As she explains in Slate, Harvey Mudd's first female president, Maria Klawe, makes a point of starting each year by telling the first-year students about impostor syndrome.
"Impostor syndrome is the frequent feeling of not deserving one’s success," Klawe writes, "and of being a failure despite a sustained record of achievements." Many highly successful people experience impostor syndrome, especially when, like female scientists and engineers, they are members of a group that is underrepresented in their profession.
Impostor syndrome is difficult to overcome entirely, Klawe says, but mentoring and encouragement can prevent it from diminishing a sufferer's success.
Read the Slate piece.