On May 6, 2023, Oprah Winfrey returned to her alma mater, Tennessee State University, to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2023. Her uplifting speech marked the first time Oprah returned to TSU since 1987.

Oprah: Know THY worth


“It’s the feeling that everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing, but you feel lost,” explains noted psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD. “You have this fear that follows you. It’s about the people around you will sooner or later figure out that you don’t know what you’re talking about or posses the skill sets you claim and expose you as a fraud.”

What could be the worst part about impostor syndrome? It can easily turn into a self-destructive cycle with seriously negative consequences. Anyone can experience it, but recognizing it and having the tools to get past it can stop you from getting in your own way.

ave you ever felt like you’re not good enough to do
the job you’ve been hired to do — and that your
boss might figure it out at any moment? Or maybe you’ve felt like you’re only pretending to be an an adult who’s capable of buying a home or raising a human being, even though everyone else you know has it totally figured out.

Spoiler alert: A lot of people feel this way, too!

No matter how much evidence there is that we’re successfully navigating our lives, jobs and relationships, many of us hold false beliefs that we aren’t actually as capable or smart as others think we are. This is called impostor syndrome, or impostor phenomenon.

It isn’t a diagnosis or a medical problem, but a pattern of thinking that can lead to self-doubt, negative self-talk and missed opportunities.


What It Is and How To Overcome It


Tips for getting out of your own way and taking ownership of your success

If you’ve ever felt like an impostor, undeserving of your fortune or full of doubt, you’re in good company. One study estimated that 7 in 10 adults encounter it at some point or another.

syndrome has a

who’s who list

John Steinbeck

Maya Angelou
Poet, Activist

Lupita Nyong’o

Serena Williams

Tom Hanks
Author, Actor

Actor, Comedian

Michelle Obama
Author, First Lady

Sonia Sotomayor
Court Justice

the six notorious SIGNS
of impostor syndrome


Impostor syndrome and its symptoms can manifest itself in many unexpected ways. If you understand yourself, you can identify these traits:

Regardless of the different types of impostors, every one of the symptoms associated with impostor syndrome can affect these aspects of a person’s life.

In work performance one may fear that their coworkers and supervisors expect more from them than they can manage. They may feel unable to deliver. This person might hold themselves back and avoid seeking higher achievements due to the fear of not succeeding and the fear of doing things the wrong way. All of this can affect work performance.

At times, a fear of failure or a coworker finding out they are fake stops them from pursuing a promotion or even taking on any additional responsibility.


luck or other serendipitous reasons for any success.


feelings of affection that are detrimental
to our self-worth.


yourself to be the
only way to meet expectations.


your noteworthy accomplishments
of any kind.


of being perceived
in public or in private
as a failure.


yourself and holding back from reaching any attainable goals.


“I come as one, I stand as 10,000” has been my mantra for power. The one nobody expected to be in the room, at the table, on the anchor desk. And at no time did I ever feel out of place, or not enough, or inadequate—or an impostor. Do not let the world make an impostor syndrome out of you. Why? Because I knew who I was.”

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By Alexa Maslowski
The Cleveland Clinic

The Mental Wellness Magazine