Welcome to February!  

This month’s book club is diving into the issue of negative self-talk and we will be discussing ‘The Imposter Cure: How to Stop Feeling Like a Fraud and Escape the Mind-trip of Imposter Syndrome’’ by Jessamy Hibberd.

Imposter phenomenon – as it was originally coined by Clance and Imes in their groundbreaking study ‘The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women’ – was described by the researchers as an internal state of mind where a person believes that they are unintelligent, unsuccessful and incompetent – although this is incongruent with the views others have of them. So, within their study, Clance and Imes found that professionals who were respected within their field did not experience what they described as “an internal state of success”.  They instead felt incompetent and that they would soon be ‘found out’ by others.   

This type of Imposter syndrome is incredibly common in postgraduate researchers.  People with great academic track-records who have been accepted onto higher level programmes feel like they don’t know what they are doing and that they don’t belong and the effects can be extreme – causing paralyzing fear and, in some cases, people abandoning the PhD altogether.  

Hibberd’s book is not specifically aimed at postgraduate researchers but there is much in the book that is useful to those on a PhD journey.  The book is arranged in 3 parts:

  • Understanding imposter syndrome
  • Why you are not an imposter
  • How to say goodbye to imposter syndrome for good.

The book outlines the common aspects of imposter syndrome – including the ‘imposter twins’  overworking and avoidance – as well as looking at ways to turn down the volume on the negative self-talk.

If you are struggling with imposter syndrome at the moment;

  1. Know that you are not on your own
  2. Recognise that there are structural and cultural dynamics that are at play in you feeling this way – it is not all in your head!
  3. Look to understand how this is showing up for you.  If you don’t have time to read the book you might want to listen to our podcast episode with Valerie Young who wrote another excellent book on this subject:  https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/overcoming-the-imposter-syndrome-with-valerie-young/id1537420258?i=1000498836941
  4. Identify small shifts you might make to move forward – we will be talking about this within the book club session.

We will be meeting on Thursday 16th February at 8pm.  You do not have to have read the book to join the session.  It is usually a great discussion!

You can save your seat here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/518699964557

If you are struggling with negative self-talk at the moment you might want to join us for ‘The PhD Perfectionism Re-set’.  This 5 day challenge will help you to identify negative patterns and take positive steps to get out of your own way and make real progress with your PhD!

You can find out more here:  https://emmab.kartra.com/page/perfectwaitlist

Or just hit replay to this email if you would like to chat with me and see if the programme would be right for you.  

Wishing you a fabulous February!