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Building confidence and defeating imposter syndrome

Learn about impostor syndrome and activities for building your confidence with the Chic Geek.

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Mentorship Workshop
Building Confidence and Defeating Impostor Syndrome
!
Presented by Heather Tovey
April 12, 2014
• Impostor Syndrome Discussion
Share your experiences with impostor syndrome
• Values Writing
15 minute activity: Writing about your values
• Let’s Talk About You
Practice talking about yourself for 2-3 minutes
• Personal Commercial
Create a 30-second personal commercial and practice
it with your partner
What are we doing today?
What is
Impostor
Syndrome?
Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that,
despite your achievements, you are a
fraud.
!
You may feel that your achievements are
due to luck or external factors, and not
due to you or your ability.
!
https://counseling.caltech.edu/general/InfoandResources/Impostor
70% of people have suffered from
impostor syndrome.
!
http://chronicle.com/article/You-re-Not-Fooling-Anyone/28069
It’s very likely that you or
someone you know deals
with impostor syndrome.

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Building confidence and defeating imposter syndrome

  • 1. Mentorship Workshop Building Confidence and Defeating Impostor Syndrome ! Presented by Heather Tovey April 12, 2014
  • 2. • Impostor Syndrome Discussion Share your experiences with impostor syndrome • Values Writing 15 minute activity: Writing about your values • Let’s Talk About You Practice talking about yourself for 2-3 minutes • Personal Commercial Create a 30-second personal commercial and practice it with your partner What are we doing today?
  • 4. Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that, despite your achievements, you are a fraud. ! You may feel that your achievements are due to luck or external factors, and not due to you or your ability. ! https://counseling.caltech.edu/general/InfoandResources/Impostor
  • 5. 70% of people have suffered from impostor syndrome. ! http://chronicle.com/article/You-re-Not-Fooling-Anyone/28069
  • 6. It’s very likely that you or someone you know deals with impostor syndrome.
  • 7. Impostor Syndrome is especially prevalent in fields with a lot of peer review (like open source technology) and fields with a minority group (like women in technology or women in startup culture). ! http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/fraud.aspx
  • 9. Some people with impostor syndrome hold back from: • applying to jobs they want • asking for promotions • submitting talks or papers to conferences ! They hold back from doing what they want to do because they don’t think they have the qualifications, even though they actually do have the qualifications. ! http://www.impostorsyndrome.com/book/overview/
  • 10. Some people with impostor syndrome push too far and burn out. ! They try to do everything they can to get them to where they think they should be. They push themselves to learn and achieve more. The issue with impostor syndrome is that they’ll never reach “good enough.” ! http://www.impostorsyndrome.com/book/overview/
  • 11. Pop Quiz• Read through the following 8 questions on impostor syndrome symptoms. ! • Answer yes if you have ever experienced the symptom. ! • Answer no if you have never experienced the symptom.
  • 12. 1. Do you secretly worry that others will find out that you're not as bright and capable as they think you are? ! 2. Do you sometimes shy away from challenges because of nagging self-doubt? ! 3. Do you tend to chalk your accomplishments up to being a "fluke," “no big deal” or the fact that people just "like" you? ! 4. Do you hate making a mistake, being less than fully prepared or not doing things perfectly? 5. Do you tend to feel crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your "ineptness?" ! 6. When you do succeed, do you think, "Phew, I fooled 'em this time but I may not be so lucky next time." ! 7. Do you believe that other people (students, colleagues, competitors) are smarter and more capable than you are? ! 8. Do you live in fear of being found out, discovered, unmasked? ! Dr. Valerie Young, 2008
  • 13. Now you have a better understanding of the symptoms of impostor syndrome. ! The following activities can help you to manage impostor syndrome, and they’re also great confidence boosters in general.
  • 14. Activity One: Form a Support Group
  • 15. The first way to deal with impostor syndrome is to form a support group. ! Sharing your experiences with impostor syndrome allows you to see your achievements in a more positive and objective manner. ! https://counseling.caltech.edu/general/InfoandResources/Impostor
  • 16. For example, I get nervous presenting because I feel like everyone else knows more than I do. I feel like I’m wasting everyone’s time.
  • 17. By talking to others and reading what others have to say on impostor syndrome, I know that my experience is pretty common. This helps me to push on. ! <——————————— Image from Iowa State University Admissions
  • 19. Find a partner or group and share your experiences with impostor syndrome. Start with sharing your answers on the Impostor Syndrome quiz and then answer the questions on the next slide.
  • 20. • Do you feel like you’ve experienced impostor syndrome or a lack of confidence at some point? • Have you ever held back from doing something that you wanted to do due to a lack of confidence? • If you feel like sharing that experience, please do so. • Can you find any similarities in your experiences? Support Group Discussion Questions
  • 21. If you find the Support Group Activity helpful, consider forming your own ongoing support group or join an online group.
  • 23. Leigh Honeywell is an advisor for the Ada Initiative (a non-profit organization that supports women in open technology and culture). She created this activity to help people defeat impostor syndrome.
  • 24. Please take 15 minutes to do the following four exercises. You will either need paper and pen or a computer.
  • 25. Exercise 1:! When you think of the times in your life where you’ve been the happiest, the proudest, or the most satisfied, which of the following values come to mind? ! Accomplishment Accountability Achievement Activism Adventure Affection Ambition Autonomy Challenge Close relationships Commitment Community Compassion Competence Competition Confidence Conformity Control Coolness under fire Cooperation Courage Creativity Credibility Decisiveness Economic security Effectiveness Efficiency Enthusiasm Environmentalism Excellence Excitement Fairness Faith Fame Free time Freedom Friendships Growth Having a family Health Helping other people Helping society Honesty Hospitality Independence Influence Inner harmony Insight Inspiration Integrity Intellectual status Introspection Justice Knowledge Leadership Location Loyalty Meaningful work Mentorship Merit Money Movement Music Nature Openness Order Patriotism Peace Persistence Personal development Physical challenge Pleasure Power and authority Privacy Public service Purity Quality Recognition Reputation Responsibility Romance Security Self-knowledge Self-reliance Self-respect Serenity Sophistication Spirituality Stability Status Tranquility Truth Vibrancy Volunteering Wealth Will-power Wisdom ! https://github.com/hypatia/virtuoso
  • 26. Exercise 2:! Pick one value from the previous exercise and write a couple of sentences about why it is important to you. ! https://github.com/hypatia/virtuoso
  • 27. Exercise 3:! In general, I try to live up to the values that I chose in the previous two exercises: ! Disagree 1 ----- 2 ----- 3 ----- 4 ----- 5 Agree ! https://github.com/hypatia/virtuoso
  • 28. Exercise 4:! What was the last topic that someone asked for your advice on? ! https://github.com/hypatia/virtuoso
  • 29. Leigh Honeywell created this activity on the hypothesis that impostor syndrome is a manifestation of stereotype threat.
  • 31. Stereotype threat is the feeling of anxiety that you get when you’re in the position to confirm a negative stereotype about a group that you identify with. ! http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org/definition.html
  • 32. If a woman is aware of the stereotype that women are bad at math, she may feel anxiety when taking a math exam because she’s worried about confirming the stereotype. The anxiety can negatively affect her performance. For example: From https://xkcd.com/385/
  • 33. Research by Akira Miyake has found that writing about your values helps to combat stereotype threat.
  • 34. I recommend repeating this activity whenever you need a confidence boost (like before a job interview or business presentation).
  • 36. This activity is inspired by the article Why I’m Glad I Was Forced to Brag by Jennifer Blumberg.
  • 37. It’s really hard to talk about yourself, and yet it’s really important to share accomplishments and promote yourself.
  • 38. Talking about yourself can be especially difficult for women. There seems to be a fine line between sharing your accomplishments and over-promoting yourself. ! Practicing helps to make talking about yourself more natural.
  • 39. So find a partner or group because it’s time to practice talking about yourself.
  • 40. Take some time to brainstorm using the following instructions. • List three things that you have accomplished. • Why are you proud of these accomplishments? • List 2 skills that you possess. • List 3 personal qualities that you possess. Let’s Talk About You (part 1)
  • 41. 1. Share your achievements with your group for 2-3 minutes. 2. Discussion Group Questions: • How did talking about yourself feel? • Do you have any tips to share about talking about yourself? • How do you make talking about yourself feel more natural? Let’s Talk About You (part 2)
  • 42. Did you find that you have a tendency to downplay your achievements?
  • 43. It’s good to monitor your thoughts and practice taking proper credit for your achievements.
  • 44. Activity Four: Create a 30-Second Personal Commercial
  • 45. “So, tell me about yourself!”
  • 46. I’m not a big fan of this request. I never quite know what the other person really wants to hear. So having a ready answer to this request is a great confidence boost.
  • 47. What goes in a 30-second personal commercial?
  • 48. For this activity, your 30-second personal commercial should answer the question: ! “So, what do you do?”! ! Answer with: • Who you are • What you do • Why you enjoy doing it • A question to keep the conversation going.
  • 49. Your personal commercial should be flexible. Know what you want to say so well that you can use it in whatever situation you’re in.
  • 50. If someone asked me what I do, I could say: ! “I run the Mentorship Program for the Chic Geek. The Chic Geek is a Calgary-based non-profit organization that increases diversity in the high-tech and startup communities by offering coding workshops, speaker events, and other programs and resources for women. I’m excited to be able to connect women with mentors that can help them with their career goals. Have you ever had a mentor?”
  • 51. Your personal commercial should also be tailored to your audience. When I go to coding workshops, I use a different commercial about my web development background.
  • 52. Now it’s your turn! ! Grab a partner to help you refine and practice your 30-second personal commercial.
  • 53. • Who is your audience? • Who are you? • What do you do? • Why do you do it? • What do you like about your work? • When are you having the most fun? • What questions can you ask to keep the conversation going? Create Your Personal Commercial
  • 54. • Deliver your speech to your partner. • Give feedback and ask for advice. • Did it make sense? • Did it make you want to keep the conversation going? • Was it delivered at a good pace? • Can your partner remember what you said? Practice Your Personal Commercial
  • 56. Check out these articles and resources for more information on impostor syndrome. ! • http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org/ • http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Impostor_syndrome • https://www.usenix.org/blog/impostor-syndrome-proof- yourself-and-your-community • http://empresshasnoclothes.com/ • https://adainitiative.org/2013/06/kicking-impostor- syndrome-in-the-head-lessons-from-adacamp-dc-and-sf/ • http://paulineroseclance.com/pdf/IPTestandscoring.pdf • http://www.impostorsyndrome.com/
  • 57. Thank you for your participation! If you have any questions, contact me at heather@thechicgeek.ca