banishing your impostor: metacognition and myths of self.

Gave me peace of mind, so thought I’d share.


Lately I’ve noticed an alarming number of people in my personal/work orbit discussing the severity of their respective cases of impostor syndrome. I’ve struggled with this well-documented phenomenon for as long as I can remember, due as much to deference-oriented gender socialization as to the wiring I received while reared in the Texan cult of independence that holds self-sufficiency preeminent above all things. This conditioning was only augmented by the attainment-obsessed environment of higher education in which I have operated as a worker, making career-as-proving-ground the only formal professional metaphor I know.

My experience is not unique, and is far from exclusive to academic careers. Instead, it is the tip of a polluted cultural iceberg. Impostor syndrome is one of many manifestations of the submerged self-doubt that plagues (the vast majority of) people in hyperindustrialized societies, particularly the US. The experience varies among subgroups and individuals, but IMO our…

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