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managing imposter syndrome with Mimosa Kabir

Imposter Syndrome - we don't talk about it very often. But when we do, there's so many nodding heads and people in agreement saying “of course, I experience that too.”

Imposter syndrome seems to be more prevalent for people who don't see themselves reflected in the leadership around them. With representation, diversity and anti-oppression work becoming more prevalent, it can be easy to wonder whether we were hired for our skills or simply to be that “token” employee within your organization.

On today’s podcast, I am excited to have Mimosa Kabir, Manager of Capital Campaign at Hot Docs Documentary Festival, share her perspective to help us unpack this conversation.

Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome

  1. Feeling like you’re simply a token employee. It’s easy to think you’re hired just to check off a box when in reality you have many skills and qualifications that landed you your well-deserved position.

  2. Feeling as though you don’t know anything. Mimosa challenges us by asking, “does anyone even know everything?” We are all learning and continue to evolve everyday. No one knows absolutely everything - we’re in this together!

  3. Feeling like you’re not as qualified as others. If Kanye West can run for president, you can apply for that job you insist you’re not qualified for! Don’t miss out on opportunities because you don’t feel as though you’re good enough.

Mimosa’s tips on Combating Imposter Syndrome:

  1. Consider the worst possible scenario. Ask yourself, “how bad would it be if this happened? How would I deal with this?” More times than likely, it’s not as bad as we perceive it to be.

  2. Talk to yourself as you would a friend. You’d never say anything unsympathetic or un-encouraging to your friend, so why do you say it to yourself?

My favourite quotes from today’s episode

Post your favourite quote on our social!

“It's going back to that concept of how we hold ourselves to a different standard than we might other others around us. And we're a lot kinder to everybody else. So it's that exercise of like if your friend came to you with this exact problem, what would you say to that? And why are you saying the opposite things to yourself?”

“I sometimes think with imposter syndrome, you kind of hold yourself to a higher standard that might not be achievable for anybody.”

Resources from this Episode

The Good Partnership


Brene Brown

TED Talk - How students of colour confront imposter syndrome by Dena Simmons

Mimosa on Twitter

Mimosa on LinkedIn

The Small Nonprofit is produced by Eloisa Jane Mariano

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