Overcoming Imposter Syndrome – Doing Nothing Is Not An Option

Nat Schooler and Experienced Business Leadership Coach And CEO Kim-Adele discussed this important topic with Michael Tobin OBE.

When overcoming imposter syndrome doing nothing is not an option.

In this episode regular guest tech entrepreneur Michael Tobin OBE shares his insights around imposter syndrome and really in my opinion he nails the very culture that could potentially create it.

You must try, succeed, learn and then go again.
There is no try, there is do or don’t do.
People need the confidence to have a shot and within organisations creating this culture is crucial to making failure just a stepping stone to success.


“I may not get this right and that is ok.
Or I won’t have another go at it, either way it doesn’t matter.”

Mike Tobin OBE


According to Mike: Fear of failure is the problem. We need the confidence to fail. People become risk averse as they get older.

Lending your belief to others is a big thing that Kim-Adele Platts and I tend to agree on. When someone believes in your abilities it helps you to believe in yourself.

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.

https://youtu.be/rHGl84A7Ltg?t=29

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.


De risking your life is important as you get older.
Confidence is an important thing and mentorship and learning in a changing world is so important to get us over the hump.

Treat them with care, let them fall off the bike and learn by doing.
Mike remembers when he was at school and the 3Rs – Reading, Riting and Rythmatic.

Michael Tobin OBE

Nothing we fear is as bad as we think and fear is a wasted emotion, we should feel happy about having a challenge.

You aren’t unique! It isn’t a biggie and overcoming these obstacles in life makes you different and adds value.

You should be delighted by having challenges in life, as it is where the learning happens. Overcoming obstacles differentiates you from your competition.

Mike Tobin OBE

The more hurdles the more progression we make.
Ultimate proof of anything only comes from a negative

Michael Tobin OBE

For every positive there has to be a negative as we live in a world of polarities.

Kim-Adele Platts


Having success or a lesson, we change our lives and overcoming hurdles in life just raises the bar.

Mike Tobin OBE


If you aren’t happy or don’t like something you must do something about it
Your options are love it, leave it or change it.
Doing nothing is not an option.

Mike Tobin OBE

Understanding how to fix things is a great attitude to have and allows us to move over hurdles.

Asking questions is crucial to understanding and moving forwards

As top management encouraging people to find solutions is key and
Michael sees himself as the conductor of the orchestra and doesn’t interfere with people’s roles.


Just do it! don’t worry, just learn.
The falling down and getting up again is key, just getting on with it is what matters!

Mike Tobin OBE