Impostor Syndrome – what is it?

The impostor syndrome, also known as the fraud syndrome, is a disorder that is associated with successful people or high-achievers who find it hard to accept that their achievements and successes are as a result of their hard work.

This inability to accept their own capabilities is also shadowed by a strong fear of being exposed for the frauds they perceive themselves to be and as such, people who suffer from the impostor syndrome tend to work harder than everyone else in a bid to cover up their make-believe insuffiency.

Why do people suffer from the impostor syndrome?

First of all, the impostor syndrome often comes as a reaction to certain situations and stimuli. While it is not directly linked to mental issues, psychological research has described the condition as an in-born personality trait that often manifests itself in certain situations.

People suffering from impostor syndrome will attribute their successes and achievements to luck, timing, deception, and literally anything else that comes to mind so long as it does not credit their efforts as the reason for their success. In fact, when presented with this information, individuals suffering from the impostor syndrome will probably deny it. 

The problem is more prominent among successful women or at least it appears that way since most men will not open up easily about their insecurities. However, notable male cases include Tom Hanks and Neil Gaiman. The latter has spoken about the condition previously. He describes it as a feeling that you are getting away with something, especially when it comes to your successes. Seth Godin is an accomplished writer with numerous bestsellers under his name. However, he wrote in The Icarus Deception that despite his blatant success, he cannot shake off the feeling that he is somehow a fraud. 

So how does one rid himself/herself of this crippling mentality that is quite often a symptom of self-doubt and low self-esteem? Here are four effective ways to overcome the impostor syndrome.

1. Accept that you’re not perfect

The impostor syndrome is often associated to inflated feelings of self-importance. While it is not wrong to feel good about yourself, toning down the feelings of self-importance will help you learn how to accept failure better. 

2. Credit your efforts as much as possible

Learning how to internalise your successes might not be the easiest thing if you happen to suffer from the impostor syndrome. However, you need to credit your efforts for getting you as far as you are right now. Take a look back at how far you have come. Not everyone would have accepted the same opportunities you were given in the same way. As such, your success is entirely based on how much hard work you put into becoming the person you are today. 

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

As hard as it may seem, it is pointless to compare your successes to those of others, unless you are doing a critical self-evaluation in a bid to upgrade yourself. It is easy to conclude that your level of achievement is less worthy or that your life just does not live up to that of others. Keep in mind that everyone is born with a unique set of skills and a different outlook on life. Embrace being yourself.

4. You are allowed to be wrong

Missing the mark every once in a while (or even more than once in a while) is completely allowed—it does not make you a fraud. Read about the greatest people in every field and you will find that they all share one thing in common: they have all failed at some point in their lives. Don’t let failure get to you. No one is built to be flawless. 

The list of people suffering from imposter syndrome is full of high profile names from all over the world, most of whom are recognised over-achievers or extremely successful and iconic individuals. Despite the fact that their success stems from their hard work, they often consider themselves frauds and question other people’s beliefs in their abilities. Keep this in mind every time you feel like you are just not doing enough, despite your successes. 

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The Effect of Happiness on Workplace Productivity

When it comes to incentivising employees to be more productive, employers often resort to raising salaries and/or reducing working hours. While doing this does result in some measure of short to medium term success, nothing quite compares to the productivity that is exhibited by a staff member who is happy in their work.

Staff benefits

Recent studies show that no matter how well you pay or how many staff benefits are available, an unhappy employee is found to be 10 % less productive than the average whereas a happy employee is 12 % more productive.

The study, which was conducted in the University of Warwick, showed that happiness has a positive effect on the productivity of a human being. Feelings of positivity stimulate employees to perform better and enhance their self-drive. Monetary benefits are not enough when it comes to boosting workplace productivity.

Professor Andrew Oswald, a member of the team that conducted the research, pointed out that employers who invest in employee satisfaction initiatives benefited from more productive employees.

37% improvement

He highlighted Google where employee satisfaction spiked by 37 % solely because of the company’s efforts to improve their employee support systems. This goes to show that financial incentives are just not enough to inspire motivation in employees.

According to Shawn Anchor, positive feelings greatly impact on the brain, which in turn improves the productivity of an individual. The author of The Happiness Advantage explained that positive feelings inspire people to be more creative and also enhances their problem-solving skills.

Happier employees are also more willing to work as a group and prove to be more driven towards achieving common goals, according to another study. In Anchor’s perspective, companies that build strong, personal relationships with their employees always enjoy greater profits, all because of the enhanced productivity brought on by the positive environment. 

Employee satisfaction however cannot be classified as the responsibility of the employer alone. There are easy ways employees can create a positive working environment full of good vibes and happy individuals.

This can be through helping each other out, healthy interactions between co-employees and even some light meditation for a few minutes every day. The main idea is to create an environment where the employees feel like they are an important member of a family, not an insignificant cog in a larger scheme of things.

Happiness & Leadership

To prove that strong relationships do impact on happiness in the workplace, two researchers from Harvard conducted a study on students which revealed that students with better social lives and healthy relationships both at home and in school tended to be a lot more productive and less likely to develop stress.

Phil Stone and Tal Ben-Shahar also noted that these happy students carried on those acquired traits and skills to their respective workplaces and proved to be better at stress management and better suited to forge strong relationships with their co-employees. 

The two researchers concluded that happier employees also make the best leaders thanks to their superior human interaction capabilities. Woohoo Inc founder, Alexander Kjerulf also agrees that happiness in the workplace is the key to employees with better leadership traits, better time management skills and, ultimately, better productivity. 

So, what does your company do to create a positive, happy working environment and could you do more?

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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Day 10th October 2016


Mental health influences how we think, interact and behave.


Problems of mental health can affect anyone regardless of the age, social class or background. Research studies indicate that a mental health patient has an average life expectancy of 1 to 2 decades less when compared to those of sound mental health.


There is a significant link between mental health and physical health. This is because individuals with mental illness are highly likely to develop chronic illnesses and vice versa.


The importance of mental health awareness day on 10th October is to enable everyone to focus on mental health issues that are often ignored.


Research statistics very but close to 50% of adults will experience mental health problems at one point or the other in their lives. 50% of such people experience symptoms that are moderate to severe in intensity.


4 of 10 major causes of disability among individuals aged 5 years or older are problems associated with mental health. Depression (a form of mental illness) is the main cause of disability.


More shocking is that only 20% of victims of mental illnesses access professional help. There is no doubt that a big improvement is needed to change the statistics. 

Importance of mental health awareness day in society

The importance of mental health awareness in society cannot be over emphasized.


What follows are some of the reasons why creating awareness of mental health in society is essential for individuals and their loved ones:

  • Mental health awareness in society helps to educate the public and therefore reduce stigma associated with it. This will serve to alter misconceptions related to mental illness. Destroying such barriers to support and social stigmas can go a long way in the mental illness awareness campaign. 
  • Creating awareness of mental health in society can assist individuals to recognize some mental illness warning signs. This can facilitate early or timely professional diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Reaching for help early enough has been the pitfall for most mental illness cases. 
  • Such mental health awareness days serve to remind people of the reality of these illnesses and to emphasize that they require proper treatment. 
  • Awareness will help in reducing and eventually eliminating the cases of suicide instigated by mental illnesses. 
  • It helps end social exclusion experienced by mental health patients. This is very significant as over 70% of mental health victims conceal their illness to themselves. This happens because they fear being judged by peers and the society as a whole. 
  • It promotes better comprehension of issues that are related to mental illness in society.
  • It encourages the celebration of each and every individual’s unique worth in society and also encourages supporting victims of mental illness. 
  • It may assist in changing the mindset of insurance companies and policy makers to pay for the treatment required by mental illness patients. 


Mental health awareness day is a noble and global initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health that is aimed at promoting understanding of this illness. The importance of mental health awareness day on 10th October cannot be over emphasized. 


Remember, Mayfair cares.