Breaking the Impostor Cycle

The great writer on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie Young, says, “If you want to stop feeling like an Impostor, then you have to stop thinking like an Impostor.”

The first thing we have to do, therefore, is step outside the cycle and change the negative thoughts we might suffer at each stage.

In the following exercise, you’ll see each of the stages of the Impostor Cycle and a typical reaction of someone who is suffering from a sense of Impostorism. What I would like you to do is ‘reframe’ each negative response into a positive reaction.

Here is an example of how someone might answer the first question.

1. Start a Project

“Oh no, my manager is giving me something new to do. Why not give it to someone else who is much better at this type of work?”
“Great, my manager wants to give me a new project because they have such a high opinion of my abilities.”

Once you have entered your answers in each box, click on the ‘Finish Quiz’ button.