How do I get over "imposter syndrome"?

I'm dealing with imposter syndrome in graduate school. I know that by all accounts I am a phenomenal graduate student, and that I am well-published. I am well liked by students and faculty alike. And yet I cannot shake the feeling that I'm going to be found out as a fraud.

How can I get over this feeling?

Emily Forsythe
Emily Forsythe
Helping clients be their most authentic selves

I'm sorry you're feeling this way. You've probably read articles already about impostor syndrome, but still didn't get the answers you were looking for; you probably know that lots of people feel this way, that it happens to lots of successful people in professional settings. Not helping, right?

Think about people who succeed at big tasks: an Olympic athlete has a defined goal that they need to meet: cross the finish line, say, faster than anyone else. That success is remarked upon, and - until someone does the event better than they did - they are 'the best.' Grad school, however, is not so great at discrete goals and celebrations of success. You got a good grade on an assignment, but what about the next one? You and 6 other people in your class probably got the same grade, so does that make you a success or average? 

It falls to you, then, to identify ways you are sure you've succeeded. If your grades and peer admiration aren't hallmarks of success enough, perhaps pull your measuring tool inward: measure your achievements against your own progress- ie: I got a 93 on my last assignment, I got a 97 this time! You might find those feelings fading soon~ 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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