Imposter syndrome. We’ve all been there — it’s a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Or maybe you feel like you’re winging it and that everyone else knows what they’re doing — except for you. You’re not alone!
Even high achieving and successful people sometimes feel like imposters — and it’s not limited to women. Men experience imposter syndrome too.
We recently hosted a virtual event with Mel Scott, “Counsel” podcast host and Megaport’s senior counsel, for a conversation with AccuWeather’s CLO and GC Jennifer Chung and Ironclad GC Chris Young. Together they shared their stories and best practices for overcoming imposter syndrome.
Here are three key takeaways from each of our panelists:
Jennifer Chung, CLO and GC at AccuWeather
As it is a subjective feeling, getting some sunshine on this topic can be a meaningful starting point.
- This feeling is real! It sometimes just bursts onto the scene after something happens at work or in life, or maybe it’s always been creeping around in the background. Notice it and talk about it, but know it’s a feeling and can be managed.
- Find your competencies, lean into those, and look for management tools for any related anxieties. For me, after much trial and error: I journaled (helped me see in words my successes and gaps for development); went into talk therapy (had to go through a few false starts before finding someone I liked); took up yoga (for the thinking time); took cooking classes (to create delicious things with my hands, to remind me of the feeling of being competent).
- Mentor others. Your competencies, expertise and experiences become plainly obvious when you’re talking to, advising and helping those coming up a few years behind.
Chris Young, GC at Ironclad
- Bet on yourself.
- Set reasonable expectations with yourself and be patient.
- You’re doing the right thing if not everyone likes you. It means you’re making decisions and making an impact on a broad issue.
You can watch the playback here:
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Other resources referenced in this talk:
- The Case for Doing Nothing, New York Times
- Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome, Harvard Business Review
Meet other legal leaders in this series, including Joel Benavides, Head of Global Legal and DPO at Redis Labs; Jennifer Chung, GC of AccuWeather; Ryan Black, Director of Legal Ops at Opendoor; Florence Chan, Legal Ops Manager at Cloudflare; and Deanna Sheridan, GC of Spartan Race. And if you’d like to get new jobs and invitations to exclusive member events, join the Ironclad Community.
Ironclad is the #1 contract lifecycle management platform for innovative companies. L’Oréal, Staples, Mastercard, and other leading innovators use Ironclad to collaborate and negotiate on contracts, accelerate contracting while maintaining compliance, and turn contracts into critical carriers of operational business intelligence. It’s the only platform flexible enough to handle every type of contract workflow, whether a sales agreement, an HR agreement or a complex NDA. The company was named one of the 20 Rising Stars on the Forbes 2019 Cloud 100 list, and is backed by leading investors like Accel, Y Combinator, Sequoia, and BOND. For more information, visit www.ironcladapp.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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