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Millions of people worldwide — executives and early career professionals, first year college students and PhDs, entrepreneurs and engineers — secretly worry they’re not as bright or capable as everyone thinks they are. 

These impostor-related feelings lead to unproductive behaviors like holding back, chronic procrastination, self-sabotage, and burnout. 

Left unchecked, impostor syndrome can lead to costly consequences not only for individuals, but for organizations as well. 

Impostor Syndrome Institute has delivered practical, immediately usable solutions that have been delivered to over 500,000 people around the world since 1985. Thought Design is pleased to be a licensed associate.

What Is Impostor Syndrome? 


The term impostor phenomenon was first coined in 1978 by Georgia State University psychology professor Pauline Clance and clinical psychologist Suzanne Imes.

More commonly referred to as impostor syndrome, it describes the false belief that we are not in fact as intelligent or capable or talented or qualified as others “think” we are. Rather than see accomplishments in terms of our abilities or efforts, we chalk them up to luck, timing, personality, connections, and other external factors.

Naturally, the biggest fear for people with impostor syndrome is being found out.  Click here to download the Rethinking Imposter Syndrome Brochure.


The Need

Impostor syndrome isn’t just an “interesting self-help topic.” It’s a bottom line issue. Impostor-related thoughts and feelings lead to unproductive behaviors which are costly to individuals and their organization. That’s why if you lead, manage, mentor, consult to, or train others, you need to understand  impostor syndrome.


The Solution

The goal is not necessarily to cure impostor syndrome. Rather it’s to provide people the information, insight, and tools they need to talk themselves down faster. It’s about understanding that people who are genuinely humble, yet don’t feel like impostors are no more intelligent, capable, or talented than the rest of us — they just think different thoughts. 

More specifically, these “humble realists” think differently about three things: Competence, failure/mistakes/criticism, and fear itself. Naturally what people want is to stop feeling like an impostor. But that’s not how it works. Feelings are the last to change. The only way to stop feeling like an impostor is to stop thinking like an impostor. Fortunately humble realist thinking can not only be learned, but it can be supported in the organization.   

In this interactive session you will:

  • Understand what impostor syndrome is – and what it is not 
  • Discover the sources of impostor feelings 
  • Understand how impostor syndrome intersects with diversity and inclusion – and why it matters
  • Identify your personal “Competence Type”
  • Understand the individual and organizational costs of impostor syndrome
  • Leave with practical, immediately usable tools to help yourself and/or those you manage, mentor, or parent to address impostor syndrome


Want a discount?  When you sign up 4 or more people, use code FourOrMore for a $10 discount on each ticket.  

We’re sorry – we don’t have a Rethinking Impostor Syndrome class scheduled right now.  Do you want to be notified when we schedule the next one?  Fill out the form below and you will be the first to know!


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