The deep roots of impostor syndrome

Impostor syndrome is widespread amongst women and can have a negative effect on their careers. Where does it start, and what can we do about it?

"I don’t belong here. I'm a fraud. I’ve tricked my way into my position, and it’s only a matter of time before someone finds me out."

Unless by some small chance you happen to be a professional con artist, the above is likely not true. But those kinds of thoughts will strike a chord with around seven out of ten people reading this.

“With every good grade I was afraid that I didn't deserve it, and had somehow fooled the examiners,” said Daniela, a physics PhD at the University of Sussex, who first experienced anxiety during her bachelor’s degree. It only intensified during her master’s.

“The feeling of not being good enough, not living up to the expectations and having managed to trick my application committee for the PhD into believing I was good enough was overwhelming. I'm a really self-critical person, and with those feelings on...

 

 

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