Impostor Syndrome : page 1........A publication of Talent Development Resources .

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Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome

The Impostor Syndrome goes beyond lack of confidence. Everyone experiences bouts of self-doubt from time to time and especially when attempting something new.

But for impostors self-doubt is chronic. You can feel self-doubt without experiencing shame at performing poorly as impostor do.

It’s also possible to doubt your abilities without believing that you ultimately succeeded because of some sleight of hand or that you are fooling others.

A person could have normal jitters before, say getting up to give their first speech, do well, and then draw from this experience to feel more confident about the next time.

The impostor doesn’t think this way.

Because no matter how well you did or how loud the applause, you always think you could have done better or that you just had a “good audience” with no real bump in confidence.




Twenty years of well documented research by leading expert in motivation and personality psychology Carol Dweck and author of my new favorite book Mindset, confirms what I’ve been saying for years.

Namely that for better or for worse, your perceptions of what it takes to be competent, has a powerful impact on how you measure yourself and therefore how you approach achievement itself.

Dr. Valerie Young - from  her site :

How to Feel As Bright and Capable
As Everyone Seems to Think You Are

handbook / ebook / CD program - from
Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome


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Nicole Kidman on shyness & feeling like an impostor

Once they actually started making "Bewitched," Will Ferrell [as Darren] says he tried to be "as silly as possible around Nicole whenever I could think about it. It helped me feel not nervous." ...


"He would make me giggle," says Kidman, with a laugh. "I'm very shy. With someone like Will, with a comedy like this, when dealing with people so adept with it, I felt like a fish out of water.

"They're going to look at me to fire me. Which is what I always think anyway. He would coax me out of my shell."

> from A witch with a new twitch By Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2005

> related page:...introversion / shyness


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The Imposter Phenomenon is an internal experience of intellectual phoniness that seems to be prevalent among high-achieving persons, with particularly deleterious effects on women…

It is an emotionally debilitating condition characterized by persistent and unwarranted anxiety about achievement, dread of evaluation, fear of failure and exposure, inability to internalize success, and lack of enjoyment of accomplishment and achievement.

The Imposter Phenomenon - as defined by the “Women’s Studies Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition” ed. Helen Tierney, 1999

> from article The Imposter Phenomenon - By Emily Rothman

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Jodie Foster

When I finished "The Accused," I thought I had done a really bad job. It was so over the top. I thought it was going to be the end of me, so I started getting ready to go back to graduate school. 

But the success of the movie made me rethink my decision. I threw myself headlong back into acting, thinking that I had not given it everything.


*from book:* Great Women of Film
by Helena Lumme, Mika Manninen

Many women with notable achievements also had high levels of self-doubt which could not be equated with self-esteem, anxiety, or other traits, and seemed to involve a deep sense of inauthenticity and an inability to internalize their successes.

They often had the belief they were "fooling" other people, were "faking it" or getting by from having the right contacts or just being "lucky." Many held a belief they would be exposed as frauds or fakes.

Jodie Foster said in a tv interview.. that before her Oscar-winning performance in "The Accused" she felt "like an impostor, faking it, that someday they'd find out I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't. I still don't."

With this fear, those who feel like impostors often "play safe" by avoiding exposure through competitiveness and intellectual challenge. They hide their talents. In at least one study, for example, qualified female students declined invitations to participate in honors programs, because of their perceived intellectual inadequacies.

from article Gifted Women: Identity and Expression
by Douglas Eby

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All I can see is everything I'm doing wrong that is a sham and a fraud. I look at [my performances in movies] like, "Ugh, Don, you missed that. You weren't there in that moment. You liar!" 
Don Cheadle  [Los Angeles Times Nov 14 2004]
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"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

This.. question that opens the tale of Snow White.. is the question that forms the core of most quest stories written for women and girls, and it is the question that serves most forcefully to blind us to our strengths." 

Kathleen Noble, PhD - from article 
Entitled to Be Exceptional  - by Douglas Eby

"We don't look in the mirror very often because we're frightened we won't see very much. We're not that special. We're not that good. We're not that smart. 

"It's the old imposter syndrome. But the fact is, we're all filled with naturally recurring patterns that make us unique -- they're called talents. 

"And our charge is to bloody well use them." 

Marcus Buckingham - from article Do You Know Your Own Strength? - by Polly LaBarre [Fast Company]

photo : Miranda Richardson as Queen Elspeth in Snow White

 
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Almost six years ago, before I was given the incredible opportunity to be in 'Leaving Las Vegas', I was going through a long period of artistic confusion. I'd spent years doing work that hadn't pushed me enough, and I was beginning to wonder if I had any talent. 
This book helped me recall why I loved being an actress and why I had to continue. 

I'd become disconnected from the childlike play that art could be. I was spending so much time fearing I wasn't good enough that I lost the sense that my artistic expression was worthy. 

This book is a wonderful step-by-step way to reclaim your youthful love of creating and your faith in yourself.

Elisabeth Shue*----[O - The Oprah Mag., Mar.2001]

about the book: The Artist's Way - by Julia Cameron

 
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There's always that feeling of "Oh, God! One day they'll find out that I really have no idea what I'm doing." 

Samantha Mathis  ... [Seventeen, June 1992]

 
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You're not like the others. You don't measure up. You're not good enough. You don't know for certain when it began, though you may have some clues. But for some time now, you've been different. 

You're not as good as they are. You're not as competent. You don't have what they do. You're not sure how many people know of your inadequacy, but you suspect that quite a few do. Even if they never put it in words, you fear that they know.

from book: **Robert J. Furey.  You Are Good Enough : Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

 
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How many of us don't even start our dream, because we figure we'll never get 'good enough' at it to make any difference at all? 

How many of us give up along the way because we'll never be the expert that so-and-so is?

Yet, here is the ironic little truth that blows all of these perceptions away. 

You cannot become a master until you actually take the leap, do the work, make several thousand mistakes, and live to tell about it.


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Experience is truly the only thing that makes experts so expert.**

Suzanne Falter-Barns 
,,,,her book:**How Much Joy Can You Stand A Creative Guide to Facing Your Fears 
and Making Your Dreams Come True

founder of coaching services site:  HowMuchJoy.com

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IMPOSTOR PHENOMENON: In the past few years I've begun studying what Pauline Clance (1985) has called "The Impostor Phenomenon." 

She uses this label to refer to persistent feelings that one has fooled others into believing that one is smarter/more competent than one really is. Impostors fear "discovery," are perfectionistic, and have trouble internalizing success.

My students and I have found that impostors report low levels of voice (see Susan Harter's work) across many of their relationships. Data from my longitudinal study suggest that, while they perform well academically, impostors -- perhaps because they rarely feel that they can act naturally -- have trouble forming supportive friendships, even after several years.

I've also found that female impostors tend to have strongly conflicting "possible selves." Possible selves are mental constructions of how we think we might be. Ought possible selves refer to how we think we should be, and Ideal possible selves refer to how we would like to be. 

Impostors have communally oriented ought selves, that appear to stem from stereotypical conceptions of femininity, and agentically oriented ideal selves, that resemble stereotypical conceptions of masculinity.

Psychology professor Julie K. Norem, PhD - from a Wellesley College page about her work

 [photo: Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent going undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant - in the movie Miss Congeniality]


related pages:.........identity..........self-esteem / self concept

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Maybe it was natural, too, that she [Rachel Weisz] felt guilt. 'Guilt, yes, I am very good at that.' The thing about guilt, she explains, is that you don't have to have done anything wrong. 'I can feel guilty about anything.'

But her guilt was specifically bound up with her success. 

'Any success - getting a good degree, getting an agent, getting on TV. As if somehow by doing well, I was depriving someone else of something - it could be anyone, sister, mother, friend And it all became a bit too much. I didn't feel I had the right.' 

It is a strange notion this, that things are ours by right. It is not by right that we are born beautiful, not by right are we clever. It wasn't even as if her parents were dumping guilt on her. 

'On the contrary. My dad always says that he thinks my generation had it harder than his, because for us there are no moral boundaries.' Guilt was just something she imbibed with the air - guilt about being beautiful, being bright, being successful.

from "Talented, clever, sexy... and guilty" by Suzie Mackenzie [Guardian Unlimited guardian.co.uk March 22, 1999]

related article:.....Shame - by Douglas Eby

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more :....impostor syndrome : page 2: quotes articles books......

related pages:.......giftedness characteristics..........identity..........self-esteem / self concept

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