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Feeling Fraudulent

It's a common phenomenon among graduate students, promotion recipients, award winners, and others who achieve unexpected success - no matter how hard they've worked for it. The overwhelming and secret feeling that recognition is undeserved and surely, a mistake has been made, the universe will change it's mind. I'm talking about Imposter Syndrome.

According to this article on Psychology Today, "25%-30% of high achievers may suffer from imposter syndrome" because those who experience it "struggle with self-efficacy, perfectionism, and neuroticism." Okay, great. So what do we do about it? How can we overcome our imposterism?

To start, we need to remind ourselves that we have worked hard and earned any recognitions or accolades which come our way. That we truly belong in our respective academic or professional environments. In addition, we need to identify a peer or colleague we can turn to for support and reassurance when our insecure doppelgangers make their presence known.

If you're a writer, like me, I encourage you to read the article on Psychology Today. Write your demons. Get those foul-mouthed bastards out of your head and trap them on the page. And, throw that page away. Or at the very least, hide it in a folder in a folder at the very bottom of another folder on your hard drive - never to be seen again.

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