You’re Not an Imposter

Elaine Welteroth

Lesson time 06:00 min

Everyone feels like an imposter sometimes. Elaine teaches you how to build your confidence and prevent the voices around you—and inside you—from discouraging your dreams.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: You're Not An Imposter • First, Only, Different • Our Differences Are Our Superpowers •


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Ah. Can I be honest? So when I first was approached with the opportunity to do a MasterClass, my first thought was, that is so cool. And the second thought was, wait, am I a master? Imposter syndrome is something that we all feel at some point in our careers especially if you are an FOD-- First, Only, or Different. So what is an FOD? Well, Shonda Rhimes defined this term FOD or first only different in her book "Year of Yes." And in it, she basically describes it as this sort of tribe of people who are first in their field or in their family to do what they're doing, the only one who looks like them in the room, or just plain old different. And while I think this term really speaks to the heart of minorities and people who are othered within society who belong to marginalized groups within society, the feeling of being different is universal. We all possess something about our background or identity, the way that we think the way that we move through the world, that makes us feel different. And sometimes, being different can be uncomfortable. As somebody who's the first person to graduate from college in my family, as a young Black woman who became a leader without many role models of leaders that I could see myself in, I found myself at many different points in my career feeling like a total impostor, like a total fraud. So if you have ever felt like a total fraud, you are not alone. Imposter syndrome affects so many of us. Even those of us who seem totally confident and have reached the highest heights of success, there are still those moments of imposter syndrome. Sometimes, it's the internalized voice within us that makes us feel like we don't belong or that we're less than or that our voice doesn't count. If you really pay attention to the voices in your head, you might notice a lot of negative self-talk. And those are symptoms of imposter syndrome, which are symptoms of a larger systematic, racist, sexist, classist, ageist culture that we were all raised in. And I think of it like polluted air. We're all breathing the same polluted air. So we've all been infected with these different harmful ideas. And the important thing is to recognize that you can unlearn some of those belief systems and those harmful thought patterns. You can disrupt by taking a breath when you feel them come up. See them, like say, I see you. I hear you. And have a counternarrative, a mantra to push back against those negative thoughts that are coming up that are telling you that your work isn't worthy, that your voice doesn't matter. What is your mantra? And it might feel a little woo woo. It might sound a little woo woo. But it's important to find your thing. One practice that, you might want to try if you struggle with imposter syndrome is writing out positive affirmations on a sticky note and putting them in places that you spend time in your house or at your desk or even in your phone. Plant positive mess...

About the Instructor

After a decade in her dream job as editor in chief of Teen Vogue, award-winning journalist Elaine Welteroth realized she had other dreams worth pursuing. Now, the New York Times bestselling author, multimedia trailblazer, and judge on the new Project Runway is teaching you how to get out of your comfort zone and harness your personal values, passions, and skills to custom design a career path as unique as you are.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Elaine Welteroth

Former Teen Vogue editor in chief and multimedia icon Elaine Welteroth teaches you how to harness your values, skills, and passions to create your dream career path.

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