourself on your journey?

My wish is a lot less about me and more about the impact I could have on the world. If I had to boil it down, I hope to leave this world better than when I got here. What I mean by that is better for other people’s lives and quality of life, especially for folks who that doesn’t come easy for.

Any last words on what we have talked about or anything else?

One other side of Imposter Syndrome that we didn’t have a chance to touch on too much, through the pandemic, I don’t know if you all got to see the memes related to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Are you familiar?

A little bit.

This idea that, in some ways, established. If you know a little bit about something or nothing about something, you tend to be confident and think that you know enough about it. The more you know about something until you reach a professional or expert with tons of experience, you start seeing all the doubt.

There is a healthy amount of not feeling confident and not being a person who thinks they know everything there is to know about COVID because they watched a YouTube video. It is good to have accurate self-assessments. What gets problematic with Imposter Syndrome is they are not exactly accurate. They tend to underestimate what somebody knows and is capable of.

Thank you so much, Noelle, for joining us. I learned so much.

Thank you so much for having me. I loved it.

Thank you.

We want to hear from you. How are you owning your voice and experience to minimize Imposter Syndrome? Let us know in our private Facebook group, Pivotal Moments HQ. We want to thank our producer and music director, Ron Johnson. This has been Estronemicas DMR Production. Thank you for reading. Remember, it is never too late, and you are right on time.



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