Impostor Syndrome is feeling like a fraud. It's the idea that your successes are a fluke, while those of your peers are because of intelligence and ability. It's the feeling that you're in over your head and the fear of being found out. And it can be tough to shake. Because publications and scholarships - evidence against being an fraud - are dismissed as luck, the victims can be difficult to convince of their abilities. The problem is magnified during dry spells - periods when things aren't working and results are hard to come by (which are frustrating enough on their own). Sound familiar? Apparantly it's quite common. Science Careers has an article about the phenomenon:
"Impostor feelings have a way of festering silently for a long time, thanks to the difficulty of accurate self-assessment and the social stigma of asking for help. Connecting with peers anonymously can be a first step toward realising that great scientists are made, not born, and that even some of the best of them faced on-the-job doubts along the way."Impostor Syndrome is by no means limited to science, and it can lead to other behaviours such as procrastination that can compound the problem. Of course there's no quick fix either, other than a more realistic assessment of one's abilities and the knowledge that some of your peers are probably feeling the same way.
Have you suffered from Impostor Syndrome? Have suggestions how to overcome it? Share your stories.