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The ol' frenemy, imposter syndrome

Let’s talk imposter syndrome.

I had a session with a high-powered manager yesterday. He manages about 100 employees across a very large global company. In our conversation he described how he frequently feels imposter syndrome as a manager. Now, this is a man who has had many years of managerial experience, is highly intelligent and qualified to do what he does, and yet here he is feeling imposter syndrome.

As speech pathologists we often feel imposter syndrome when dealing with complex patients or in a new setting or position. We often know our stuff but it’s easy to feel imposter syndrome frequently. I can remember back to feeling this strongly when I was a clinical extern and even more so starting out in my clinical fellowship. I felt like I was having to fast forward to be an expert already especially in my specialized voice placement, however I was in a brand new context and role and felt often like a fish out of water in those beginning weeks and months. Even if I knew the content from my courses it felt foreign to apply. I had thoughts like:

▫️Was I good enough to be there?

◽️Did I have enough knowledge?

▫️Could I really help this patient?

I knew my skills but imposter syndrome found its way in.

So how do we remedy this?

🔹Mindset and trusting your clinical intuition

🔹Finding a great mentor (or a few) that you can trust and rely on to build confidence in your softer critical thinking skills

🔹Recognize that you’re not supposed to know everything even though we often feel like we’re expected to know IT ALL even when just entering a clinical fellowship position. Yes, many are highly coveted and specialized and fast paced with high expectations. BUT:

🔸Ask questions

🔸Recognize the learning that’s happening and

🔸Be okay with not knowing everything (that’s what the placements are FOR)!

Want to know more about my journey with how mentors (and serving as my own mentor) were helpful in beating my imposter syndrome? Catch me on the Early SLP Career panel at The Fall Voice Conference on 10/24/20 or contact me to chat!

I'd love to connect, network, or learn how I can be helpful in your journey!

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