Summary of How You Can Use Impostor Syndrome to Your Benefit

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Do you sometimes worry that others will discover that you are, despite your success, an impostor? If you’ve experienced this feeling of waiting to get caught out, you’re not alone. Most people feel a sense of impostor syndrome at some point in their lives, regardless of how accomplished, intelligent or articulate they are. The trick, explains Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, is to convert the dread of being exposed as a fraud into an asset. Impostor syndrome can be a strength if you harness it as a motivating force to challenge your ideas, seek advice and continue to learn.

About the Speaker

Mike Cannon-Brookes is the co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, an Australian software company. He is also a clean-energy advocate and technology investor.



Use impostor syndrome, the fear you’ll be outed as a fraud, to your advantage.

In 2002, Mike Cannon-Brookes co-founded a software company after graduating university, hoping only to create a job that didn’t require him to don a suit. By 2017, Atlassian employed thousands of workers and served people around the globe. Cannon-Brookes often experiences impostor syndrome, a feeling of dread that people will discover that he is a phony who is out of his depth. He experienced that sensation for the first time when he interviewed a candidate for an HR manager position, having never worked at a company with an HR team before. He also experienced it at high-level meetings where people self-assuredly spouted off acronyms that he’d later look up on Wikipedia.

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