Saturday, March 18, 2017

Do you sometimes feel like an imposter? 

Do you worry that the people around you may figure out that you are not as smart/funny/nice (fill in the blank) as they think you are? If you answered “yes” then you may have what is referred to as “imposter syndrome.”

Those with imposter syndrome are described as people who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and who have a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Basically, this means that individuals may not give themselves credit for their achievements and may chalk their successes up to luck, or timing, or just knowing the right people and not up to their own skills and positive qualities.

I was recently at a conference and attended a session on Imposture Syndrome. The presenters were great. They disclosed their own feelings and gave tips and strategies for dealing with internal negativity. As graduating students get ready to start their first full-time job, I thought that it was the perfect time to share some of these techniques.

1. Have a mentor (or two) who can remind you of your skills and abilities when you are having times of doubt.

2. Keep a “kudos” folder (in an old-fashioned paper folder or on your computer) and fill it with any positive feedback that you have received, whether that be in a class, on a team, or at a part-time or volunteer job. Have that handy for your review when needed.

3. Read about Imposture Syndrome. The more you read, the more you will realize how common it is. You are certainly not alone!

4. Recognize when you are feeling this way. Take a deep breath and recite a positive affirmation to yourself. Make this affirmation your motto and go back to it when needed.

5. Seek counseling if you feel that the negativity is impacting your daily life and decision making. Hofstra’s Saltzman Center is available to you at all times. You might also want to visit The Career Center to take stock of your strengths through our StrenghsQuest assessment.

Darlene London Johnson
Director of External Relations
The Career Center

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