Friday Factoids: Imposter Syndrome

Although the imposter phenomenon is not an official diagnosis listed in the DSM, it is a very real form of intellectual self-doubt that can significantly impact one’s social and emotional well-being. Further, imposter feelings are often accompanied by anxiety and depression.


Imposter Syndrome is a fear of being discovered or unmasked. Many graduate students question whether or not they are prepared or truly worthy of doing the work that they are tasked to do. Often the work is being done well but the pervasive feelings of self-doubt, fraudulence, and insecurity dismiss successes and chalk it up to timing, luck, or a divine intervention. Imposter feelings often presents when students question how they ever got accepted into graduate school or matched through the stressful APPIC process. These students often view everyone else as a better candidate and continue to worry they don’t belong.


The following are ways to overcome imposter feelings while learning to acknowledge your strengths:

  1. Learn to accept praise.
  2. Create a visual tally of your accomplishments.
  3. Process your feelings of anxiety and inadequacies through journaling, and/or talking to trusted others.


Georgetta Harris-Wyatt, MS
WKPIC Doctoral Intern


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