Some of Hollywood’s biggest names, such as Mike Myers, Jodi Foster, and Don Cheadle have gone on record stating that, despite their success, they feel as though they are frauds. Experts call this The Impostor Syndrome and afflicts over 70% of the population.

The Impostor Syndrome is the underlying feeling that you are not as smart, skilled, or talented as people think you are. It’s a feeling that you are getting away with something and that people will find out you are faking it.

How do you know if you suffer from The Impostor Syndrome? In his new book, The Impostor Syndrome: How to Replace Self-Doubt with Self-Confidence and Train Your Brain for Success, John Graden outlines some possible indicators:

1. Do you sometimes not speak up because you feel people will realize you’re not as smart as they think you are?
2. Do you find it hard to accept praise?
3. Is it difficult for you to take credit for your accomplishments?
4. Do you feel like a fake and fear you are going to be found out soon?
5. Are you a perfectionist who is terrified of making a mistake?

If any of these statements apply to you, you may suffer from The Impostor Syndrome. According to Graden, “This is the big, unspoken issue that holds so many people back. Every time I mention this to someone, the response is always, “Oh my God! That’s me! You mean there’s a name for it?”

Experts have different theories on what causes The Impostor Syndrome. Some say it’s psychologically based, while others feel it a cultural phenomenon. Graden says his interest is in helping people to overcome it, just as he did. Graden created the worlds’ largest professional association and trade journal for the martial arts industry, and is widely credited with bringing the industry from the back alley to the boardroom, all while battling the self-esteem obstacle of The Impostor Syndrome.

Graden says. “I was watching TV many years ago, and I heard Paul Newman say, “I always have this feeling that someone is going to push through the crowd, grab my arm and say, ‘It’s over Newman.’ It’s all been a mistake…” I knew right away what he meant because I had the same feeling. It wasn’t until 20-years later, when I told that story at a seminar, someone told me that was The Impostor Syndrome.”

Graden now conducts seminars and workshops overcoming the self-doubt associated with The Impostor Syndrome.

Author's Bio: 

John Graden is the CEO of Big Dream Media, LLC a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.

As an award winning speaker and writer, he speaks to corporate and public audiences on the subjects of Personal and Professional Development and inspires audiences to transform the quality of their lives and careers.
His latest book is, “The Impostor Syndrome: How to Replace Self-Doubt with Self-Confidence and Train Your Brain for Success.” The Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that you are not as smart, talented, or skilled as people think you are. It’s a nagging feeling of self-doubt that you will be discovered as being a fake.

Graden is also an 8th degree black belt and member of many World Champion Kickboxing Teams.

John Graden