Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast

Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast

Impostor Syndrome is a nasty beast that preys on us at all levels of our careers. But there are times when we are particularly vulnerable to its lures. Learn how to recognize the beast when it starts to sneak up on you, and more importantly, what to do about it! You will leave this talk armed with tools for fighting off Impostor Syndrome, and the confidence to strut into your next meeting, standup, or job interview. Once you’ve learned to slay the beast, you’ll be ready to just slay, in general.

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'Tine Zekis (she/her/hers)

September 07, 2019
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Transcript

  1. Impostor Syndrome Slaying the Beast

  2. ‘Tine Zekis – she/her/hers @tinezekis Software Engineer; Impostor Oh, Hey!

    2
  3. Impostor × A thought pattern in which a person diminishes

    their own accomplishments, often attributing their successes to luck × This is coupled with a fear of being discovered to be a “fraud”, or not as capable as they appear to be 3 @tinezekis
  4. Impostor Syndrome Origin Story 4 @tinezekis

  5. The Impostor Phenomenon Dr. Pauline Rose Clance Photo from Dr.

    Clance’s website 1978 Clance and Imes conducted a study on—and coined the term—the Impostor Phenomenon amongst high achieving women www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_ achieving_women.pdf Photo from Psychology Today Dr. Suzanne Imes 5 @tinezekis
  6. About the Study × 5-year study of 150 highly successful

    women × PhDs in various specialties × Respected professionals in their fields × Students recognized for academic excellence × No internal sense of success × Believed achievements were a result of luck or perhaps a clerical error or other mistake 6 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  7. Impostor Phenomenon: Accompanying Symptoms × Generalized anxiety × Lack of

    self-confidence × Depression × Frustration related to inability to meet self-imposed standards of achievement 7 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  8. Impostor Phenomenon: Contributing Factors Family dynamics in childhood 1. Being

    considered “sensitive” or “charming” in comparison to an “intelligent” sibling 2. Being considered perfect, effortlessly talented 8 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  9. Impostor Phenomenon: Contributing Factors Societal factors 3. Women are more

    likely than men to have low expectations for success in many tasks 4. Low societal expectations conflict with experiences of success 9 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  10. Impostor Phenomenon: Therapies × Group therapy with other high achievers

    experiencing the impostor phenomenon × Clients see that they are not alone × Easier to spot false self-perceptions in others × Interrupt ritualistic behaviors × “I will do well on this exam” 10 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  11. Impostor Phenomenon: Therapies × “Confess” your con, and role play

    the response × “I did not give you an award in English because you charmed me. I did like you as a person, but I honored you for your outstanding work.” × “I’m angry that you think I’m so stupid that I can’t judge competence when I see it.” × “I don’t like your negating me and my opinions.” 11 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  12. Impostor Phenomenon: Therapies × Keep a record of positive feedback

    × Note how feedback is deflected, not internalized × Work on listening, taking in, and accepting it × Role-play the opposite of “I’m not bright” × Those most resistant usually have the most to gain × Most helpful in a group therapy setting 12 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  13. Impostor Phenomenon: Therapies × Take the risk to “be yourself"

    × Try not to do or say things for approval only × Expected negative consequences don’t come × More likely to accept compliments as authentic 13 Source: www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf @tinezekis
  14. Limitations of the Study × Only women studied × Large

    focus on gender binary × White researchers; mostly white participants × Intersectionality coined 11 years later by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw × Many marginalized groups not covered 14 @tinezekis
  15. Normalizing Impostor Syndrome It’s not just you! 15 @tinezekis

  16. Normalizing Impostor Syndrome × My most recent experience: × Speakers

    are accepted for 1 in 10 talk submissions × I assumed my conference acceptance rate would be lower than average × Applied to 40, trying to get 2 × Acceptance rate was double the average, not half × Now I’m an overbooked, pregnant lady! 16 @tinezekis
  17. Normalizing Impostor Syndrome × Affects people at all levels of

    their careers × Not at all an indication that a person is untalented or undeserving of their successes × Many notable badasses have described their own Impostor Syndrome 17 @tinezekis
  18. “You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the

    top and shout, ‘I made it!’ You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful. Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling Slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other. ” Amy Poehler Decorated actress, director, producer, & writer 18 @tinezekis
  19. “No matter what we’ve done, there comes a point where

    you think, ‘How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?’” Tom Hanks Award-winning actor & director 19 @tinezekis
  20. “I have written eleven books, but each time I think,

    'uh oh, they’re going to Find Out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to Find me Out.’ ” 20 @tinezekis
  21. Being A How do we recognize Impostor Syndrome when it

    starts to sneak up on us? 21 @tinezekis
  22. Impostor Syndrome Warning Signs × You have difficulty accepting praise

    × You’re an over-worker × You feel the need to be the best × You’re described as a perfectionist × The fear of failure can paralyze you 22 Source: www.powerofpositivity.com/11-signs-you-have-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-fix-it @tinezekis
  23. Impostor Syndrome Warning Signs × You avoid showing confidence ×

    You actually dread success × You compare your struggles and obstacles to those of others × You associate praise with charm over actual talent 23 Source: www.powerofpositivity.com/11-signs-you-have-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-fix-it @tinezekis
  24. Impostor Syndrome Warning Signs × You focus more on what

    you haven’t done × You’re convinced you aren’t enough 24 Source: www.powerofpositivity.com/11-signs-you-have-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-fix-it @tinezekis
  25. Impostor Syndrome Quiz Check each statement that applies to you

    q 1. I don’t deserve my success 2 points q 2. What success? I’ve done nothing with my life 4 points 25 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  26. Impostor Syndrome Quiz (Continued) q 3. When someone criticizes me,

    I know they’re right 2 points q 4. When someone compliments me, I punch them in the neck 8 points 26 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  27. Impostor Syndrome Quiz (Continued) q 5. I am equally afraid

    to fail and afraid to succeed 4 points q 6. I see all opportunities as a trap 6 points 27 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  28. Impostor Syndrome Quiz (Continued) q 7. Anything I accomplish is

    90% luck and 10% luck 8 points Now tally up your points and we’ll go over results 28 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  29. Impostor Syndrome Quiz Results 30+ points I’d tell you how

    great your Impostor Syndrome is but I don’t want you to punch me 29 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  30. Impostor Syndrome Quiz Results (Continued) 20-29 points Your Impostor Syndrome

    is okay, not great, just okay, which is perfect really 30 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  31. Impostor Syndrome Quiz Results (Continued) 19 points or less You

    really need to work on your Impostor Syndrome, you believe in yourself too much 31 Source: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper @tinezekis
  32. Now What? Okay, I know I have Impostor Syndrome… 32

    @tinezekis
  33. It’s Time For Our… Fight Scene 33 @tinezekis

  34. Slay The Let’s build our arsenal… 34 @tinezekis

  35. Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast 1. Track your accomplishments and

    external praise 35 @tinezekis
  36. Track Your Accomplishments × Focus on what you did, not

    just the outcome × Example: × I got the job × I successfully completed the code challenge × In the in-person interview, I answered questions thoughtfully and thoroughly × I nailed the data modeling whiteboard exercise 36 @tinezekis
  37. Track Your Accomplishments × Don’t forget to review these once

    in a while × Set up a weekly reminder × Other benefits × Advocating for promotions and raises × Updating your resumé or portfolio 37 @tinezekis
  38. Track External Praise × Write down any compliment or positive

    feedback your receive × Note who gave the feedback × How did you feel about it? × How did you respond? × Review for trends × Begin to respond intentionally 38 @tinezekis
  39. Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast 1. Track your accomplishments and

    external praise 2. Catalog your skills 39 @tinezekis
  40. Catalog Your Skills × List out your skills; assets you

    bring to the table × Consider your past experiences 40 × Studying new concepts × Customer service × Communication skills × Pattern recognition × Creative problem- solving × Persuasion @tinezekis
  41. Catalog Your Skills × Stress these skills in your interviews

    × And remember them in your day-to-day × You are an asset to your team, and to your company × Even if you’re new! 41 × Fresh eyes × New perspective @tinezekis
  42. Assemble Your… Hype Squad! 42 @tinezekis

  43. Hype Squad! × A group of people who are in

    your corner × They listen to you vent × They build you up and push you to succeed × Maybe your squad is closer than you think × Start networking at meetups, conferences, and other events 43 @tinezekis
  44. Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast 1. Track your accomplishments and

    external praise 2. Catalog your skills 3. Assemble your Hype Squad! 4. Build up others 44 @tinezekis
  45. Build Up Others × The benefits of mentoring others ×

    You know more than you think you do × Your experience is valuable × You can see how far you’ve come × Normalize Impostor Syndrome for others × Remind others that they are not alone 45 @tinezekis
  46. Build Up Others × Jeff Smith × Head of Ops

    × Go-to person for…everything × Awesome, engaging speaker × Writing a book × Casually discusses his own Impostor Syndrome 46 @tinezekis
  47. Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast 1. Track your accomplishments and

    external praise 2. Catalog your skills 3. Assemble your Hype Squad! 4. Build up others 5. Embrace it 47 @tinezekis
  48. Embrace It 48 @tinezekis

  49. Embrace It × Fake it ‘til you make it ×

    There is no “making it” × So be good at faking it × Assume that no one knows what they’re doing 49 @tinezekis
  50. Impostor Syndrome: Slaying the Beast 1. Track your accomplishments and

    external praise 2. Catalog your skills 3. Assemble your Hype Squad! 4. Build up others 5. Embrace it 50 @tinezekis
  51. What’s Next for Our Heroes? 51 @tinezekis

  52. What to do Differently On Monday × Create document(s) to

    log accomplishments and/or skills × Reach out to someone you want on your squad × Remind yourself how good you are at coming across awesome 52 @tinezekis
  53. What to do Differently On Monday × Accentuate your unique

    skills × Try to see yourself how others see you × Practice confidence × Speak up in meetings × Volunteer for desirable challenges × Own the room × Take it at a strut 53 @tinezekis
  54. THANKS! Any questions? You can find me at @tinezekis &

    tinezekis@gmail.com 54 @tinezekis
  55. Credits Special thanks to all the people who made and

    released these awesome resources for free: 1. Presentation template by SlidesCarnival 2. Images by Bitmoji app and Chrome plugin 3. Impostor Syndrome definition paraphrased from Wikipedia 4. Research by Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP 5. Quotations by InStyle and Goodreads 6. Impostor Syndrome warning signs by Power of Positivity How to Be Successful… by Sarah Cooper (not free) 55 @tinezekis