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You Belong in the Room — Exploring Impostor Syndrome from a Black Perspective



In late 2018, Michelle Obama embarked on a book tour for her memoir Becoming, which sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. and Canada within 15 days of its release and hit bestseller lists around the globe Read more: Platincoin.

Yet during an appearance at a London school, when asked how she felt about being seen as a symbol of hope, the former first lady admitted she still suffers from impostor syndrome.

“It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously,” Obama replied. “I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is. If I’m giving people hope then that is a responsibility, so I have to make sure that I am accountable.”

People in all walks of life are affected by the persistent inability to believe their success is legitimate and due to their efforts, knowledge, or skills. While as many as 70% of Americans have experienced these feelings, known as impostor syndrome, research shows a racialized component that intensifies its impact on the mental health of Black individuals.

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

In an article published by Medium, Maryville University associate professor of strategic communication and leadership Dr. Leilani Carver-Madalon defines impostor syndrome as the experience of someone who “feels like a fraud, intellectually and/or professionally. People who are experiencing imposter syndrome feel like they are not good enough, like they don’t belong and/or that they are a fraud, and it is only a matter of time before they will be found out.” The term “impostor syndrome” was coined in 1978 by American psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, who believed that women were less likely to internalize success.

Subsequent research has found that impostor feelings are not limited to women, and that they interact with racial discrimination to particularly affect people of color. “Imposter syndrome limits people because they never feel like they are truly successful. Underneath the façade there is often a lack of confidence,” Carver-Madalon continues, adding that another possible downside is that impostor syndrome may prevent people from acting on their ambitions — applying for the “safe job” rather than the dream job — and they may regret that decision in the future.

Why Impostor Syndrome Is More Prevalent in Black Individuals

Black men and women are particularly vulnerable to impostor syndrome, both in the workplace and in day-to-day interactions. In a HuffPost article titled “Imposter Syndrome Hits Harder When You’re Black,” author Jolie A. Doggett notes that for Black individuals, impostor syndrome isn’t just an imaginary voice in their heads.

“We can hear it loud and clear when we receive almost daily messages from society that we truly don’t belong,” she writes. “This feeling of otherness is a common occurrence in the workplace where, too often, we may be the only person of color present.”

Causes of Impostor Syndrome in the Workplace

  • Lack of representation in senior leadership roles: Only 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large, U.S.-based companies are staffed by Black professionals, according to a 2020 Coqual study.
  • Prejudicial attitudes: 58% of Black professionals report having experienced racial prejudice in the workplace.
  • Performance expectations: Approximately two-thirds of Black professionals feel they need to work harder to advance.
  • Lack of support: Black professionals may lack access to higher-level managers and professional development resources, and may also experience wage gaps.
  • Workplace environments: Workplace culture is often built around dominant white identities, making it difficult for Black people to fit in socially.

Causes of Impostor Syndrome in Society

  • Societal messages that people of color don’t belong, such as being followed by security while shopping
  • Internalization of various microaggressions, such as being asked, “Why are you flying in first class?” or the assumption that Black students were accepted into college on athletic scholarships
  • Lack of representation in elected office and the media

Common Patterns Among People Experiencing Impostor Syndrome

People who struggle with impostor syndrome share several common traits. Prevalent among these are self-doubt, fear of being exposed as a fraud, and an inability to own and internalize success. Others include self-sabotage via procrastination, negative self-talk, and perfectionism.

In some cases, people in a new job or embarking on a career change temporarily experience symptoms of impostor syndrome. However, if these feelings linger, they can negatively impact job performance. This can spur a self-fulfilling prophecy, externally confirming feelings of self-doubt.

Systemic racism can compound these feelings. Black professionals who doubt themselves, even when they’re eminently qualified, are less apt to ask for a raise or apply for a promotion. These feelings are often rooted in measurable bias: for every 100 men promoted into management, only 58 Black women are promoted, according to a recent study from McKinsey and LeanIn. Coqual reports that 19% of Black professionals believe that someone of their race could never achieve a top position at their company.

See Also: Virtual Leadership Styles for Remote Businesses

Tips to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

While oppressive systems and cultures must be dismantled to truly alleviate the high rate of impostor syndrome in Black individuals, there are some steps that Black people can take to ward off impostor feelings.

  • Create a “brag-on-me” list: If you struggle with impostor syndrome, create a list of your accomplishments and attributes. Do you have skills or qualifications, such as speaking a foreign language, that your colleagues don’t? You may want to compile awards, diplomas, or accolades you’ve received in a “brag book” to review before a job interview or annual review.
  • Practice positive self-talk: Lots of people repeat sayings to themselves, which psychologists call scripts. Although some scripts are positive (“I can do this!” before a tough workout), others are negative. If you fall into saying things to yourself that you would never say to a friend or colleague, stop, regroup, and shift your inner mono
  • Own your accomplishments: Black professionals who struggle with impostor syndrome may be quick to attribute their success to others. Instead of saying that the only reason you accomplished a task was because of luck or help from a colleague, recognize your own efforts. If you struggle to do this, every evening make a list of all that you accomplished that day. This can be a powerful tool for building self-confidence.
  • Accept that it’s OK to make mistakes: Impostor syndrome and perfectionism often go hand in hand. Although wanting to exceed others’ expectations is healthy, striving to be perfect is not only unrealistic, it can spur anxiety and exhaustion, and enhance the sense of being an impostor. Accept your failings, and understand that making mistakes is OK.
  • Celebrate Black achievements: Throughout history, Black Americans have achieved milestones that have shaped the modern world. Remember people like Shirley Chisholm, who in 1969 was the first Black woman elected to Congress, and in 1972 became the first African American to run for a major party’s presidential nomination. Remember Benjamin O. Davis, who in 1940 became the first Black general in the U.S. Air Force. Celebrating and publicizing these accomplishments normalizes Black excellence.
  • Seek out support resources. One way to gain confidence is to seek advice from others who have overcome challenges, including through books, podcasts, and websites. For instance:
    • Minda Harts’ book, The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, provides actionable advice for Black women who face workplace challenges ranging from unequal pay to microaggressions.
    • Podcast Balanced Black Girl offers insight on impostor syndrome, self-love, and personal reflection.
    • The website Therapy for Black Girls works to destigmatize mental health and encourage wellness for Black females.

Learning How to Thrive

Overcoming impostor syndrome can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Accept your skills, accomplishments, and that your voice deserves to be heard. When you make mistakes or feel unworthy, talk to people you trust about what’s harming your confidence. Focus on the facts, such as your qualifications, instead of your feelings. Flip your script from negative self-talk to positive affirmation. Remember, the most important tip in growing past impostor syndrome is to shift your perspective. You’ve got this.

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The Effects of Spatial Computing




Computer-generated reality is having a growing impact on our lives each year through the use of augmented reality and virtual reality, which are examples of spatial computing. The technology is relatively small, such as the AR/MR smart glasses with OE Z-Lens, Apple Vision Pro, and Meta Quest 2, but they provide great opportunities for users to interface in 3D with near-to-eye display technology. 

From gaming to education, spatial computing improves the way we experience the world around us. The use of this technology means business calls can be made holographically from anywhere in the world, games are able to be accessed through the metaverse, education can become more hands-on, and healthcare is able to be further catered to people’s unique needs. And there is still much more to come! 

In the current state of spatial computing, near-to-eye displays are replacing various phone functions other than calling.This is mainly being done through AR glasses, which use reflective waveguides to project images toward the eye and offer benefits like extended battery life, better brightness, and a greater field of view. Spatial computing is having significant effects on how we work and play, with new advancements expected to create more changes in the near future.

Spatial Computing: The Future of Work and Play
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Cybersecurity Solutions to Implement in 2024 




Black computer screen with green numbers

As we embrace the digital future, the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. With new threats emerging every day, businesses must stay ahead of the game by implementing robust and efficient cybersecurity solutions.

As we peek into the horizon of 2024, here are some top-notch strategies that every business should consider to maintain a secure and resilient digital infrastructure.

Invest in a Comprehensive Threat Detection System

The first step to take is to invest in threat detection technologies that can quickly identify suspicious activities. This should include malware and ransomware protection, application vulnerability scanning, and regular patching. Additionally, consider deploying an intrusion prevention system (IPS) to combat more sophisticated threats like zero-day attacks.

Train Employees in Cybersecurity Best Practices

No matter how good your technical solutions are, they will be rendered useless if employees fail to adhere to best practices. Make sure that everyone in the organization is aware of the risks and knows what steps to take when handling sensitive information. Additionally, creates a culture of security by incentivizing staff to follow cybersecurity protocols.

Utilize Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to store and manage data. Not only does it provide flexibility and scalability, but you can also take advantage of advanced security features like encryption, access control, and multi-factor authentication.

Furthermore, cloud providers are always on the lookout for new threats and have a team of security professionals on hand to respond quickly if something goes wrong.

Implement Automated Network Monitoring and Logging

Automation can be a great help when it comes to network monitoring and logging. By setting up automated processes, you can ensure that all logs are automatically collected and analyzed in real-time.

This will allow you to quickly identify any suspicious activities and take corrective action. Additionally, consider using machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies that may not be detected by traditional methods.

Use Password Management Tools

One of the most basic steps to take when it comes to cybersecurity is implementing strong passwords and changing them regularly.

To make this process easier, you can use password management tools like LastPass or 1Password which let you securely store passwords and access them quickly when needed. Additionally, consider enabling two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

Leverage Encryption Technologies

Encryption is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to data protection. By encrypting sensitive information, you can make sure that even if it falls into the wrong hands, it will remain unreadable. There are various encryption technologies available and you should choose one that best fits your needs.

These are just a few strategies that you can implement in 2024 to keep your digital infrastructure secure and resilient. However, the key takeaway here is that cybersecurity is constantly evolving and becoming more complex.

As such, businesses must stay up to date and invest in solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. With the right tools and strategies in place, you can ensure a secure future for your business. 

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How Professional Construction Management Can Make Your Project Better




construction management

Construction projects are complex and require many different skills to work together in order to be successful. By leveraging the expertise of a professional construction manager, your project will benefit from their insight into the industry, knowledge of regulations and codes, experience with suppliers and contractors, and ability to manage budgets. Professional construction management offers a number of benefits that can help ensure your project is completed on-time and within budget. Here are a few,

Guidance on best practices and processes

By taking advantage of their expertise in the industry, they can provide guidance on best practices and processes that will make the most efficient use of resources. They can also offer insight into potential problem areas that could impact the timeline of the project and provide guidance on how to steer clear of them.

They can also help you make sure that all regulations and codes are properly followed. They will have a thorough understanding of applicable laws and requirements, as well as an understanding of local ordinances that must be observed. This ensures compliance with both state and federal regulations, which can save your project from costly delays or fines.

Professional experience working with suppliers and contractors

In addition to their expertise in regulations, professional construction managers also have experience working with suppliers and contractors. This can save time when it comes to selecting a contractor for the job and negotiating prices with potential vendors. By leveraging their knowledge of the industry, they will be able to provide useful information on who has competitive prices and who can deliver on-time.Finally, professional construction management can help manage the financial aspects of the project.

A construction manager will be able to track costs and make sure that all expenses are accounted for. They can provide guidance on which materials or services are necessary and ensure that all bills are paid on time. This helps reduce the risk of unexpected costs or delays due to unpaid bills.

Quick and Efficient

By taking advantage of professional construction management, your project can be completed quickly, efficiently and on-budget. With their expertise in the industry, understanding of regulations and codes, experience with suppliers and contractors, and ability to manage budgets, a professional construction manager can make sure that your project is a success.

Construction projects are expensive endeavors and it’s important to make sure that your money is well spent. By investing in professional construction management, you can ensure that your project is completed on-time and within budget. The expertise of a professional construction manager will be an invaluable asset to you and your company, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of their services.

Your Project deserves the best attention and care

By utilizing the expertise of a professional construction manager, your project will be completed on-time and within budget. Don’t neglect this important step in ensuring success; make sure to hire a trustworthy and experienced construction manager for your next project. Remember that investing in the services of a professional construction management company is an investment in the future of your project.

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