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?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

First step is to remove the label of your behavior as a syndrome and instead understand the reasons for it.

"Imposter syndrome" sounds like a name someone made up to write a book and have lots of people buy it bc it gives the feeling they know themselves by calling themselves this name.

Instead, consider your own unique qualities including your fears of being recognized as adding value to people's lives.

If you were told growing up that you're worthless, or if your chosen career goes against family advice and expectations, or if you simply are a shy person, then these would be the starting points to understand your reluctance to believe in yourself.

The more you understand yourself and trust the truths you find as to who you are, the less you will feel fraudulent.

Good luck in your career work!

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.
Rossana Magalhaes
Rossana Magalhaes
Couple & Family therapist

It would be very helpful to identify with you eventual pattern where the imposter syndrome is more or less present. Are there specific situations where you've noticed the feelings of "I'm going to be found out as a fraud" becoming more strong? It seems that shaking this feeling is very important to you. In my opinion, before shaking that feeling, we need to get closer to it and understand its roots. If you would like to get closer to the feeling, you might consider asking yourself questions such: "What is the trigger for this feeling? How does it feel in the body? What is the thought process I engage with after noticing this feeling? All the best. Rossana Mag.

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.
Samantha  Osborne
Samantha Osborne
Encouraging and Compassionate

It sounds like you are on the right track. Recognizing these nagging thoughts of self- doubt as "imposter syndrome" is a huge step in the right direction.  From what you have written here, it appears that you are able to challenge your own thoughts and provide yourself with evidence that counteracts the imposter syndrome.   Continuing to remind yourself of what you have accomplished and looking at the facts at hand can help diminish doubt.  Remember, many successful people battled imposter syndrome on the way to the top (and still manage it).  It might be helpful to read some of their stories so that you don't feel alone.  "The Cut" has a great article on "25 Famous Women on Imposter-Syndrome and Self-Doubt".   Business Insider has a great article about men and the imposter syndrome too.  

Remember, if you jumped through all of the hoops to get into school and get published-- you belong. 

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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