Do I really belong here? Learning how to deal with imposter feelings
Do I belong here? There’s been a mistake – I couldn’t possibly have been chosen for this great program. All of the others here are so accomplished! Am I even capable of doing this work? I’m a fraud; I bet they’re all thinking it. They’ll probably ask me to leave any minute now…
Does this sound familiar? Have such questions ever haunted your thoughts? If yes, then you’ve fallen victim to the dreaded imposter syndrome. Even if you’ve never heard of this, it’s quite possible that you’ve struggled with imposter feelings – feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, feeling like a fraud and that all your past accomplishments and success were due to luck and had nothing to do with your skills or intellect.
Imposter feelings are, unfortunately, extremely common in academia; far more common than is recognised or discussed by universities globally. Their negative effects are often amplified by a hypercompetitive academic environment that is riddled with failure and rejection, an intense pressure to publish, and uncertainly around securing and maintaining an academic position. Such feelings can be debilitating and can result in poor mental health of those experiencing them.
To help you stand up to your imposter feelings, we’ve invited Gareth Dyke, long-time researcher and academic, to talk about the imposter syndrome and share his experience dealing with it. Gareth feels that we’ve all had such feelings but it’s important to identify and deal with them, because how we deal with them and interact with others often determines the course of our careers.
In this session, Gareth will:
- Talk about his personal experience of dealing with the pressures of academia, securing an academic position as an ECR, writing papers, and winning funding
- Share his own experience with imposter feelings and the pressure to succeed – he first experienced these as an undergraduate, while facing competition for PhD positions
- Talk about how imposter feelings can severely affect your life, mental health, and performance as a researcher
- Discuss approaches to deal with feelings of inadequacy, failure, rejection, and crisis management
- Explain how to turn perceived negatives into positives – essential for ECRs
Date: February 24, 2021
Time: 9 AM EST
About Dr. Gareth Dyke:
Paleontologist, prolific scientific author, long-time researcher and academic with 20 years of experience, Editor-in-Chief of Historical Biology
Gareth is a prolific scientific author and has been writing and publishing research articles and working as an academic for more than 20 years. He has published more than 280 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including in Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy (USA). His research has been widely covered in the media and he is often invited to present talks and lead workshops around the world, most recently in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Colombia, Spain, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Gareth is a regular contributor to The Conversation, and has also written numerous news and other popular articles in Scientific American and New Scientist.
He manages the Taylor & Francis journal Historical Biology as Editor-in-Chief. Gareth has mentored students at all levels (Masters, PhD, Adult Education) and has developed a large range of in-class teaching techniques. He has worked in the US, Ireland, and the UK – including more than 20 years as a full-time university academic (University College Dublin, National Oceanography Centre University of Southampton).
These days, Gareth creates professional development training and content as Head of Training for TopEdit Author Services. His background, successes and failures as an experienced researcher and mentor mean that he is uniquely positioned to teach and advise with authority on all aspects of the scientific publishing process, grant writing, personal development, and academic life.