American Bar Association

Growing up, my parents always told me that I was my own worst critic. As I look back on my early years, it seems my parents were right. While I excelled in school, sports and extracurricular activities, I never felt like I was good enough. According to an article published on the Glasshammer website entitled Undervaluing Yourself? Here's How to Make Sure You Get What You Deserve by Karen Schoenbart,a renowned market researcher, my past insecurities are not uncommon. Indeed, citing a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, Schoenbart states that about 70 percent of people suffer from what is known as imposter syndrome, a phenomenon where high-achieving individuals have a difficult time acknowledging their own successes, and are further concerned that they will be exposed as frauds in their field. The article suggests that people who suffer from the syndrome are often afraid to seek raises or promotions because they consider themselves unworthy of such career advancement.

As a litigation attorney in a fast-paced and competitive field, I often work with attorneys who suffer from this syndrome. These attorneys are bright and hardworking, consistently producing a quality work product and impressing clients. However, they fail to recognize their value and lack overall self-confidence. In the article, the author provides these high achieving yet insecure lawyers with some tips on how to gain confidence and properly value themselves. As a self-proclaimed recovering “imposter,” I suggest the following tips helpful to overcome your insecurities and advance your career:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others; instead, focus on accomplishing your own goals.
  • Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
  • Accept compliments graciously. Don’t deflect by acting undeserving.
  • Show your humility by helping others, not through self-deprecation. 

To read the entire article on the American Bar Association website, click here.  


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