Group: Women's Caucus/Resources/Imposter Syndrome

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Imposter Syndrome

  • Imposters feel that their success is related to luck or some other outside force -- Imposters feel that the success of their peers is a result of skill.
  • Feeling like an imposter is not necessarily about self-esteem -- This phenomenon is found in a lot in highly successful, driven women in academics and sciences. It has to do more with being a perfectionist or self-critical.
  • Imposters are less likely to put their work up for evaluation for fear of being outed -- They tend to fly below the radar.
  • Some studies indicate that some men also suffer from imposter syndrome.

You think you're an imposter -- now what?

  • Recognize what you are feeling -- Notice when you are feeling like a fake/imposter and that this feeling is common with many other women in Free Software and the high-tech industry.
  • Recognize that you are not alone -- It's ok to talk about feeling like an imposter with mentors, friends, or other support networks.
  • Reframe failure as a learning opportunity -- Be kind to yourself and forgive your fumbles, then move on.
  • Don't wait for validation -- Remind yourself of your skill set and qualifications; don't base your feelings of success on feedback from others.