You are enough!

Healing experiences of imposter syndrome and raising academic confidence

While all postgraduate researchers may sometimes encounter some degree of imposter syndrome or low confidence during their doctoral studies, this should not be a defining feature of their research experience.

This workshop aims to break down what is actually happening, mentally and emotionally, when we experience imposter syndrome or when our confidence takes a hit within our research journey. By drawing from studies on imposter syndrome, positive psychology and positive intelligence, the session will lead participants through a discussion of why we feel the way we feel, and show them how to start noticing the internal and external factors that trigger and influence these feelings.

We will then explore practical, grounded methods for meeting these moments of self-doubt and low confidence with self-kindness and equanimity. Further, the session will offer participants clear, guided steps to recall and recognise their strengths, acknowledge their accomplishments, and thereby raise their confidence, both within the PhD and in their wider career and life.

This session will also include some element of coaching. Some participants (whoever are willing) will be invited to share any challenges they are current experiencing around feelings of imposter syndrome or lack of confidence; I will then offer customised coaching to move them through these feelings and to find actionable steps they can take to sustain their confidence throughout their doctoral journey.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will have learned:

  • what is actually happening (mentally, emotionally, in the brain) when they experience feelings of imposterism or low confidence
  • the external and internal factors that influence these fluctuating feelings throughout the PhD
  • practical steps for recognising when these feelings arise and responding to them in more helpful ways
  • practices for maintaining a level of confidence throughout the PhD

Workshop details

  • One hour and 30 minute workshop
  • This workshop can be conducted in person or online
  • Maximum attendance: 30 participants