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STAK Marketing Book Club: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young, Ed. D.

"I wasn't lucky. I deserved it." - Margaret Thatcher

Raise your hand if you've ever dealt with imposter syndrome (me!). If you're a woman in business, chances are that you have felt like an imposter at one point or another in life. I can't count the amount of times I wished I had the confidence of a man as I was working in Corporate America.

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women dives into what exactly imposter syndrome is, why we have it (especially women) and the one tip to combat it.


  1. "You're already successful you just don't own it. You already know the secrets of success." - I love this quote. If you're feeling imposter syndrome it means you're most likely in a position of importance. Clearly you've done something right along the way to get to that position. Owning the things you've done right is critical to dealing with imposter syndrome.

2. Imposter syndrome is made of excuses - Imposter syndrome wants you to make excuses for you success. There are many excuses those of us with imposter syndrome feel such as: if I can do it anyone can, I had help, I got lucky, etc.

3. Imposter syndrome doesn't come from thin air - There are many elements that can cause imposter syndrome, it doesn't just come from thin air. The two reasons that resonate with me are: we are human that has been raised by a human who have made mistakes AND the world of Corporate America is full of egos, one-upping and tearing-down others to get ahead.

4. Famous people deal with imposter syndrome too - Some famous people who have dealt with imposter syndrome include: Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Andy Williams, Mike Meyers and Renee Zellweger, just to name a few.

5. Men are from Mars women are from Venus - It's not fair to put all men into this bucket, but overall men handle imposter syndrome very differently. This is mostly due to the history of inequality of men versus women. It's so common for men to exude confidence while women have the complete opposite problem. Evidence shows, historically, women have had to work twice as hard to be half as appreciated by a man. No wonder we, as women, second-guess ourselves

6. Everyone has luck - Everyone is lucky. It's what you do with the luck that matters in life.

7. The 5 types of imposter syndrome - There are five types of imposters. Some of us may fit in a few of the categories, but we mostly resonate with one of them the most. The five types of imposters are: the perfectionist, the natural genius, the rugged individualist, the expert, and the superwoman student.


So how do we combat the awful feeling of imposter syndrome? Valerie Young, Ed. D. has one simple solution: TAKE RISKS

Young believes that by not taking risks it couldn't be the riskiest decision of them all. Although taking risks is not always easy, the fear of risk taking starts to fade as we take more and more of them.

"Confidence comes from taking risks, owning the wins, and learning from the losses." Don't let losses define you, let them grow you.

Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? How do you combat those feelings?


Interested in reading The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young, Ed.D.? Purchase the book today!

Keep STAKing,

Michelle Johnson

Owner & Founder, STAK Marketing

Michelle Johnson is the owner, founder and Chief Marketing Guru at STAK Marketing. Our passion at STAK Marketing is to create beautiful STAKs of marketing strategies that help small and mid-sized businesses grow and reach their goals. STAK Marketing's expertise ranges from SEO to branding, e-mail marketing to website design, PR to advertising and much more - making STAK Marketing a one-stop-shop for all your small business marketing needs.

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