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Multiple Thinkfluencers (3)

Dr. KC Lee | Stacy McCarthy | Prerna Suri

Power Bite: 4 Steps to Beat Imposter Syndrome in a New Role

Feb 27, 2022 | 5m


4 Steps to Beat Imposter Syndrome in a New Role

You’ve started a new role. To an outsider, you’re successful – and yet, you don’t feel it. Instead of feeling pride and joy, you feel Imposter Syndrome creeping up, like there’s been a terrible mistake and you don’t actually belong.

Firstly, know that you’re not alone. This syndrome plagues even the most accomplished individuals – from award-winning actress Meryl Streep to renowned physicist Albert Einstein. It afflicts people of all genders. It often surfaces in moments of change, in new situations you feel you don’t have control over. Here are four steps you can take to mitigate feelings of self-doubt when they come up.


Even if you’re skeptical of this step, give it a go – it won’t take more than a minute. Stacy McCarthy, former Regional Director APAC at The Boeing Company, acknowledges that her advice to focus on breathing might seem out of place in the context of work.

But the fact is: you’re in fear mode when Imposter Syndrome takes hold. Give yourself the chance to get out of this before working on any solution. You’d be amazed what a difference taking 3 to 10 deep breaths can make.

Name That Feeling

Neuroscience studies have shown that giving your emotions a name lessens how intensely you experience it, and how it impacts you. Getting specific about what you’re actually feeling helps you get in a more rational frame of mind. This way, you may better assess and manage situations where Imposter Syndrome sets in.

Say you’re surrounded by incredibly smart and accomplished colleagues in your new role and are feeling like you don’t belong. Pause and break this down. Are you anxious? Afraid? Envious? Once you’ve named it, you’re more likely to acknowledge the distorted reality you perceive – that everyone but you is exceptional.

But are they really only exceptional? Dr KC Lee, Chartered Psychologist, highlights that most people tend to be in tune with their insecurities. But is it realistic to assume that others, even highly accomplished experts in their field, don’t have struggles or insecurities of their own?

By naming your feelings, and putting yourself in a different frame of mind, you become more aware of reality as it actually is. In this example, you’re able to recognise the distorted view you have of the world and acknowledge the realities others may also be facing.

If that isn’t enough, consider this: the exceptional people have let you into their ‘club’ – what does that say about you?

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Dr. KC Lee

Chartered Psychologist


Stacy McCarthy

Former Regional Director, APAC

The Boeing Company


Prerna Suri

Vice President, Communications, Asia and Middle East

Sony Music Entertainment



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