If anyone feels out of place, it’s an astronaut. World leading expert Dr Valerie Young tells why Imposter Syndrome isn’t rocket science
“Dr, I feel like all these guys are so tremendous, what the hell am I doing amongst them here?”.
“Mike, I’ve read your book I don’t think you have Imposter syndrome.”
“No. I think you have, ‘holy cr@p I’m about to be shot into space’ Syndrome..”
The term “thought leader” is vastly overused. But when it comes to Dr Valerie Young, she’s that — and more. In today’s episode we speak to someone who is widely considered to be the world’s foremost expert on impostor syndrome. Pioneering the field for over 40 years, Valerie is uniquely qualified to help organisations, workshop facilitators, coaches, and individuals to better understand and help eliminate the feelings of impostor syndrome. This includes speaking to NASA astronaut Mike Massimino (who she absolutely thinks does not have it by the way).
Joining Valerie on today’s ‘The Professionals’ episode is return guest Rachel Lounds. Prior to becoming a regular on The Imposterous, Rachel enjoyed a long and rich career in production and creative services in such esteemed agencies as Droga 5, McCann and LeoBurnett, and after enough time in those agencies Rachel took a pause and quit. Since 2020 she has been a Certified Life & Mindset Coach, Imposter Syndrome Specialist.
In this episode, we learn from Valerie that when it comes to imposterism she thinks that there is a third choice. That we don’t necessarily have to embrace the negativity of Imposter syndrome to gain motivation, nor do we have to be arrogant jerks that never doubt themselves. Rather. Dr Valerie would prefer if we could all just become what she coins ‘humble realists’. Maybe we would all be better off if we recognise that everyone has the right to have an ‘off day’, and that’s all it is, no more no less.
Valerie earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1982. Her research sought to understand why so many bright, capable women (including herself) felt like frauds. Then (as now), most impostor phenomenon research is done with university students. Instead, Valerie chose as her subjects professional women — a majority women of colour. And unlike psychologists and academics who offer largely therapeutic solutions to impostor feelings, Valerie used her training as well as her findings to create educational solutions to impostor syndrome.
With a new episode every week, The Imposterous is hosted by Michael Knox (ECD, Roller) and Graham Drew (CCO, Grey Malaysia) and as has been created to explore the theory that even the world’s most respected creative professionals suffer pangs of inadequacy that either stifle their potential brilliance or protect them from mediocrity. Tune in to find out how Imposter Syndrome might just be a thing that you don’t have to run from.
Harmonically and spiritually balanced with a diet of wheatgrass and lovingly handcrafted by We Love Jam Studios – The Imposterous is available now on itunes, Spotify, Google Play or imposterous.com.
The Imposterous returned for season two last week, listen to episode one with Jeff Goodby here.