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An honest conversation about imposter syndrome

The Green Room by Deloitte is a podcast that tackles a tricky question about the world around us every two weeks. Hosted by our employees, The Green Room calls on experts and research from across the firm and beyond to find the answer.

From automation to sustainability to the future of our cities, we delve deep into the issues that matter most to our people, our clients and broader society. This story is about the most popular episode so far.

Will I ever feel good enough for my job?

Have you ever questioned whether you’re good enough? Been afraid people will find out you’re not capable? Felt like a fraud? You’re not alone. Imposter syndrome affects 70 per cent of people at some point in their lives. Maya Angelou, Meryl Streep, Michelle Obama, Albert Einstein and many more successful people have expressed feeling like imposters.

In this episode, two special guests opened up about their own experiences of imposter syndrome: Sharon Thorne, our Global Chair, and Poppy Jaman, CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance.

So what does it feel like to have imposter syndrome? Why is it so prevalent in a high-performance culture? Who's most likely to have imposter feelings? And most importantly, what can we do about it?

You are not an imposter

For Poppy, one of very few female Bangladeshi chief executives, imposter syndrome presents itself in the form of fear and anxiety. She once criss-crossed London at 3am just to find a print room to have a document printed in a different format before a big presentation at Number 10 Downing Street.

Poppy has since learnt tricks that help her manage the feelings when they present themselves. Despite the suffering imposter syndrome can bring, Poppy also describes it as an incredibly powerful force driving her forward.

As the first female on our UK Executive, in the role of talent partner, Sharon knows this feeling only too well and said it's been important to find ways of dealing with the symptoms.

The issues that matter

Listen in to hear Poppy and Sharon reflect on their experiences with imposter syndrome, how to manage it and why we should be discussing the issue more.

If you like what you hear, The Green Room by Deloitte has covered many other topics, from automation anxiety and the future of cities to side hustles and zero waste, so do join us.

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