In Think Again, Adam Grant highlights latest research into confident humility and impostor syndrome. It suggests that impostor feelings are more important in the recipe for success, than we previously thought. I’ve wondered this for a while.
When we explored ‘confidence’ in The Haven last year, I pondered this question. “What if doubt, uncertainty, and impostor feelings were not things to eradicate, but an important part of our journey?”
Grant points to research by Basima Tewfik, who suggests there might be some truth to this. She found, “pattern with investment professionals: the more often they felt like impostors, the higher their performance reviews from their supervisors four months later.”
We might explain this by saying that these are people who have succeeded in spite of their doubts. But, “what if success is actually driven in part by those doubts?”
This led researchers to wonder if there are in fact great benefits of doubt. And that we would do better to embrace impostor syndrome, uncertainty, and doubt, rather than trying to ‘overcome’ or ‘eradicate’ it.