Raise your hand if you can relate to feeling like a fraud.
Raise your hand if you’ve felt like you don’t belong, or like you’re inadequate.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked HARD to get where you are and you still sometimes feel like an imposter.
You might have… imposter syndrome! We’ve all felt it and been there!
Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as a sense of inadequacy despite all of the personal evidence that you are qualified to be in the role that you’re in, whether that’s professional, personally, or related to your education.
So, for my podcast this week, I decided to chat with Dr. Toyin Alli, PhD. She’s brilliant and together we dug into the belief systems that come up so often for some of us in the healthcare sphere.
According to Psychology Today, “Personality traits largely drive imposter syndrome: Those who experience it struggle with self-efficacy, perfectionism, and neuroticism. Competitive environments can also lay the groundwork. For example, many people who go on to develop feelings of impostorism faced intense pressure about academic achievement from their parents in childhood.
It’s also worth noting that while men do experience imposter syndrome, women, and even more commonly women of color, are primarily susceptible.
Here’s the #1 tip to combating imposter syndrome:
One great way to keep imposter syndrome at bay is to focus on your own goals that you’ve set for yourself and avoid making comparisons to other people in your field. Remember that you bring something unique to the table!
Evidence is also crucial!
Evidence, evidence, evidence.
When imposter syndrome kicks in, try combatting it with the personal evidence that you have that tells you that you’re not only right where you belong, but that you’ve done the work to get there.
Think about how hard you’ve worked to get where you are and be PROUD of everything you’ve accomplished!
To quote Dr. Toyin Alli, PhD on the most recent episode of The Female Doc Show,
“When you feel like you are a fraud, like you don’t belong and you’re afraid of being exposed, right? That’s kind of how imposter syndrome usually works for me. I like to take a step back and figure out, okay, well, what is this belief that I have that is making me feel like an imposter?
My belief was that because I’m so young, I don’t have as much experience as everyone else. And no one is going to take me seriously when I send an email.
But there’s actually evidence that that is opposite of the case. And so I just have to sit down and actually think about that evidence to convince myself that actually no, there’s enough evidence here to support the fact that I’m not an imposter.
Evidence like, I was asked to be on the committee and chosen by the committee members to be the chair.
The evidence that I have mentored so many people. Even starting as a grad student, I was chosen to mentor other graduate students on their teaching while I was still a grad student.
I’ve had multiple grad students and post-doc mentors.
I’ve been on research committees.
People ask me about teaching advice all the time.
I clearly am capable of being the chair of the mentoring committee with all of the evidence behind me.”
Acknowledging your own expertise is so powerful. Today is a great day to take control of your mindset and move away from this burdensome phenomenon.