Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. Now this isn’t an easy post to write as it’s something that sits quite close to our hearts. Imposter Syndrome is something that we all face, ESPECIALLY amongst Psych Grads; however have you ever thought of ways that you can reduce this feeling? This is an issue that even we are faced with however; we have identified strategies that have helped us. That’s why within this post we will explore 3 ways in which you can Reduce Imposter Syndrome and take your development to the NEXT LEVEL!
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Ask Lots of Questions
This has to be one of the best ways to reduce the feeling of Imposter Syndrome. It’s very hard to feel a fraud when you’re trying to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. One Clinical Psychologists that we spoke to, talked about how surprised she is when Psych Grads don’t ask her questions when asked to complete a task. Majority of Psych Grads that we speak to have this INSANE mentality that they have to be perfect which ultimately leads to the feeling of being an imposter.
Believe me, I have experience in this as back when I was a support worker I had this same mentality. This ultimately led me to potentially end my career before it had even started. I thought I had to be perfect at all times and the asking of questions was seen as weakness, and proof that I had no idea what I was doing. This appeared to be working until I was presented with a decision to make that I wasn’t sure about and instead of asking questions, I simply made the decision on my own. This was by far one of my biggest regrets as that lead to putting a service user in jeopardy. This taught me the lesson to always ask questions.
PsychAssist Tip: ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS! Even if you think you know what you’re doing as this will alleviate some of the fears you may have. Many Psych Grads think the same way that I used to think however, sooner or later this will backfire on you.
Now this may seem similar to the previous point however, being transparent is a completely different skill set to have. As we mentioned earlier, many Psych Grads think they have to perfect within this field which is most likely the cause of imposter syndrome. Nevertheless, by being honest with your employer that you’re on a learning experience, the feeling of being an imposter should soon disappear. Believe us when we say, a career in psychology is much more enjoyable and beneficial when you open up to your colleagues. I usually start a sentence with “I know this may sound stupid but…” which demonstrates that you’re transparent and trying to learn.
PsychAssist Tip: This is an amazing way to alleviate the feeling of Imposter Syndrome and also a great way for people to help you when you’re feeling stuck. By being transparent and open, there’s no chance of people assuming you know more than you do.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking, “The last 2 points don’t exactly demonstrate confidence” but this could be used to reduce the feeling of being an Imposter. I’ll tell you a little story. There was a time where I felt like a complete fraud which meant I would second guess every decision I made. As you can imagine, this was becoming an issue in terms of developing clinical decision-making. There was no way I could carry on doubting myself until I realised that I needed to develop some self-confidence. Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying to make every decision in solidarity however, there are times when you must have confidence in your decision.
PsychAssist Tip: After careful consideration, MAKE A DECISION! By not doing this, you’re allowing the build-up of Imposter Syndrome. Use the tips that we’re giving you however, when you have that gut feeling (and using your clinical judgment), have confidence in your ability. Also, just keep in mind that they chose you for the role for a reason. They believe that you are capable of doing the job properly which includes making clinical decisions. Take this as a vote of confidence and remember, if you’re unsure, just ask.
THANKS FOR READING THIS WEEKS ARTICLE BY PSYCHASSIST! TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE AMAZING ARTICLES TO HELP PSYCH GRADS GET AHEAD IN PSYCHOLOGY!!!