A post I saw on Twitter today had the hashtag #impostersyndrome and it brought up these feelings again, especially now I am graduating with my Masters soon. So I decided to go to good ol' Google and have a look around at what exists. I found an 'Impostor Syndrome Test' - one of those psych tests that asks you a series of questions. It felt a bit like a 'Cosmo quiz', but the questions were much deeper than 'Do you like the colour pink?'. I tried to be as honest as possible, without being 'over dramatic' and my results from the test were as follows:
The great thing about the Internet though, is that you can also find strategies to deal with these feelings! Following the #impostersyndrome hashtag has shed some light on the sheer number of people who are in the same situation, but there is also an amazing number of people who are sharing what they are doing to overcome the shitty, sinking feeling that it brings along!
An article that was posted by Time just three days ago states that 'one of the first steps to overcoming imposter feelings is to acknowledge the thoughts and put them in perspective' and I guess that's exactly what I am hoping to achieve by putting my thoughts down in this blog! When I sit and think about it now, it really isn't that BIG of a deal. When I feel these thoughts creep in in a 'real world context' from now on, I need to make the conscious effort to really take the time to think harder about why I am feeling that way. There are definitely worse things in the world that could happen that not meeting expectations straight up. That doesn't mean that I won't learn from my experience and get better as time goes on! As long as no one dies, can it really be that bad?!
Some other suggestions put forward in the blog include:
- reframe your thoughts - learn to value constructive criticism, know that it's OK to ask for help and remember that practice makes perfect!
- share your feelings with trusted friends! Find someone who may be in a similar position - trust me, they will be out there!
- surround yourself with positive people who will help you to develop the confidence you need to shift your mindset
- understand you can have 'imposter moments', but it doesn't mean you have to have an 'imposter life'. Use those moments to learn and grow!
This TED Talk from Valerie Young does a great job of providing you with a few ways to 'reframe your thinking' when you suffer from imposter syndrome and again reaffirms that idea that it's OK to have 'imposter moments', but don't let it turn in to an 'imposter life'!