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Dealing with Imposter Syndrome as a Leader with Dorothy Enriquez

If you’ve been a leader in anything in your life, you’ve experienced some sort of imposter syndrome. It happens to the best of us; it doesn’t mean that you are an imposter; it just means that you’re critically analyzing yourself to make sure that you perform at the best you can to ensure that the people you are leading get the best of you. 

The real imposters don’t analyze themselves constantly because they’re not trying to do their best for the people they lead.

There will be times when you may feel like you aren’t fit to lead people. There are other times when you’re going to think that you aren’t good enough, but I think you have to understand that everyone goes through this feeling. Every single leader that I know has experienced some form of imposter syndrome.

In this article, we cover three ways Dorothy Enriquez shares on how to deal with imposter syndrome. 


Confidence is the ability to believe in something with a sense of deep knowing around your capacity. If you have confidence in your abilities, then your mind will reinforce what you think with evidence.

When you get imposter syndrome, it’s important to note that your brain gives you feedback loops. Your brain is telling you, “Hey, I’m not sure if you’ve done enough of the work to be an expert in this space.” Your brain is naturally wired to give you the most negative response possible so you can stay out of danger. That’s why you think of worst-case scenarios.

However, the most extreme scenario is rarely if ever the reality. If you get imposter syndrome, just know it’s because you’re giving yourself the ability to re-evaluate where you are in the journey

Even when you know that you’ve done the work, this is where confidence comes into play. It’s a call to action, and an opportunity to rewire your beliefs about who you are and what you’ve done.

For example, a limiting belief naturally triggers negative thinking and self-doubt. In Dorothy’s Forbes article, she mentions how “if you go hunting for them, you’ll surely find them. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. She highlights how different our lives would be if we were more confident.” And ultimately, if you fight for your limitations, they’ll always win.

Self Efficacy

Efficacy is something that doesn’t get taught often as we go on our personal and leadership development journeys. We spoke about how confidence plays a significant part in attacking imposter syndrome, but efficacy is a little more important than confidence.

If you’ve listened to any of Ed Mylett’s podcasts, you’ve probably heard that he talks about keeping promises that you make to yourself. The most significant way to build confidence and build efficacy is by keeping the promises you make to yourself. 

You can go out and make promises to everyone else about what you are going to do, but what’s most important is that if you tell yourself, “Hey, I’m gonna wake up at 9 AM today,” and then you actually do it!. Every time you do not keep the promise to yourself, you lose efficacy and you will begin to lose on your efficacy.

Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997).

The more you do this, even with smaller promises, the more self-efficacy you will have and the easier it will be to handle imposter syndrome because you know you can count on yourself.

Even Dorothy mentions how she never realized the difference between self-efficacy and confidence until she went through the premier African American Leadership Program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She says, “Confidence tells us we can stand flat-footed in what we believe, while self-efficacy essentially says, “I know I can execute this and do it with brilliance.”


People with Imposter Syndrome have low self-esteem and lack confidence. Often we talk about self-esteem and self-efficacy in the same breath. However, although they are both deeply rooted in your childhood and impact your self-confidence in your abilities, there is a decided difference. Self-esteem is genuine respect for your ability to achieve and thrive in life, while self-efficacy is how you feel about your ability to function in different situations. You may have healthy self-esteem (I could do it if I wanted to) but low self-efficacy (I probably don’t want it enough to complete it).

High self-efficacy is the optimistic strength of your belief in completing tasks and producing desired outcomes.


Therefore, if you want to overcome imposter syndrome as a leader, build your confidence, believe in your capacity to succeed, and always ensure your self-esteem remains high.

Ulyses Osuna has made his own unique advances to traditional PR-marketing activities to help his public relations endeavors succeed. He is one of six founders to be featured in an Inc Magazine article on "Millennials with a Thriving Business" and has also been featured in the Huffington Post as a 19-Year-Old dominating the PR space.

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