Here are my notes from the ~ 45 min talk by Rahat Chowdhury.

CBT for Imposter Syndrome and Career Advancement – Rahat Chowdhury – Virtual Coffee Brownbag

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a talk therapy where you challenge your thoughts.

Example of an initial thought (imposter syndrome):

They gave me the job and I don’t understand why. I couldn’t finish the code challenge and the interviewer had to guide me through the process. How will I manage to do this job on my own?

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions are how your mind fools you.


  • filtering: removing the positive information and focusing on the negative ones
  • catastrophizing - exaggerating an event to an absolute worst case scenario
  • always being right
  • polarized thinking
  • overgeneralization
  • jumping to conclusions
  • fallacy of change
  • shoulds: “I should have done that differently.”

Challenge your thoughts!

Imposter Syndrome

We need to explore the deeper reasoning behind our imposter syndrome.

Strategies to Help With Imposter Syndrome

  • record your wins (in private or public)
  • wins are wins even if they are small
  • use those for stories to tell in interviews
  • remember that it’s a process: you will suck at it first, until you get better