The Impostor Syndrome

Original title: Le syndrome d’imposture

Publication Date:

January 2021

Original language and publisher

French | Les Arènes

Territories Handled

English (North America), Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Spanish (Spain) (Peninsula)
Italy (Longanesi)
Netherlands (Ten Have)
China (Post & Telecom)
Taiwan (China Times Publishing)
Russia (Eksmo)
Poland (JK)


Practical Guide

The Impostor Syndrome

Original title: Le syndrome d’imposture


A chronic feeling of not being worthy of success . . .
A guide to help you regain self-confidence

A feminine paradox

Today, girls get the best results in school and higher education. They land similar jobs to men, even though, statistically, there is still a glaring gap. So, at first glance, there are many reasons to be confident. However a great many women doubt their abilities, at times to the point of being terrified that their incompetence will eventually be revealed. This phenomenon has a name: the impostor syndrome.

What is the impostor syndrome?

It is an extreme lack of self-confidence, identified by two American psychologists, Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, in the 1970s. Its symptoms include having difficulties in valuing individual talents and recognizing achievements. Those affected believe that their success is thanks to luck, the sympathy of others, or a mistake in being selected for the role, and that they could be exposed at any time. It can be identified by means of a psychological test.

A chronic lack of self-confidence

As a whole, numerous studies show that women have less self-confidence than men. “Men overestimate their abilities and performance while women underestimate them,” (Cornell University, 2018). HR specialists confirm this: in the majority of cases, before declaring her interest in a job, a woman must feel completely “ready”.

A book to help you to understand and build belief in yourself
The consequences of toxic shame are serious: from paralysis in the shape of procrastination, to perfectionism – the need to control everything and everyone – which leads to burnout. Not to mention chronic stress, the depletion of emotional energy and psychological suffering (impostors believe that others have absolute self-confidence).

It is possible, however, to overcome these internal blocks. This book combines up-to-the-minute scientific data with clinical case studies and interviews with famous women to address every aspect of the deficiency in self-confidence, ranging from toxic shame to self-doubt. Its purpose is to give you the tools to become aware of your intrinsic value and to free yourself from the need for “other esteem”, in both the professional and domestic arenas.

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