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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Mar 6, 2023

With Dr. Valerie Young, Co-Founder of Imposter Syndrome Institute


Are you familiar with the term Imposter Syndrome? It’s cropping up all over the media these days. But what does it really mean and who is most likely to experience it? More importantly, are there ways we can overcome it? 


It’s not unusual for women (and men) to suffer from occasional feelings of self-doubt, especially if we’re tackling new challenges or doing something for the first time. But all too often, as women, we may fall into the trap of believing we need to be perfect. But trying to live up to our own impossibly high standards may actually be sabotaging our chance for success. Going through life feeling like a fraud and fearing the stigma of exposure is an emotionally exhausting and unsustainable way to live. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


If feelings of self-doubt are interfering with your day-to-day life because you truly believe you’re less qualified, talented, or intelligent than others think you are, then you may be suffering from “Imposter Syndrome.”


If you want to learn how to overcome the negative beliefs and feelings that may be creating barriers to your success, you’ll want to listen to my interview with Dr. Valerie Young, the Co-founder of Imposter Syndrome Institute. After obtaining her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, where she studied internal barriers to women’s occupational achievements, she worked in corporate management for a Fortune 200 Company. Today, recognized as one of the foremost experts in treating Imposter Syndrome, Valerie is uniquely qualified to counsel other women on how to recognize the signs and overcome the feelings associated with this syndrome.


What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • What exactly is imposter syndrome?

  • How our family messaging and upbringing affect whether or not we experience imposter syndrome.

  • Why are so many of the obstacles women face in achieving success, “internal”?

  • How we tend to conflate competence and confidence.

  • What are some of the symptoms of imposter syndrome?

  • Dr. Valerie talks about what drew her to the field and her passion for understanding why so many capable women suffer from imposter syndrome.

  • What does The Impostor Syndrome do and who are the type of people they work with?

  • How can people move through their imposter syndrome and have the confidence to go after what they want?

  • Why does talking to ourselves in a positive manner matter?

  • How can we build up more confidence?

  • Everyone loses when bright people play small.


Today’s Takeaway:

Almost everyone suffers from self-doubt on occasion but if you frequently

struggle with the belief that you’re less talented, competent, or qualified

than others believe you are, you could have Imposter Syndrome. By constantly questioning your abilities, you may actually set yourself up for failure based on your unrealistic self-defeating expectations.


Asking for help to overcome the shame and stigma that could be 

preventing you from achieving the kind of success you desire isn’t a sign of 

weakness or incompetence. Instead, it’s the first step toward healing. If you 

are seeking to overcome these negative self-defeating thoughts, 

Imposter Syndrome Institute may be able to help.


For example, instead of telling yourself you’re not deserving of a

particular job, you can learn to believe you’ve been given this role for a 

reason and that you are the best and most qualified individual. You can learn 

when you don’t know something, how to recruit someone who does have the 

information or the ability and with their help, you can both succeed. Remember every day is a gift and the gift we get from believing in ourselves

and knowing when to reach out to others and ask for their assistance is 

not a sign of weakness but a sign you’re already on the path to success. 

I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.



  • “In my experience, there are men who painfully experience impostor feelings, but I find it tends to hold women back more.” — Dr. Valerie

  • “We tend to conflate competence and confidence.” — Dr. Valerie

  • “If you belong to any group for whom there are stereotypes about competence or intelligence, you’re going to be more susceptible to impostor feelings.” — Dr. Valerie

  • “If I’m going to overlook your 30% I want you to overlook my 30%.” — Florine

  • “What if we spent as much time focusing on both feeling more confident, but also projecting it even when we don't feel it?” — Dr. Valerie

  • “The more positive you feel, the more confidence you’re going to have.” — Florine

  • “The key is to not wait until you feel confident. Feelings are the last to change; you have to change your thoughts first and then your behaviors.” — Florine

  • “Who do you think you are to not go for it?” — Florine


Brought to You By:

Florine Mark


Mentioned in This Episode:

Impostor Syndrome Institute