You may have come across the term “imposter syndrome” at some point in your life. Maybe you have heard of it in the context of how it may affect professionals in their field, but the fact is that it is quite common among graduate students too. Research suggests that up to 70% of adults may experience it at least once in their lives. In this guide, we will share helpful tips for developing resilience against imposter syndrome.
Why think about imposter syndrome in the context of graduate school? Because imposter syndrome is so common, it’s important to know how to recognize it. It can often impact your grad school performance because it can lower your confidence and take energy away from your studies.
Imposter syndrome typically brings on feelings of inadequacy and fear of being found out as an imposter, often downplaying your own expertise and achievements.1 The important thing to realize is that you have accomplished so much already, and you have earned your place in your graduate program.
Imposter syndrome brings on feelings of self-doubt and incompetence coupled with a fear of being found out as a fraud. People who experience imposter syndrome often feel as though they aren’t as intelligent or accomplished and that they achieved their success because of external factors such as luck or timing.2
This phenomenon is common, and research suggests that up to 70% of adults may experience it at least once in their lives.
In graduate school, imposter syndrome manifests itself as comparing yourself negatively to other students, wondering if you are smart enough to be there and thinking that surely your professors will find you out soon enough. It affects your self-confidence and adds unnecessary stress to your life.
Below are some common strategies you can use to help develop resilience against imposter syndrome: