What do Lewis Capaldi and Michelle Obama have in Common?

When you think of the similarities between Lewis Capaldi and Michelle Obama, fame, determination, or impressive bank balances might come to mind. However, it is actually noted that they both suffer from imposter syndrome

What do Lewis Capaldi and Michelle Obama have in Common

And it’s not just them; studies show that up to 80% of people experience feelings of imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.

If you work in the world of business, chances are you would have heard this term before, but do you truly understand it? Imposter syndrome is the pervasive feeling that, despite your accomplishments, you’re a fraud. It’s common across all walks of life and particularly affects high-achievers, leading them to believe their success is due to luck rather than their own abilities.

Recognising Imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome can manifest in various ways, often hiding behind different masks. Here are some telltale signs:

Self-doubt at work 

Constantly feeling that others are more competent or skilled than you.

Incompetence despite accomplishments

Feeling inadequate despite having the education, experience, and accolades to prove otherwise.


Pushing yourself excessively due to guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

Negative self-talk

A persistent inner voice telling you, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough.”

Feeling like a fraud

A chronic sense of being a fake and not deserving your role or success.

Interestingly, imposter syndrome isn’t technically a syndrome; it’s a phenomenon, meaning it’s something you can overcome. However, without the right strategies, you might find yourself going round in circles, constantly battling your own mind.

Overcoming Imposter syndrome

So, how can you combat this pervasive feeling of being an imposter? Here are some practical steps:

Embrace Mistakes

Understand that mistakes are not catastrophic. For those with imposter syndrome, making a mistake can feel like proof of inadequacy. Instead, view mistakes as valuable learning opportunities that contribute to your growth.

Challenge the negative voice

Recognise that imposter syndrome comes with a persistent negative inner voice. When this voice tells you that you can’t do something, question it. Ask yourself why you feel this way and look for evidence to support those thoughts. More often than not, you’ll find that you are fully capable.

Share Your Feelings

Remember, up to 80% of people experience imposter syndrome. By opening up about your feelings, you can find support and understanding from others who share your experience. Discussing these feelings can help you distinguish between rational thoughts and those driven by imposter syndrome.

Moving forward with confidence

Imposter syndrome can feel like a constant battle, but it’s one you can conquer with the right approach. Remember that you are not alone, even immensely successful individuals like Lewis Capaldi and Michelle Obama wrestle with these feelings. The key is to embrace your mistakes, challenge negative self-talk, and share your experiences with others. Doing so allows you to break free from the shackles of imposter syndrome and recognise your true worth and capabilities.

Alison Edgar MBE
Alison Edgar MBE

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