imposter syndrome

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    The Imposter Cycle


    This model is useful, as it presents multiple points to intervene and break the cycle. Presented below are some strategies for counteracting the imposter syndrome along various points of this model.

    Reframe the task. If facing an achievement-related task prompts anxiety, self-doubt and worry, you might try to reappraise or reframe the task itself as an opportunity to learn, as opposed to an occasion for proving yourself. You’ve already earned your spot, your only task now is to grow through the challenging tasks you face. Remember, graduate school is meant to be difficult. You are not supposed to know everything at the start (or the end). As much as possible, try to face difficult tasks with curiosity.

    Work smart. Anxiety, worry and self-doubt can prompt procrastination, over-preparation or both. If you find yourself procrastinating on challenging or threatening tasks, try to reach out instead of turning inwards. Find a peer who is also facing a challenging task and schedule time to work together. In doing so, you’ll be held accountable for working on the task, and will likely be comforted to know that others around you are feeling similarly about their tasks. If you tend to over-prepare, try to calibrate your efforts — especially if your effort is coming at the expense of your sleep or leisure time. There is definitely a place for going above and beyond but give yourself permission to not do so always.

    Feel the relief and take ownership. When you accomplish a difficult task, allow yourself to feel relief, pride or growth. If you’re attributing your success to luck, reflect on the work that you did to get there. Make a list of the actions you took. If you receive positive feedback, take it in. Your peers/instructors/advisors are not lying to you to make you feel better — they think you have done good work and deserve to feel good about it.

    Seek out tasks that you are good at. While there is certainly a place for challenging, novel tasks, you should also seek out tasks that you enjoy and are good at. If you are good at stats, offer to run analyses for your projects. If you enjoy reading, offer to conduct a literature review for the introduction of a paper. If you are a skilled writer, offer to draft or edit. Contributing your skills is affirming.

    Seek support. Remember, many people have experienced the imposter syndrome at some point — you are not alone. Seek out the support of your peers or mentors. They can offer you affirmation that you belong and can offer insight into how they’ve dealt with similar experiences. To move past feelings of the imposter syndrome, it can be tremendously helpful to have peers and friends who are supportive and open about their challenges. They can help you find new strategies to overcome self-doubt, develop your abilities and discover new strengths.

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    Do My Friends Really Like Me?

    There have been times in my life when I thought I didn’t have a friend in the world, and my disorder was the cause of it. I was just too weird, too odd – unlovable. I didn’t fit in anywhere, with anyone.

    Actually, it started in my childhood. I had the idea that my parents only loved me because they had to – because I was their child. Ergo, if I weren’t their child, they would never love me. This was very untrue and unfair, I now realize, but I lived the early part of my life believing it.

    I had very little evidence that I could make friends. I just never seemed to get the hang of it. There were kids in the suburban neighborhood where I lived, but we didn’t form what you would call lasting friendships. As I recall, there were two sisters who tried to humiliate me with a cruel prank involving a Ouija board and tape-recorded “messages” from the beyond.

    In third grade, children threw stones at me. I had to have three stitches in my forehead. Another kid chased me around the schoolyard with a hypodermic needle that I hope was imaginary. My “best” friend in junior high school literally kicked me in the ass in front of a group of younger kids, which led to the first major meltdown that I can remember.

    Though now, looking back, high school was the time when I began to embrace my oddity. I wasn’t diagnosed yet, so I didn’t know that the depressive and manic episodes were responsible, but I was learning that there were people who would accept me regardless. I had a tight little group of three or four friends, most of whom are still my friends to this day. They taught me that lasting friendship was possible. In college, I acquired another tight little circle of friends – and one disastrous train wreck of a relationship that left me with defective coping mechanisms such as self-harm.

    Since my diagnosis, I’ve found more friends. Several have not been able to adjust to my mood disorder and have broken off contact. It hurt badly, of course, but I could see their point. When I was at my lowest point, I was not able to be a good friend to them either.

    So, how has bipolar disorder been involved in my friendships (or lack thereof)? First, with all the chaos inside my head and my constant need to deal with it, I didn’t have much energy left to find friends. When I did get close to people, I ended up pushing them away with my erratic behavior. Only a few kindred souls stuck with me.

    I suffered from imposter syndrome too. I thought that it might look like I had friends, but they would soon realize how damaged I was and leave. Or I believed that I was faking being a friend and really had no idea how to go about it.

    I ghosted people without intending to when I went into a depressive episode. If I met them when I was manicky, I might be the proverbial life of the party, entertaining with my peculiar sense of humor. The next time they saw me, though, I might be an uncommunicative, weepy lump.

    Still, there are people who have known me through the whole range of my moods and my disorder, and I am confident that they are my true friends. They really like me (shades of Sally Field!) and some even love me. I have Facebook friends that I keep in touch with regularly. They provide me a link to the outside world. I have IRL friends whom I see occasionally (we tend to live in different states). I even have a few friends nearby.

    I love my friends. Because of how hard they’ve been to come by, I value them greatly. They have stood by me. They have invited me to dinner, to their parties, and on their vacations. They have comforted me when I was down, distracted me when I was anxious, and enjoyed my company when I’ve been stable. They’ve cried on my shoulder and I have cried on theirs. They’ve bought my books. Some have even lent me money when I really, really needed it. They have become my family of choice.

    I treasure every one of my friends – especially my husband, who is my best friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

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    Don’t Quit Your Daydream

    I have always been transparent about my life. From my struggles with depression as a tween, to my bipolar as a teen, and now my battles with lupus and mania as an adult.

    I have never hidden behind masks because I believe speaking openly and candidly can save lives if done with care.

    Lately, I’ve been feeling relatively happy- I am truly living my daydream. Yes, I have my medical complications and I have to go to the hospital on Monday for cancer screenings and I’m worried sick.

    But I’m trying to stay with a positive attitude and and a grateful heart. I have my dream job, good health care, a good routine, and a solid support system.

    Nothing can be 100% all the time and if you keep waiting for forever… forever will never come.

    Seize the day. There is no day but today.

    I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and yes, I’m scared as hell, but God’s got this.

    “Don’t quit your day dream, it ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you”.

    #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #ImposterSyndrome #BipolarDepression #ChronicDepression

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    Imposter syndrome


    Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or impostorism, is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon do not believe they deserve their success or luck. They may incorrectly attribute it to the Matthew effect, or they may think that they are deceiving others because they feel as if they are not as intelligent as they outwardly portray themselves to be.

    Impostor syndrome can stem from and result in strained personal relationships and can hinder individuals from achieving their full potential in their fields of interest.

    When impostor syndrome was first conceptualized, it was viewed as a phenomenon that was common among high-achieving women. Further research has shown that it affects both men and women, in the collective sense that the proportion affected are more or less equally distributed among the genders. Individuals with impostor syndrome often have corresponding mental health issues, which may be treated with psychological interventions, though the phenomenon is not a formal mental disorder.

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    Imposter syndrome


    Impostor syndrome is especially common in academic science, for a lot of reasons. For one thing, there is so much to know and it can seem that everyone knows things you don’t. And they probably do – just like you know things that they don’t! Recognizing others’ expertise, but not our own, can feed into feelings of being a fraud. Impostor Syndrome also develops because it is our job to criticize each other’s work. Participating in science means having your ideas picked apart by others, which can feed doubt about our abilities.

    Science is also an international enterprise, which means that many of us are literally wearing a mask every day – adopting the language and cultural norms of our adopted homes, which can exacerbate feelings of not belonging. This is especially true for underrepresented groups in science, who are particular susceptible to Impostor Syndrome. Finally, we all know that the research is never done – there is always another experiment needed or an alternative interpretation of the data. This can make it hard to recognize our research accomplishments.

    If you remember nothing else from this post, I hope you remember that a lot of people feel like they are impostors. One study found that up to 70% of successful people have had impostor feelings at some point. Which means two things: 1) if you feel this way, you are not alone. 2) If you don’t feel this way, your students and colleagues probably do!

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    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is Pollyzanna. I'm here because I am so tired of fighting against and for everything - while so few people understand.

    #MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #OCD #PTSD #ChronicIllness #ImposterSyndrome


    Story unseen by high masker

    Struggle that is unseen when you are incredibly great at masking…….

    Let’s talk about what it is to mask and why would someone need to camouflage:

    Masking is a coping mechanism that either learns for protection or unconsciously tries to fit into society but truth I have always felt alien like. Most people who are like me that are heavily masking are relying on the social cues of autistic person /neurotypical person (hybrid of two worlds constantly colliding into each other). I will be honest, it is utterly exhausting being this hybrid of social rules , social cues , and society often shows people that are different as less worthy( wait a moment, that seems harsh but I am speaking from a place I lived , experienced , and see it).Why camouflage if you are constantly edging towards burn out ?! Sigh…..I am not always aware of my own masking until I reach a maxing level of burn out. Maxing level sounds a little over dramatic that’s what the inner monologue tells me but I know I am not being over dramatic. How can you be so sure ?! When I am in that burn out state completely utterly non -verbal and useless to everything and everyone.My mind going million miles a min but from outside look withdrawn(often I feel like the computer that was on that you unplugged and plugged back in ; on in the hopes that restarts but just crashes over and over ) .Are you sure you are not talking about anxiety? Sure , I have anxiety due to the majority of my life wondering why everyone else had manuals that clearly I never received. SOS where the hell is my manual for the following:

    Social manuals have to forge growing friendships etc. I never know if someone is being fake nice or genuinely wanting to be my friend.

    Social cues I don’t get don’t hint or do experiments on me to see if I get something; I will save you a breath … I fail this 99% of the time.

    EYE Contact with me is iffy at best. If looking directly into your eyeballs more than likely missed half the words you have said. Ok why is this social norm to stare at the eyeballs .

    Fashion manual who decides the in and out of fashion. If it ain't comfortable I ain't wearing it. I do not care if I throw my hand book my way …….I will die on this hill comfortably

    Manual on when to use honesty and when you politely lie . This is super confusing to me because people say they want you to be honest but then get mad when you do.

    Are you starting to see what I mean ?! Don’t feel bad that you missed the signs because I myself was clueless to the signs. I only pieced it together myself the last few years because of all the research , speaking with other autistic adults , and mostly learned from my boys. It’s funny but not ha ha ha funny that I now can look at all my experiences from past realized anxiety ,awkwardness, clumsiness , confusion in a lot of situations, my constant need for movement , and over analyzing everything ……..All of this was related to being autistic . In saying all of the above, being a high masking individual is exhausting and confusing because sometimes I feel I don't fit in either communities, the disabled or abled( by abled I really mean neurotypical).I know imposter syndrome is the root of the displacement I feel but to quiet that part of my brain is like trying to silent an hurricane. Hurricane?! Yes, freaking hurricane that tears up all the knowledge that I have and reasoning that is deeply rooted into my core. I am hoping that one day that I am able to conquer the imposter syndrome for myself and for beautiful boys who are autistic as well.Why not just continue life as a High masker ?! Because I want boys not to struggle with autistic burnout , feel of never fitting in the community , struggle with self acceptance, and so many more things. Lastly, I know acceptance and love for oneself and our community starts at home first.

    Tiffany Wonderley Rizzo #


    Imposter syndrome, maybe? #Anxiety

    Hey guys, anyone ever deal with an overwhelming feeling of you not mattering to the people around you? I work a very client faced job and I know I help so many people on a daily basis but I can't shake the overwhelming feeling that I suck. 😞 I've been at a new job for about five months now after being at my last one for six years and having to leave this year after dealing with something extremely traumatic and that management team doing nothing about it. I also come from a tumultuous past with my family. How do you even start to undo 20+ years of self loathing? I have a therapist that I see once a month and we've done such good work but I feel like this sucky year has just undone all of it. #Anxiety #ImposterSyndrome


    The endless journey of getting to know our true selves.

    Part 1 of 2 Six months ago, I decided to travel to the Middle East and I’ve stayed here ever since. I didn’t think of it as an emotional journey, but I did expect to learn a lot about different cultures, behaviors and traditions; little did I know I was going to discover something extraordinary, something almost new that has not been too far from me for my entire life: myself!

    To begin with, I believe we all adopt certain behaviors and points of view based on the people around us, our friends and family, and even the environment we’ve been raised in: it’s the normal cycle of life, learning things based on our circle and surroundings, things that eventually become part of ourselves. I’m happy to say that most of my life, I’ve been surrounded by good people with nothing but good intentions, and I’m aware I’m lucky to be able to say that. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions and certain life experiences when unfortunately, we crossed paths with people that were not good for us, yet the majority of my life I’ve been well taken care of by my family and friends.

    Nevertheless, there was always something about myself that I’m sure many of us have felt in this community, something “off” that won’t allow us to enjoy life to the fullest, whether that comes in form of #Depression , #Anxiety , insecurities or past #Trauma , it’s all somehow bottled up inside our mind and it’s certainly not easy to shake it off our brain. These thoughts and feelings made me want to adopt different behaviors based on the people I was surrounding myself with: I created multiple “me’s” that I’d used based on who I was hanging out with. This sounds like something normal when we’re kids and teenagers, but it does become something concerning as we grow up and notice that we are unable to be ourselves with the people we care about, and this can also affect our performance at work, college, etc.

    There’s always a reason behind it: maybe, we’re afraid of how they’d react if we show our true selves, or perhaps we’re a bit scared of judgment. For me, I was simply not comfortable showing certain parts of myself to a group of people, which made it very confusing for me to actually get to know my true self, one that wasn’t running away from my family and one that wasn’t constantly trying to adapt to social situations even though I didn’t even feel like talking. This is a very common symptom of depression and anxiety that not many people talk about, it makes us feel ashamed and we can even develop other serious illnesses such as #ImposterSyndrome (feeling like a fraud, doubting our abilities, not accepting our achievements, etc). I was having such a hard time getting along with my family and not pushing away my friends, until I decided it was time to take a chance and, therefore, take a step aside for a while: I packed my bags and with a bit of determination and a desire to find out what else is out there, I traveled to Egypt.

    I had a chance to meet wonderful people from different places around the world, I discovered new places and got to know different realities, religions and points of view. As I took the time to make new friends, some of them I even now consider as part of my family, and I realized something new I wasn’t aware of before: our worth is not based on how people perceive us, our value is not measured by how others see us or what our friends, family or other people have to say about us. It is so important to allow ourselves to get to know a little bit more about us every day, as we meet new people we discover new things we like or may not like about others and about ourselves, and as we discover new places we realize what we value about what we’re able to call ‘home’. We’re always told we should be grateful for our family, we should thank our friends and the ones that are there for us, and this is absolutely true, yet the most important thing is to be grateful to get to know ourselves more everyday. After all, nobody knows me better than I do, and I guess that’s what I was missing all along, there’s that empty space I’ve been wanting to fill for years: the lack of me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that there are many things yet to learn and see, but the mere realization of this is what brings me peace of mind instead of constant anxiety, because it’s an art to be able embrace the present and the unknown, something that I myself am still learning to do; getting to know ourselves is a journey, and we’re lucky to be able to say that we’re in this to