Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

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A 20-minute talk on overcoming impostor syndrome -- the persistent feeling that you're not qualified to be doing whatever you're doing, and everyone's going to find out you're a fake any minute now.

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Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

  1. 1. OvercomingImpostor Syndrome Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios denise@dreamwidth.org
  2. 2. Impostor Syndrome “...a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize theiraccomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome
  3. 3. Impostor Syndrome OH CRAPTHEY’RE GOING TO FIGURE OUT I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.
  4. 4. Sometimes, your brain is a jerk.
  5. 5. A really big jerk.
  6. 6. CC:BY http://www.flickr.com/photos/katjato/4934944998
  7. 7. “You and John and Janeare all so good at what you do!”
  8. 8. Thanks! I really enjoy working with them.
  9. 9. They’re good at this. I’m just good at pretending.
  10. 10. “I always look up toyou as a role model!”
  11. 11. Thanks! I’m really glad I can help inspire you.
  12. 12. You wouldn’t if youknew how bad at this I really am.
  13. 13. “You’re always so goodat solving problems for others!”
  14. 14. Thanks! We all help each other outwhenever we can.
  15. 15. Except for that one mistake. And the other one. And that really huge one. And the time I brokeeverything and everybody had to clean up my mistakes and then Ispent a week hiding because I felt guilty and was sure that everybody was going to blameme for wasting all their time and I
  16. 16. (breathe.)
  17. 17. Why ImpostorSyndrome Sucks :(
  18. 18. Why Impostor Syndrome Sucks :(• Impossible to take pride in your work.
  19. 19. Why Impostor Syndrome Sucks :(• Impossible to take pride in your work.• Impossible to admit you don’t know something.
  20. 20. Why Impostor Syndrome Sucks :(• Impossible to take pride in your work.• Impossible to admit you don’t know something.• Prevents others from having perspective too.
  21. 21. Why Impostor Syndrome Sucks :(• Impossible to take pride in your work.• Impossible to admit you don’t know something.• Prevents others from having perspective too.• It makes you feel like crap :(
  22. 22. Let’s talk about ways to address the problem.
  23. 23. 1.Talk about the issue.
  24. 24. 2.Watch your language:some ideas are self- reinforcing.
  25. 25. Such as...
  26. 26. Such as...• “Just”, “Only”, and other minimizers
  27. 27. Such as...• “Just”, “Only”, and other minimizers• “I think”, “I don’t know if”, and other qualifiers
  28. 28. Such as...• “Just”, “Only”, and other minimizers• “I think”, “I don’t know if”, and other qualifiers• “I’m not a REAL X, but –”
  29. 29. Such as...• “Just”, “Only”, and other minimizers• “I think”, “I don’t know if”, and other qualifiers• “I’m not a REAL X, but –”• “Should”
  30. 30. (these are really hard)
  31. 31. CC-BY-NC-SA http://www.flickr.com/photos/starfive/6729394929
  32. 32. 3.Teach what you know.(Even if you think you don’t know it.)
  33. 33. 4.Question corrections.
  34. 34. Sometimes they’re right!
  35. 35. Sometimes...
  36. 36. (That’s Mike Holmes. He never worries if he’s qualified.)
  37. 37. 5.Ask questions.
  38. 38. 6. Ask for perspectivechecks from a friend.
  39. 39. 7. List youraccomplishments. (Own them.)
  40. 40. 8.Practice accepting compliments.
  41. 41. 9. Get morebackground information for comparisons
  42. 42. 10. Remember that you are awesome. Really. I promise. (And others feel this way, too.)
  43. 43. Thank you! Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios denise@dreamwidth.org

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