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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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Understanding Your Rights After a Daytona Beach Accident: A Guide for Victims




As you deal with the consequences of a Daytona Beach accident, you must understand your rights to ensure fair compensation and justice. You’re not only coping with physical and emotional trauma but also dealing with insurance companies, legal procedures, and Florida accident laws. You need to know how to seek medical attentiondocument expenses, and build a strong case. To get started, it’s crucial to take the right steps in the days and weeks following an accident. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can guide you through this process. We’ll outline the key steps to protect your rights and secure a favorable outcome. If you’ve been involved in an accident, consider consulting with a Daytona Beach Accident Claims Lawyer to ensure you’re taking the necessary actions to protect your rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Seek immediate medical attention after an accident, as some injuries may have delayed symptoms that are just as severe.
  • Understand Florida accident laws, including comparative negligence, statute of limitations, and ‘no-fault’ insurance laws, to effectively seek justice.
  • Document interactions with insurance companies and understand policy loopholes to prevent claim denial and low settlements.
  • Preserve evidence, including medical records and expenses, to strengthen your personal injury case and ensure fair compensation.
  • Consult with an experienced attorney to navigate the claims process, develop a strong case narrative, and protect your rights as a victim.

Seeking Medical Attention After Accident

Immediately after a Daytona Beach accident, we must prioritize our health and well-being by seeking prompt medical attention, even if our injuries appear minor. It’s important to remember that some injuries may not manifest immediately, and delayed symptoms can be just as severe as immediate ones. We should never assume that we’re fine just because we don’t feel severe pain or discomfort right away.

In fact, some injuries, such as concussions, whiplash, or internal injuries, may take days or even weeks to manifest. That’s why it’s vital to get an immediate diagnosis from a medical professional. By doing so, we can rule out any potential life-threatening conditions and begin treatment for our injuries promptly. Delayed symptoms can be particularly challenging to diagnose, as they may not appear until weeks or even months after the accident.

As accident victims, we must be proactive in seeking medical attention. We should never downplay our injuries or brush them off as minor. Instead, we should prioritize our health and well-being by seeking immediate medical attention. By doing so, we can make sure that we receive the necessary treatment to recover from our injuries and regain our quality of life. Remember, our health is our top priority, and seeking prompt medical attention is the first step towards recovery.

Dealing With Insurance Companies Effectively

After seeking medical attention, we must handle the challenging process of dealing with insurance companies, which can be a demanding task, especially when we’re still recovering from our injuries. It’s important to understand that insurance companies are businesses, and their primary goal is to minimize payouts. To effectively deal with them, we need to be mindful of their tactics and policies.

Insurance companies often use various tactics to deny or reduce claims. They might ask us to provide unnecessary information, delay processing our claims, or try to get us to accept a low settlement. We must be cautious and not fall prey to these tactics. It’s vital to document every interaction with the insurance company, including dates, times, and details of conversations.

We should also be aware of policy loopholes that the insurance company might use to deny our claim. For instance, if we missed a deadline or failed to disclose certain information, the insurance company might use this as a reason to deny our claim. By understanding our policy and the insurance company’s tactics, we can make sure we receive the compensation we merit. It’s important to stay organized, persistent, and informed throughout the process. Remember, we don’t have to face this challenging process alone. Consulting with an experienced attorney can greatly improve our chances of getting a fair settlement.

Understanding Florida Accident Laws

As we maneuver through the intricate process of dealing with insurance companies, it’s equally important for us to understand the Florida accident laws that govern our case and ultimately impact the outcome of our claim. Florida statutes dictate the rules and regulations surrounding personal injury cases, and it’s imperative we comprehend these laws to traverse the system effectively.

One critical aspect of Florida accident laws is the concept of Comparative Negligence. This doctrine allows the court to assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident. For instance, if we’re found to be 20% responsible for the accident, our damages will be reduced by that percentage. Understanding Comparative Negligence is crucial, as it directly affects the amount of compensation we may be eligible to receive.

Florida statutes also dictate the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a claim. It’s important we’re aware of these time constraints to avoid missing our opportunity to seek justice. Additionally, Florida’s ‘no-fault’ insurance laws require us to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which provides limited coverage for medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of fault.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

We take the next vital step in seeking justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit, which demands careful preparation and strategic planning to guarantee the best possible outcome. It’s important to understand the process and what to expect when pursuing legal action after a Daytona Beach accident.

Before filing, we must consider the statute of limitations, which in Florida is typically four years from the date of the accident. Failure to file within this timeframe can result in the loss of our right to seek compensation. We must also gather all relevant evidence, including medical recordswitness statements, and police reports, to build a strong case.

Once we’ve prepared our case, we’ll proceed to the discovery phase, where we’ll exchange information with the opposing party. This may involve depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production. We’ll also participate in jury selection, carefully choosing impartial jurors who can render a fair verdict.

Throughout the process, we’ll work closely with our attorney to develop a compelling narrative that showcases the extent of our injuries and the negligence of the responsible party. By doing so, we’ll increase our chances of securing fair compensation for our losses. By understanding the ins and outs of filing a personal injury lawsuit, we can navigate the intricate legal system with confidence and assert our rights as accident victims.

Protecting Your Rights as Victim

Our rights as victims of a Daytona Beach accident are only as strong as our ability to protect them. It’s essential to take proactive steps to safeguard our interests and make sure we receive the compensation we merit.

Protecting Our RightsWhy It MattersActionable Steps
Preserving EvidenceVital for building a strong caseTake photos, notes, and witness statements
Seeking Legal RepresentationExpert guidance for maneuvering the legal systemConsult with a Daytona Beach accident attorney
Documenting ExpensesAccurate record-keeping for compensationKeep receipts, invoices, and medical records
Avoiding Statements to InsurersProtecting ourselves from misrepresentationRefrain from giving statements without legal counsel

We must be mindful of the actions we take immediately following an accident. Preserving evidence, seeking legal representation, documenting expenses, and avoiding statements to insurers are all crucial steps in protecting our rights. By taking these proactive measures, we can strengthen our position and increase our chances of securing fair compensation. Remember, our rights are only as strong as our ability to protect them. By being informed and taking the necessary steps, we can ensure that our rights are protected and our interests are represented.


As accident victims, we’ve learned that seeking immediate medical attentiondealing with insurance companies effectively, and understanding Florida accident laws are vital steps in protecting our rights. By preserving evidence, documenting expenses accurately, and seeking legal representation from professionals like the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we can build a strong case and increase our chances of a favorable outcome. By being informed and proactive, we can take control of the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit and guarantee fair compensation and justice. If you’ve been injured in an accident, remember that you have the power to take action and secure your rights; take the first step towards fair compensation and Contact Us.

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7 Key Elements of a Strong Business Partnership Agreement




Entering a business partnership is akin to a marriage in the commercial world. Like any successful marriage, a partnership should begin with clarity and understanding, embodied in a well-crafted partnership agreement. This document is fundamental in defining how the business operates and how disputes are managed, preventing misunderstandings that could potentially derail the business. Here are the seven key elements every strong business partnership agreement should include:

1. Ownership and Capital Contributions

Clearly outline each partner’s stake in the business. This includes not just the percentage of ownership but also what each partner is contributing to the business, whether it’s cash, property, or services. A detailed account of these contributions at the outset prevents disputes over equity and investment down the line.

2. Distribution of Profits and Losses

Decide and state explicitly how profits and losses will be shared among partners. Will profits be distributed equally, or will they correspond to each partner’s contribution or ownership percentage? Addressing this early on will smooth out one of the most critical aspects of a business partnership.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

A partnership works best when each partner knows what is expected of them. The agreement should specify the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for each partner, including who makes daily business decisions, who handles specific duties, and how responsibilities are divided. This clarity ensures the business operates smoothly and efficiently.

4. Decision-Making Processes

Establish how decisions will be made within the partnership, including what types of decisions require unanimous consent and which ones can be made by a single partner. This section should also cover how disputes will be resolved, whether through mediation, arbitration, or another method. It’s essential for preventing deadlock situations that can hinder business operations.

5. Dispute Resolution

Despite the best intentions, disagreements will arise. Including a dispute resolution process in your partnership agreement can help resolve conflicts without resorting to legal action. Whether it’s through mediation, arbitration, or a designated third party, having a clear method for handling disputes can save time, money, and relationships.

6. Change of Ownership

Consider scenarios such as a partner wanting to exit, retire, or sell their portion of the business. How will their share be valued? Who can buy into the partnership? Setting these terms in advance helps manage transitions smoothly without significant disruption to the business.

7. Dissolution

Though it may seem pessimistic to consider the end at the beginning, outlining the process for dissolving the business is crucial. This includes how assets will be distributed, how debts will be paid, and any other steps required to wind down the business properly. Having an exit strategy in place provides a clear path forward if the partnership must be dissolved.

Invest in the Future

In summary, a strong business partnership agreement lays the foundation for a successful collaboration. It not only outlines the expectations and responsibilities of each partner but also provides mechanisms for managing disputes and transitions. By including these seven key elements, partners can ensure their business operates smoothly, focuses on growth, and withstands the challenges of partnership dynamics. Taking the time to create a comprehensive partnership agreement is an investment in the future stability and success of the business.

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Is Your Business Up-to-Date with HIPAA Compliance Regulations? What You Need to Know




For businesses in the healthcare sector, adhering to regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has become increasingly vital. HIPAA compliance protects patients’ privacy and ensures their health information is securely managed. Whether you’re newly navigating the waters of healthcare data or looking to refresh your knowledge, understanding HIPAA’s requirements and how they apply to your business is key to maintaining trust, legality, and integrity in healthcare services.

Understanding HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA, established in 1996, sets the standard for the protection of sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed. This includes covered entities (e.g., healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses) and business associates (e.g., billing companies, third-party consultants, and even cloud storage providers involved with PHI).

The legislation has evolved, particularly with the introduction of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule, dictating the use and safeguarding of PHI held in electronic form (ePHI). The Omnibus Rule, introduced in 2013, further extended these protections and penalties to business associates.

Significance of Compliance

Non-compliance with HIPAA can result in substantial financial penalties, legal issues, and damage to a business’s reputation. Beyond these consequences, HIPAA compliance plays a critical role in protecting the privacy and security of patient information—a fundamental component of patient care and trust in the medical system.

HIPAA compliance also ensures businesses are prepared for potential data breaches, with protocols in place to respond effectively. In an era where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated, compliance isn’t just about adhering to rules; it’s about safeguarding the wellbeing of patients and the stability of healthcare businesses.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Conduct a Risk Analysis: Regularly evaluate your practices and systems to identify vulnerabilities to ePHI. Addressing these gaps proactively can prevent breaches before they occur.
  2. Implement Strong Safeguard Measures: This includes both physical safeguards like secure locations for patient data and technical safeguards such as encryption and access controls.
  3. Train Your Staff: All employees should understand their role in maintaining HIPAA compliance. Regular training ensures staff is up-to-date on policies and procedures.
  4. Review and Revise Policies: As both technology and regulations change, it’s crucial to periodically review and update your security measures and company policies.
  5. Engage with Business Associates Carefully: Ensure that any third-party vendors who have access to PHI agree to the same standards of privacy and security you hold, typically formalized through a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).

Staying Up-to-Date

Regulations and guidelines can change, so staying informed is critical. Regularly check updates from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and consider joining reputable healthcare forums or consulting with a compliance professional.

Moving Forward

HIPAA compliance is a dynamic and ongoing process, reflecting the changing nature of technology, cybersecurity threats, and healthcare practices. Businesses that treat compliance as an opportunity to improve their practices—rather than as a regulatory burden—can improve their service quality and patient relations while safeguarding against data breaches and legal complications.

By ensuring your business is compliant with HIPAA regulations, you’re not only adhering to the law but also demonstrating a commitment to the privacy and wellbeing of your patients. It’s a critical step in building and maintaining trust in the increasingly digital world of healthcare.

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