Impostor Syndrome | Mid-Week Ramble #1


Finally, I'm here with the start of my Mid-Week Ramble series, I hope you enjoy! As the title indicates this will be a bit of a ramble but nonetheless I hope you find some of my rambling entertaining

Impostor syndrome. I feel like this phrase/word is popping up a lot in my life at the moment. So I thought of it as an indication that this would be a good chance and time to have a discussion about it. Since that is why I started this Mid-Week Ramble series for.

So let's start off easy with the definition for imposter syndrome...


An image of the dictionary definition of impostor syndrome. Which is, the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been a result of one's own efforts or skills.
I for one definitely have experienced this impostor syndrome in practically every area of my life. From blogging to academia it just seems to be this lurking shadow ready to knock me down every time I think I've got back on my feet and am doing well.

So with this idea in my head of what I might be feeling, of course, I set off on a google search to see if I was really the only one feeling this way.

Shocker or not but it's been estimated that up to 70% of people have experience or shown signs of impostor syndrome. 70%!!! That's insane, why are we not talking about this more. It's like its slipped its way under the rug and situated itself there where it goes unnoticed. But some of us are cleaning under the rugs and ready to uncover this topic. Particularly as a woman I feel like I should speak about this more with an estimated two-thirds of working women experiencing impostor syndrome at some point in the workplace.


We need to overcome this feeling of not being worthy of our own success!


But online statistics don't always feel real. You look at them and think 'well none of my friends has been voicing feeling like they don't deserve things they definitely deserve so how can it be 70%', so a while back on Twitter, I ran a poll asking how many of you experience impostor syndrome.


A snippet of a twitter poll asking if people have experienced impostor syndrome. 76% said yes and the rest were either no or did not know what impostor syndrome was.

Though I do have to disclaim that the majority of people who this reached are mostly female and within the science field, which could have a whole other post dedicated to impostor syndrome in it, it does kind of solidify the point more. And to those who don't know what it is I hope this post gives you a little more insight into what it is.


We all feel like frauds.



So why are we all feeling like impostors in our own lives?

Personally, I think there is no solid answer. We try to teach ourselves that our work is of value but at the end of the day we are all our own biggest critiques and will never settle for anything because we never think it is our best. Like in both on my placement and when doing blog work, I'm never 100% happy with what I'm coding or writing, so in my mind why am I being paid to do it. But it's the fact we are still doing it, that we have to get into our heads and with that that we deserve to be paid a more reasonable amount.

Despite many of us feeling like impostors though, hardly any of us are actually talking about it.
It never really hit me how much we don't talk about what is affecting us until at CAPS19 in July where a few of us were discussing this impostor syndrome. And how at one girl's university they actually discuss openly with students and lecturers this constant feeling of that the work they are producing is not very good and isn't going anywhere. For me, this seemed strange. At my uni, this is not something that is never mentioned, though I'm sure a vast majority of us experience it. Like I can not be the only one out of the 40 odd students on my course that is feeling like their grades are more based on luck than skill.

However recently I have been opening up about it more to the one friend who is still on campus, especially since it has been affecting me more on my work placement. There have been many times where I don't feel like the work I'm producing is worthy of what I'm being paid even though I'm completing every task and my boss is happy with the results. So I'm curious to do you discuss feeling any way similar to this with your friends or do your teachers/lecturers/mentors bring this thing to the forefront of your minds? I'm not sure really what impostor syndrome is, I'd love your input on what you think it is and where it has risen from.

I want this series to be a discussion on these topics I bring forward, so if you're up to it I'd love to see your views in the comments or maybe even a blog post in response to this post. If you do let me know and I'll check them all out.

There's probably a lot more I could write about impostor syndrome and I've only really brushed the surface on it in this post but as much as this is a waffle of a post, I don't want to waffle on too much. Maybe after having more talks about it, I'll update you all on what I find out and how I'm trying to overcome it.

- Sophie

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