The best books about impostor syndrome 📚

Browse the best books on impostor syndrome as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

By Valerie Young

Why this book?

Regardless of your gender, this book will help you overcome the insecurity and self-doubt we all feel sometimes that holds us back. It provides clarity and understanding combined with practical steps so you can walk confidently into your full potential. This book made me recognize when I am holding myself back or worse—self-sabotaging—so that I can adjust my behavior to go after what I want. Not only has this book helped me personally, but I have recommended it more times than I can count, and the feedback is so meaningful and positive. It’s made a huge difference in my career…

From the list:

The best books to skyrocket your career

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Book cover of Intern: A Doctor's Initiation

Intern: A Doctor's Initiation

By Sandeep Jauhar

Why this book?

Intern is the realest account I’ve ever read of what it’s truly like to start working after leaving the nest of medical school. Jauhar’s writing is crisp and human, while the content gives the reader a true glimpse into the life of a new doctor. This book taught me that it was okay to experience impostor syndrome, to feel overwhelmed, and to express yourself creatively even as a doctor. This author has gone on to write regularly in The New York Times and has become one of medicine’s most treasured physician-writers.

From the list:

The best medical memoirs that will make your heart ache with emotion

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Book cover of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

By Seth Godin

Why this book?

In The Practice, Godin successfully does that “thing,” that he is so uniquely good at: sharing wisdom with panache and joy, not condescension or cliché. He artfully argues for the creative to better empathize with their audience, and in doing so, create better art. Since, creativity is nothing without impact.

From the list:

The best books on creativity and how to harness it as a skill

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Book cover of Wahala

Wahala

By Nikki May

Why this book?

I flew through Wahala. Pacy, suspenseful, and binge-able, this novel did not disappoint; it delivered in all areas. Zany, memorable characters – tick. Messy, complicated entanglements – tick. Tantalising, mouth-watering descriptions of Nigerian food served in south London restaurants – tick, tick. (The author kindly included a few recipes at the back of the book!) Wahala reminded me of how enjoyable reading can be when you find a widely-entertaining book that you can kick back and sink your teeth into. An engrossing, riveting read that explores the complexity of adult female friendships, I highly recommend it. 

From the list:

The best books that pay homage to south London

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Book cover of Playing Doctor Part One: Medical School (Stumbling through with Amnesia)

Playing Doctor Part One: Medical School (Stumbling through with Amnesia)

By John Lawrence

Why this book?

The future Dr. Lawrence sustains two traumatic brain injuries right before starting medical school. After inexplicably not taking any time off to recover, he trundles ahead despite short-term memory loss. What follows is an entertaining and chaotic four years of surmounting formidable obstacles while suffering an imposter syndrome that lingers throughout his training.

I think every medical student aside from the most incurable narcissist feels they are playing doctor much of the time. This memoir is highly relatable.

From the list:

The best painfully honest books about training to become a doctor

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Book cover of Letter to a Young Female Physician: Notes from a Medical Life

Letter to a Young Female Physician: Notes from a Medical Life

By Suzanne Koven

Why this book?

Dr. Koven and I are on the same broad faculty at Harvard Medical School, though we had never crossed paths until our medical memoirs were released the same year. I got to know her a bit in that time, but even more so in the pages of her wonderful memoir, Letter to a Young Female Physician. This book so clearly elucidates and humanizes the complex path of becoming a physician as a woman and the lessons she learned along the way. Its pages are as charming as they are poignant.

From the list:

The best medical memoirs that will make your heart ache with emotion

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