Posts in Issue 101
What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that you haven’t earned your success, you simply got lucky, and you’re a fraud or “imposter” around people who actually earned it and know what they’re doing. It makes one feel that they do not have the skills or expertise to hold their current job, but instead made it there “by chance;” they think if anyone found out how little they know about their job, they’d be fired immediately. Imposter Syndrome can cause people to doubt themselves and their ideas at work. This can lead people to avoid sharing their work, leading initiatives, or pursuing challenging tasks for fear of being discovered as an “imposter.”

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What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a manipulation strategy that makes someone question their self-worth and sanity. The term is derived from the 1930s play Gas Light, in which a husband makes his wife doubt her perception by manipulating the gas light but claiming to see nothing out of the ordinary himself. In a work environment, gaslighting can make someone feel incompetent or unimportant, like they can’t do anything right. They can feel like they don’t understand what’s going on around them or what’s expected of them. Gaslighting can come from a variety of people—a power-hungry manager, a competitive coworker, or a condescending client.

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What are microaggressions?

Microaggressions are harmful small, everyday phrases or actions that are targeted at a person based on their membership in a marginalized group. These actions are often not explicitly about someone’s identity, but implicitly insult and other someone’s race, gender, sexual orientation or disability status. At work, they can make people feel alienated, unsupported, vulnerable, disrespected, uncomfortable, and hurt. Microaggressions often reinforce a message to people from underrepresented groups of, “You are not one of us. You do not belong.”

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