Do you ever find yourself questioning your achievements, doubting your abilities, or feeling like a fraud despite evidence of your competence? If so, you might be experiencing “imposter syndrome.” Imposter syndrome is a common challenge for students in online programs, impacting self-confidence and motivation.
One of our Chegg Skills career coaches puts it well by saying, “imposter syndrome is like sugar cravings. We’ll never completely get rid of it, but we can get a handle on it and make choices that will minimize its effects.”
So, sweet tooth aside, how do we tame our imposter syndrome?
- Notice all the ways in which imposter syndrome can show up. Your self-awareness is incredibly helpful here. Did you know that perfectionism, stagnation, paralysis, avoidance, and distraction are all symptoms of imposter syndrome? Be gentle to yourself and remember that 70% of people struggle with imposter syndrome in some form. You aren’t alone here! Remind yourself of your strengths, capabilities, and resilience. Treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and patience throughout your learning journey.
- Acknowledge that you are not in an unworkable situation. An amazing way to lift the fog of imposter syndrome is to realize you can do something about it. You are not at its mercy. In fact, it can be an extremely valuable asset because it will help you drive action, make positive changes, and build resiliency. There’s a lot of great resources out there including podcasts, articles, and books. Here are two great places you can get started: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Unmasking Imposter Syndrome.
- Seek support and build connections. Don’t face imposter syndrome alone! Share your concerns with those who understand the challenges of online learning, such as fellow students or your Chegg Skills mentor. By building a network of support, you'll realize that you're not alone in your struggles and that everyone has their own insecurities.
- Embrace setbacks as a learning opportunity. Imposter syndrome often stems from a fear of failure. Shift your perspective and view failure as a natural part of the learning process. Recognize that making mistakes or encountering setbacks doesn't diminish your worth or competence. Instead, see them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Embrace a growth mindset, where challenges and setbacks are viewed as stepping stones toward mastery. Celebrate small wins and lessons learned along the way.
- Set realistic goals and practice positive self-talk: Setting small goals is essential for combatting imposter syndrome. Break down larger objectives into smaller, achievable milestones. While working on these goals, practice positive self-talk by replacing any negative thoughts you may have about accomplishing your goal with empowering affirmations. Accomplishing these goals will boost your confidence and help fight those worrying feelings of being an imposter. Remind yourself of your strengths, capabilities, and resilience.
In a world where self-doubt can creep into even the most accomplished individuals, imposter syndrome can be a big barrier to success and personal growth. but with awareness and actionable strategies, you can overcome it and thrive in your online program! Remember, you are not an imposter, but a capable and deserving individual on a remarkable learning journey. Embrace your uniqueness and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
Need some additional support conquering imposter syndrome? Your Student Success team is here to help!