Imposter Syndrome in High Performers

by Stuart Mackenzie

"I have seen people stand on stage and mesmerise a conference for a whole day, or dazzle the most senior board of directors. And yet, despite appearances I know they walk away feeling that they ‘fooled’ everyone, that they ‘got away with it’, that they are faking it. Self-worth is different from self-confidence.

At Maynard Leigh Associates, we have been researching High Performance and Leadership for 30 years now. Often in one-to-one sessions, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses behind the effective masks of professionals from some of the most successful companies in various industries. The weight of evidence makes it abundantly clear that one of the biggest shared vulnerabilities amongst High Achievers is a level of high anxiety linked to a low sense of self-worth, despite their considerable accomplishments. It is called Imposter Syndrome, defined as high performing individuals unable to internalise their achievements."

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