“Imposter syndrome, or feeling like a fraud at work, at home, school, or anywhere else in your life will affect us all at some point..”

As I was riding the bus headed to campus, I pulled out my Women’s Health magazine and zoned out for my 25 minute ride. While skimming through the pages I encountered an article that hit very close to home for me titled, “Release Self-Doubt” and immediately this looming thought came into mind; starting a PhD is no joke! You would think that all should be good considering I already have two master’s under my belt, well this is academics on another level. Since moving to the Bay Area and attending UC Berkeley, I’ve been wondering, ‘How did I get here? They picked me out numerous applicants?  Wow I’m actually here!’

“Hasn’t anybody else noticed that I don’t belong here?”

I have realized and come to grips that no matter how many great things you achieve there is always that moment of doubt, even if it is a shadow of doubt.  So when I found this article, I actually did a happy dance and breathed a sigh of relief because this was not a battle that I was only facing. I would find the article very helpful and motivating, and so I figured I would use her four tips, remix them a little and share them with you! Check it out.

Step 1: Embrace moments of doubt
Doubt is inevitable, but it’s what you do afterwards that counts. It’s okay to think things through, or even ask for advice from others. Know that it is alright if everything is not all together.  We are human and to be perfectly honest, it is not the end of the world. I am learning to come to grips with that more and more everyday. Fears and doubt will make their entrance, however it’s a matter of you embracing the moment, investigating the situation, and then moving forward. No use in being stagnant.

Step 2: See beyond the setback
This is really simple.  When faced with an obstacle, use it as an opportunity to mature and grow. I know it may sound cliché, but focus less on the negative and more on the positive. Claim your victory and speak it into existence.

Step 3: Find a mentor
This is probably some of the best advice right here. Why go through this battle alone? Seek out folks (nothing wrong with having more than one mentor) who can give you steps to be a better you, someone who can be a “cheerleader”, and at the same time be a listening ear. Find someone that you see a little bit (or a lot) of in you. Their words and/or actions can do amazing things for your mind, body, and soul!

Step 4: Never aim for perfect
Be realistic about yourself and what you can and cannot do. Perfection is great, but don’t beat yourself up if it is not immediately reached. Life is an on-going journey. Be the best you can be, but acknowledge that you do make mistakes and use them as learning tools. Celebrate the big AND little wins.  A win is a win right?! Focus on being a better you however long it takes! No need to rush!

Trust yourself that you can get beyond the wall of doubt.  With time, you will learn to be resilient and changes will happen! I speak from experience.  In just a few weeks, I am beginning to see a difference in my thoughts and actions. When you consistently take charge of YOU, it leaves no room for the “Imposter Syndrome” monster to make a move.