Being Found Out

Fraud Imposter Syndrome-11

Our good friend, respected Neuroscientist and former colleague, Dr Tara Swart, writes about a concept we come across daily here at White & Lime – Imposter Syndrome: the fear of being found out. 

In her recent and brilliant book, Neuroscience for Leadership, Tara writes about Imposter or Fraud syndrome as “not a true psychological syndrome but a name for a feeling that one isn’t sufficiently competent or expert enough to be in the position one is in, and/or that one does not deserve being appointed to a higher post.” One’s successes are often self-attributed to luck, rather than skill or expertise.

Sound familiar?  Like Tara, over the years we have been constantly surprised by the number of successful people, often in very senior roles, who are affected by this.  They project confidence and success on the outside, but are sub-consciously riddled with self-doubt and underlying fears that they will be ‘found out’ or not ‘survive’ in their work environments.

This article explains how those feelings of insecurity can impact, both on our self and on our relationships with others.  When we feel unworthy, however consciously or sub-consciously, we can project all sorts of messages out to the world that can undermine trust – the ultimate deal-breaker for a successful relationship.

The good news is that given what we know about neuroplasticity now (the ability of the brain to change itself), it is much easier than you may think to learn to regulate these irrational instincts and build up brain power in the pre-frontal cortex (the logical part of the brain) to manage them.

We have coached hundreds of people to do just that, incorporating this vital work on self-belief and managing your inner critic or “saboteur” (as we like to call it) into the foundation sessions of all of our coaching programmes and leadership training.

For more context and the Neuroscience behind Imposter Syndrome, read the full article here 

OR read a copy of Tara’s book, Neuroscience for Leadership


Dr Tara Swart is the CEO of The Unlimited Mind, a medical doctor, neuroscientist, author, speaker, and senior lecturer at MIT Sloan. She co-ran Clear Head workshops with Fiona and Kate between 2010 and 2013.