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Episode Info:

Today’s guest, Maureen Zappala, is a rocket scientist turned professional speaker. She shares how we can get over the fear of public speaking and the Imposter Syndrome.

The Imposter Syndrome is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by the inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.

We all fight it and Maureen has some great advice to help you move past this syndrome.

It’s important to understand that the Imposter Syndrome is not a confidence issue – it's a cognitive issue. It takes confidence to achieve most things worth achieving… but many people then experience a cognitive distortion separating themselves from their accomplishments.

A big part of getting beyond the syndrome is identifying yourself with the accomplishments. It is putting yourself in the place of the person who did the work, and accepting that it’s not somebody outside of you or a set of circumstances that allowed it to happen. You created it, you did it, and now you need to own.

Another critical part of getting over the imposter syndrome is recognizing its prevalence: you are NOT the only one suffering. Everyone can start moving past the issue when it is addressed, but sometimes it takes someone like Maureen to come in and start the conversation.

If you suffer from the Imposter Syndrome, you need to accept that there is no possible way you can know everything about the position you're in, the technology you're involved with, the company you work for, or the reach that you can have. There's no possible way, so you need to let yourself off the hook. Practice saying “I don’t know yet, let me get back to you.”

I greatly appreciate Maureen taking the time to share her important advice. If you are interested in having Maureen speak at your organization, you can contact her at




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