Overcome Your Imposter Syndrome: To Create Massive Career Success

Overcome your imposter syndrome: to create massive career success is something Melissa Sassi – Chief Penguin, Entrepreneur & Student Experience at IBM knows a lot about.

Nat Schooler and Experienced Business Leadership Coach And CEO Kim-Adele discussed in more depth this important topic. In this episode Melissa explains her problem with imposter syndrome despite massive success in her career.

She regularly speaks on panels at the UN and within other global organisations. Despite all this success she still feels like an imposter at times. This is very common with successful people and fortunately thanks to her inner work and guidance from her good friend at Microsoft Dona Sarkar.

You can also check out the panel discussion from International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day below.


She tells us the story of when she managed to tell the most amazing story at the UN panel and sharing her secret sauce, she managed to share this story and despite not having loads of statistics the feedback was amazing and it was the most impactful part of the day for many of the listeners.

However, despite her success, she still feels like an imposter and this is very common with successful people. The roots of feeling like an imposter are deep in our psyche so it’s not a straightforward fix.

If you want to grab the 7 Step Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome You can do that here.

Impostor Syndrome can stem from childhood where we were praised for the wrong things which had no value or impact on who we really were as a person. As well as being told how smart you are when you get good exam results but having nothing else to contribute to society. So you start questioning yourself because all you could do was pass exams that didn’t help other people in your community so now imposter syndrome kicks in and tries to fill the void by telling you that maybe this is just luck? Maybe I will fail my next exam?

Impostor Syndrome can also develop for people who work in large teams or have a boss. Where you quickly look at your colleagues and try to compare yourself to them, you feel like an imposter when they are smarter, better looking; more creative than you. This can even happen with smaller companies where there is usually only one or a handful of people working on projects together but yet the founder/CEO thinks of themselves as the imposter!

Difficulties professional women face is that we keep hiding our true authentic selves from fear of rejection. We receive lots of feedback from society telling us to act like boys. Being told; “don’t worry about what people think” and “be more confident”, is something Melissa wholeheartedly has to work on each day.

How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome

You must overcome your imposter syndrome at work is something that needs to happen for the success of your organisation and the culture must support these efforts.

Do you ever feel like an imposter at work? Like people are always judging your every move and that it’s just a matter of time before they figure out that you’re not actually as competent as everyone thinks. It sounds crazy, but this is the reality for many executives who suffer from imposter syndrome.

People paid attention and this was a good sign for Melissa and the success of
her talk. She had ministers approach her and say how amazing her talk was.

They asked her how they could work with her and the secret sauce she has made this happen her superpower was key to this.

Being loud and proud, she wasn’t an imposter on that stage despite her feeling like that at the beginning.

If you want to get Mel then find her on all social media channels as Melissa Sassi – Chief Penguin at IBM.


If you would like to dig deeper into this topic here is a great resource: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome at Work To Support A Winning Culture