Why Imposter Syndrome Isn’t So Bad After All

Have you ever achieved something you were incredibly proud of, only to feel like you weren’t worthy or deserving of a seat at the accomplishment table?


photo of desk calendar with the words "work hard stay humble"


Maybe you published an incredibly well-received article, or you got into the company of your dreams only to find yourself stuck in your head, doubting your abilities, and that you’ve somehow fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.


Sound familiar?


Then you’ve most likely struggled with imposter syndrome, which basically translates to doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud even though you’re successful at what you do. 


Sure, on the one hand, I could argue that underestimating your values, skills, and accomplishments might hold you back. But when I compare imposter syndrome to the alternative of being overly confident, I could easily argue that the benefit of self-doubt is far more beneficial in helping you achieve your goals and move forward.


For one, having imposter syndrome keeps your ego in check. While confidence is great, nobody cares for the overly confident, brilliant a** in the room that thinks they’re all that. 


You know the person that thinks they’re confident about a topic but doesn’t actually have the knowledge or experience to back it up. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a healthy dose of imposter syndrome over being the brilliant a** in the room any day of the week.


But keeping your ego in check isn’t the only thing imposter syndrome helps with. And here are several more reasons why having some self-doubt isn’t so bad after all.


5 benefits of imposter syndrome:


  • Helps you be more open-minded — when you question yourself, you naturally tend to be more open to taking in and applying new information. As you can imagine, this can be incredibly valuable when you’re problem-solving, whether it be solo or with a team.



  • Breeds more empathy — oddly enough, experiencing the feeling of being outside your comfort zone will be enough to help you relate or empathize with others struggling with similar thoughts. And if there’s anything this world could use more of lately, it’s empathy.


  • Strengthens decision-making abilities — just like questioning yourself can help you stay more open-minded, sometimes it can also help you make better decisions. If you’re not convinced, just think about how much extra research you end up doing when you’re second-guessing yourself. And with more research and data at your fingertips, you’re more likely to make a better decision.


  • Keeps you humble — unlike inflated confidence, imposter syndrome reminds you to find a balance between confidence and humility. Because at the end of the day, no matter how awesome you are at your job or successful you become, there’s ALWAYS room to learn and grow.


So next time you get hit with a wave of self-doubt, consider spending some time analyzing it further so you can truly make it work in your favor. After all, successful folks like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, or myself for that matter, wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for imposter syndrome propelling us forward. 


B Pagels-Minor

B. loves product development and improving the processes of developing successful products. B. has worked with small (100,000+) companies to increase product adoption, improve the product experience and design, and evolve the product vision. From Mississippi to Chicago to Silicon Valley, B. has built their career around building great products for amazing brands while also working to enrich their community around them. B. is a trans nonbinary lesbian whose pronouns are they/them/their.


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