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#ImpSyn
“We’re Not Worthy”:!
Understanding & Escaping!
Impostor Syndrome
Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci
Amy Silvers
!
IA Summit ...
#ImpSyn
@lwcavallucci!@A_Silvers!
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
“I feel like that every day.”!
#ImpSyn
“(T)hese women find innumerable
means of negating any external
evidence that contradicts their belief
that they are...
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
“Impostor Phenomenon
designates an internal experience
of intellectual phoniness.”
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
“I’m not as capable as people
think I am.”!
!
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
Any praise and recognition leads
to discounting the success.
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
“My success is due to luck and
nothing else.”!
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
Outperform
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
Avoid
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
“She only got ahead because
she's hot and her boss wanted to
do her.”
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
SERIOUSLY????
#ImpSyn
Totally Scientific !
Survey Conclusion:!
!
A lot of people in UX-related fields
feel like impostors.*
!
!
*At least ...
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
17#
29#
53#
How#do#you#think#your#skills#compare#to#the#
skills#of#the#people#around#you?#
I"am"less"skilled"than"...
#ImpSyn
“I often feel like I'm just making it
up as I go along, so worry that
I'm not ‘good enough’ to
compete with those ...
#ImpSyn
“I feel more below the mark
more with other designers
outside of work. I guess I feel
that there's so much praise ...
#ImpSyn
29%$
50%$
21%$
"I$can$give$the$impression$that$I'm$more$
competent$than$I$really$am."$$
Does$this$statement$descri...
#ImpSyn
“I feel constrained, like I'll never
be able to be a "real UXer" -- I
don't have ecommerce or
product experiences,...
#ImpSyn
“Sometimes, I feel like my career
is an exercise in ice skating up
hill: there are constantly new
skills to learn,...
#ImpSyn
45#
27#
25#
Have#you#ever#worried#that#people#will#stop#
respec7ng#you#or#think#less#of#you#once#they#
get#to#know...
#ImpSyn
“It's a sort of continuous feeling that my
education and experience aren't good
enough, that I don't actually know...
#ImpSyn
48#
51#
46.5% 47% 47.5% 48% 48.5% 49% 49.5% 50% 50.5% 51% 51.5%
Yes#
No#
When#people#compliment#you#on#your#abilit...
#ImpSyn
“I don't think I am as talented as
people tell me I am. I constantly
doubt myself. Every year at my
yearly review,...
#ImpSyn
“I know that I'm not, but I
spend most of my
professional life feeling
like a complete fraud.”
#ImpSyn
Frank Gehry
???
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
“There are no information
architects. There are no
interaction designers. There
are only, and only ever have
been,...
#ImpSyn
“All this talk about being a unicorn I
think contributes to a feeling of
inadequacy for people who aren't.”
#ImpSyn
#ImpSyn
“There's always something
new to learn that pulls you
out of your comfort zone
and makes you feel
uneasy, but to m...
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
What's the worst thing
that can happen?
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
Don't equate expertise
with infallibility. We can
be both.
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
We only see what others
want us to see, including
insecurities and fears.
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
Behaviors = changeable
!
Attributes not changeable
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
"just"
!
"only"
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
Get one!
!
Be one!
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
Stay humble! !
!
Be brave!
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
We are all in this together.!
!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
–Irene Au
“Put one foot forward at a time.
Tune in, listen, be in the moment.”
#ImpSyn#ImpSyn
–Pamela Druckerman
“Everyone is winging it. Some
just do it more confidently.”
#ImpSyn
Thanks for listening!
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome
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"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome

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IA Summit 2014 presentation

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  • Kristina, that seems to be a common theme from everyone we have spoken to. It's incredible just how many of us experience Impostor Syndrome.

    Jonathan, I have heard of both conferences. I wanted to submit to Dare, but it's an extensive application and it was due the day after our presentation and I couldn't make the deadline for this year, but, will try for next year. Turning this into a workshop is something we are working on. It's as if you are in our heads! :-)
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  • @khalvorson Exactly - it's like they've captured the voice(s) in my head. Might make an interesting workshop at some point. @lwcavallucci are you familiar with Confab? Or with the DARE conference? :)
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  • It is incredible to me how much I recognize those quotes from my own constant inner dialogue. Thanks for this. (And thanks for sharing, Jonathan.)
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  • Loved this talk. So human and so much empathy. Thanks for sharing this with us at #ias14.
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"We're Not Worthy": Understanding & Escaping Impostor Syndrome

  1. 1. #ImpSyn “We’re Not Worthy”:! Understanding & Escaping! Impostor Syndrome Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci Amy Silvers ! IA Summit 2014 #ImpSyn
  2. 2. #ImpSyn @lwcavallucci!@A_Silvers! #ImpSyn
  3. 3. #ImpSyn “I feel like that every day.”!
  4. 4. #ImpSyn “(T)hese women find innumerable means of negating any external evidence that contradicts their belief that they are, in reality, unintelligent.”! ! —Clance & Imes, from their 1978 study
  5. 5. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn “Impostor Phenomenon designates an internal experience of intellectual phoniness.”
  6. 6. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn “I’m not as capable as people think I am.”! !
  7. 7. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn Any praise and recognition leads to discounting the success.
  8. 8. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn “My success is due to luck and nothing else.”!
  9. 9. #ImpSyn #ImpSyn Outperform
  10. 10. #ImpSyn #ImpSyn Avoid
  11. 11. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn “She only got ahead because she's hot and her boss wanted to do her.”
  12. 12. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn SERIOUSLY????
  13. 13. #ImpSyn Totally Scientific ! Survey Conclusion:! ! A lot of people in UX-related fields feel like impostors.* ! ! *At least sometimes.
  14. 14. #ImpSyn
  15. 15. #ImpSyn 17# 29# 53# How#do#you#think#your#skills#compare#to#the# skills#of#the#people#around#you?# I"am"less"skilled"than" the"people"around" me." I"am"more"skilled" than"the"people" around"me." My"skills"are"on"par" with"those"of"the" people"around"me."
  16. 16. #ImpSyn “I often feel like I'm just making it up as I go along, so worry that I'm not ‘good enough’ to compete with those who've spent more time in teams and have worked with official job titles and the recognition it brings.”
  17. 17. #ImpSyn “I feel more below the mark more with other designers outside of work. I guess I feel that there's so much praise for a certain type of designer, one that is a consultant, works at certain agencies, and/or writes books and blogs.”
  18. 18. #ImpSyn 29%$ 50%$ 21%$ "I$can$give$the$impression$that$I'm$more$ competent$than$I$really$am."$$ Does$this$statement$describe$you?$ Yes,%this%describes%me% accurately.%% This%might%describe%me% at%5mes.% No,%this%doesn't%describe% me.%
  19. 19. #ImpSyn “I feel constrained, like I'll never be able to be a "real UXer" -- I don't have ecommerce or product experiences, so how do I know that my skills are really as good as I think they are?”
  20. 20. #ImpSyn “Sometimes, I feel like my career is an exercise in ice skating up hill: there are constantly new skills to learn, new lessons to learn, new tools to master, and there is a lot of pressure to be good at a lot of things.”
  21. 21. #ImpSyn 45# 27# 25# Have#you#ever#worried#that#people#will#stop# respec7ng#you#or#think#less#of#you#once#they# get#to#know#you#and#see#your#work?# Yes,%I've%worried%about% that.% I%haven't%worried%about% that%exactly,%but%I've%felt% something%similar.%% No,%I've%never%worried% about%that.%
  22. 22. #ImpSyn “It's a sort of continuous feeling that my education and experience aren't good enough, that I don't actually know anything more than anyone else does, and that by writing or giving talks or workshops that I'm just a fraud. And, of course, everyone will realize it soon, or they're just being too nice to point out that I don't know what I'm talking about.”
  23. 23. #ImpSyn 48# 51# 46.5% 47% 47.5% 48% 48.5% 49% 49.5% 50% 50.5% 51% 51.5% Yes# No# When#people#compliment#you#on#your#ability#or# performance,#do#you#ever#think#they’re#“just# being#nice”?#
  24. 24. #ImpSyn “I don't think I am as talented as people tell me I am. I constantly doubt myself. Every year at my yearly review, I'm told I'm doing great when I think I'm doing just ok. You would think I would gain confidence and learn from this but I still constantly doubt myself.”
  25. 25. #ImpSyn “I know that I'm not, but I spend most of my professional life feeling like a complete fraud.”
  26. 26. #ImpSyn Frank Gehry ???
  27. 27. #ImpSyn
  28. 28. #ImpSyn
  29. 29. #ImpSyn “There are no information architects. There are no interaction designers. There are only, and only ever have been, user experience designers.”
  30. 30. #ImpSyn “All this talk about being a unicorn I think contributes to a feeling of inadequacy for people who aren't.”
  31. 31. #ImpSyn
  32. 32. #ImpSyn “There's always something new to learn that pulls you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel uneasy, but to me that's the fun of it.”
  33. 33. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn What's the worst thing that can happen?
  34. 34. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn Don't equate expertise with infallibility. We can be both.
  35. 35. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn We only see what others want us to see, including insecurities and fears.
  36. 36. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn Behaviors = changeable ! Attributes not changeable
  37. 37. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn "just" ! "only"
  38. 38. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn Get one! ! Be one!
  39. 39. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn Stay humble! ! ! Be brave!
  40. 40. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn We are all in this together.! ! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
  41. 41. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn –Irene Au “Put one foot forward at a time. Tune in, listen, be in the moment.”
  42. 42. #ImpSyn#ImpSyn –Pamela Druckerman “Everyone is winging it. Some just do it more confidently.”
  43. 43. #ImpSyn Thanks for listening!

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