You may have come across the term “imposter syndrome” at some point in your life, and chances are you’ve heard it used in the context of how it may affect some professionals in their careers. But the fact is that it’s quite common among graduate students as well. Research suggests that up to 70% of adults may experience it at least once in their lives. In this article, we’ll share some 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 that it’s important to know how to recognize it. It can impact your academic performance by decreasing your confidence and taking energy away from your studies. The important thing is to remind yourself that you have accomplished so much already and earned your place in your graduate program.
Imposter syndrome is a term used to describe a common phenomenon that can bring on feelings of self-doubt and incompetence, often coupled with a fear of being discovered as a fraud. Those who experience imposter syndrome often feel they aren’t as intelligent or accomplished as their peers, downplaying their successes, and attributing them to external factors such as luck or timing.1
This phenomenon is a lot more common than you might think. In graduate school, imposter syndrome can manifest itself as comparing yourself negatively to other students and can leave you wondering if you are smart enough or deserving enough to be there. It affects your self-confidence and adds unnecessary stress to your life.