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FOCUS GROUP
L E D B Y
STACIE FARMER
Impostor Syndrome
You’re Not Alone
I m p o s t o r S y n d r o m e i s t h e p e r v a s i v e f e e l i n g
t h a t w h a t e v e r s u c c e s s o r a c c l a i m y o u m i g h t
h a v e , it’s all a cosmic accident , a n d
o t h e r p e o p l e really are much smarter
and more successful than you .
What is it?
E V E R Y T H I N G I S S U B J E C T I V E
“ b a s e d o n o r i n f l u e n c e d b y p e r s o n a l f e e l i n g s ,
t a s t e s , o r o p i n i o n s . ”
Why is it so pervasive?
CULTURE
EVERYBODY*
Who suffers from it?
*But especially marginalized groups
Who suffers from it?
Image by xkcd - http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/385:_How_it_Works
SELF-CARE
How can we start combating it?
You are fighting a constant battle.
You must be in top condition first.
PUTTING YOUR NEEDS FIRST
What is self-care?
Do what you need to do for you
FIRST – WITHOUT GUILT!
CHALLENGE SO-CALLED “FACTS”
Then what?
~ Unrealistic expectations
~ Being just ‘lucky’
~ Responsibility for others’ feelings
~ Unrealistic societal expectations
Perfectionist? Superhero?
Unrealistic Expectations
Are the expectations you put on
yourself realistic?
Would you expect anyone else to do as
much as you do in as little time as you
do it & as perfect as you think it
“should” be done?
When should you let it go?
From “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women” by Valerie Young, Ed. D.
Achievements History
“All we want are the facts”
1 – W r i t e d o w n t h e e v i d e n c e o f y o u r c o m p e t e n c e . L i s t a l l o f
t h e t h i n g s y o u ’ v e a c c o m p l i s h e d i n y o u r l i f e ( b i g o r s m a l l ) .
E i t h e r y o u d i d i t o r y o u d i d n ’ t . I f y o u d i d i t , w r i t e i t d o w n .
2 – L a t e r , n e x t t o e a c h a c h i e v e m e n t n o t e t h e r o l e l u c k ,
t i m i n g , c o n n e c t i o n s , o r y o u r o w n p e r s o n a l i t y m a y h a v e
p l a y e d i n y o u r u l t i m a t e s u c c e s s . T h e n w r i t e d o w n t h e
s p e c i f i c a c t i o n s y o u t o o k t o t a k e f u l l a d v a n t a g e o f t h e s e
c o n t r i b u t o r s .
3 - N e x t t i m e s o m e o n e g i v e s y o u a c o m p l i m e n t o n y o u r w o r k
s a y , ‘ T h a n k Y o u ’ , t h e n s t o p t a l k i n g .
N o q u a l i f i e r s , n o t h i n g e l s e .
This exercise is from “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women” by Valerie Young, Ed. D.
Maybe a little, but not “just” lucky
Were you just lucky?
Every successful person has been lucky in
their life – likely multiple times.
It’s a skill to know when to run with the ball
when it’s passed to you.
Stop being responsible
Are you passing up opportunities
because you don’t want someone else
to feel bad?
Others’ feelings are their
responsibility, not yours.
Societal Expectations are Crap
“Real” women only….
Recognize when cultural/societal
expectations are harming you and
others.
Take hope – you’re not alone!
“ Y o u t h i n k , ‘ W h y w o u l d a n y o n e w a n t t o s e e m e a g a i n i n a m o v i e ?
A n d I d o n ’ t k n o w h o w t o a c t a n y w a y , s o w h y a m I d o i n g t h i s ? ”
~ M e r y l S t r e e p
“ I h a v e w r i t t e n e l e v e n b o o k s , b u t e a c h t i m e I t h i n k , ‘ U h o h ,
t h e y ’ r e g o i n g t o f i n d o u t n o w . I ’ v e r u n a g a m e o n e v e r y b o d y , a n d
t h e y ’ r e g o i n g t o f i n d m e o u t . ” ~ M a y a A n g e l o u
“ A t a n y t i m e I s t i l l e x p e c t t h a t t h e n o - t a l e n t p o l i c e w i l l c o m e a n d
a r r e s t m e . ” ~ M i k e M y e r s
“ A n y m o m e n t , s o m e o n e ’ s g o i n g t o f i n d o u t I ’ m a t o t a l f r a u d . ”
~ E m m a W a t s o n
Be empathetic – with yourself
What kinds of demands are society,
yourself, and others placing on you?
No wonder it feels so difficult!
Resources
Research more on this topic:
http://staciefarmer.com /impostor-
syndrome-resources/
Thank You!
Stacie Farmer
W e b D e v e l o p e r & L i f e l o n g I m p o s t o r
@FarmerCode
staciefarmer.com

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Impostor Syndrome - You're Not Alone (Focus Group for OpenWest 2015)

  • 1. FOCUS GROUP L E D B Y STACIE FARMER Impostor Syndrome You’re Not Alone
  • 2. I m p o s t o r S y n d r o m e i s t h e p e r v a s i v e f e e l i n g t h a t w h a t e v e r s u c c e s s o r a c c l a i m y o u m i g h t h a v e , it’s all a cosmic accident , a n d o t h e r p e o p l e really are much smarter and more successful than you . What is it?
  • 3. E V E R Y T H I N G I S S U B J E C T I V E “ b a s e d o n o r i n f l u e n c e d b y p e r s o n a l f e e l i n g s , t a s t e s , o r o p i n i o n s . ” Why is it so pervasive? CULTURE
  • 5. *But especially marginalized groups Who suffers from it? Image by xkcd - http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/385:_How_it_Works
  • 6. SELF-CARE How can we start combating it? You are fighting a constant battle. You must be in top condition first.
  • 7. PUTTING YOUR NEEDS FIRST What is self-care? Do what you need to do for you FIRST – WITHOUT GUILT!
  • 8. CHALLENGE SO-CALLED “FACTS” Then what? ~ Unrealistic expectations ~ Being just ‘lucky’ ~ Responsibility for others’ feelings ~ Unrealistic societal expectations
  • 9. Perfectionist? Superhero? Unrealistic Expectations Are the expectations you put on yourself realistic? Would you expect anyone else to do as much as you do in as little time as you do it & as perfect as you think it “should” be done?
  • 10. When should you let it go? From “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women” by Valerie Young, Ed. D.
  • 11. Achievements History “All we want are the facts” 1 – W r i t e d o w n t h e e v i d e n c e o f y o u r c o m p e t e n c e . L i s t a l l o f t h e t h i n g s y o u ’ v e a c c o m p l i s h e d i n y o u r l i f e ( b i g o r s m a l l ) . E i t h e r y o u d i d i t o r y o u d i d n ’ t . I f y o u d i d i t , w r i t e i t d o w n . 2 – L a t e r , n e x t t o e a c h a c h i e v e m e n t n o t e t h e r o l e l u c k , t i m i n g , c o n n e c t i o n s , o r y o u r o w n p e r s o n a l i t y m a y h a v e p l a y e d i n y o u r u l t i m a t e s u c c e s s . T h e n w r i t e d o w n t h e s p e c i f i c a c t i o n s y o u t o o k t o t a k e f u l l a d v a n t a g e o f t h e s e c o n t r i b u t o r s . 3 - N e x t t i m e s o m e o n e g i v e s y o u a c o m p l i m e n t o n y o u r w o r k s a y , ‘ T h a n k Y o u ’ , t h e n s t o p t a l k i n g . N o q u a l i f i e r s , n o t h i n g e l s e . This exercise is from “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women” by Valerie Young, Ed. D.
  • 12. Maybe a little, but not “just” lucky Were you just lucky? Every successful person has been lucky in their life – likely multiple times. It’s a skill to know when to run with the ball when it’s passed to you.
  • 13. Stop being responsible Are you passing up opportunities because you don’t want someone else to feel bad? Others’ feelings are their responsibility, not yours.
  • 14. Societal Expectations are Crap “Real” women only…. Recognize when cultural/societal expectations are harming you and others.
  • 15. Take hope – you’re not alone! “ Y o u t h i n k , ‘ W h y w o u l d a n y o n e w a n t t o s e e m e a g a i n i n a m o v i e ? A n d I d o n ’ t k n o w h o w t o a c t a n y w a y , s o w h y a m I d o i n g t h i s ? ” ~ M e r y l S t r e e p “ I h a v e w r i t t e n e l e v e n b o o k s , b u t e a c h t i m e I t h i n k , ‘ U h o h , t h e y ’ r e g o i n g t o f i n d o u t n o w . I ’ v e r u n a g a m e o n e v e r y b o d y , a n d t h e y ’ r e g o i n g t o f i n d m e o u t . ” ~ M a y a A n g e l o u “ A t a n y t i m e I s t i l l e x p e c t t h a t t h e n o - t a l e n t p o l i c e w i l l c o m e a n d a r r e s t m e . ” ~ M i k e M y e r s “ A n y m o m e n t , s o m e o n e ’ s g o i n g t o f i n d o u t I ’ m a t o t a l f r a u d . ” ~ E m m a W a t s o n
  • 16. Be empathetic – with yourself What kinds of demands are society, yourself, and others placing on you? No wonder it feels so difficult!
  • 17. Resources Research more on this topic: http://staciefarmer.com /impostor- syndrome-resources/
  • 18. Thank You! Stacie Farmer W e b D e v e l o p e r & L i f e l o n g I m p o s t o r @FarmerCode staciefarmer.com