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Strategies for Coping with Impostor Syndrome

gtchat 11162017 Impostor

What is Impostor Syndrome? It’s feeling like you’re going to be found out that you are a fraud. You can never accept or enjoy success or accomplishment. Impostor Syndrome is at the crux of social anxiety; always feeling inadequate. “At university, impostors realize that there are many exceptional people; their own talents and abilities are not atypical. Often dismiss own talents; conclude they’re stupid when not the very best.” (Clance, 1985)

“Impostor Syndrome is when you are (mistakenly) sure that soon it will be obvious to all that you do not really belong in the gifted group.” ~ Jo Freitag, Coordinator – Gifted Resources, Victoria, Australia

Impostor Syndrome can manifest in many different ways such as perfectionism, the person who doesn’t ask for help (go it alone), or setting oneself up as an expert. Impostors can be workaholics (if they just work hard enough, they’ll succeed) or the profoundly gifted (setting the bar even higher).

Those dealing with Impostor Syndrome experience a negative impact on their psychological well-being. Burnout, emotional exhaustion, loss of intrinsic motivation, poor achievement, including guilt and shame about success are reinforced by the Impostor Cycle (Chrisman et al., 1995).

“I see a lot of the self-deprecating imposters. People that talk down about themselves to beat you to it.” ~ Kate Faulkner, Intervention and Enrichment Coordinator for Elementary Science in Sugar Land, TX.

How can family dynamics affect Impostor Syndrome? Family messages about the importance of being naturally intelligent are assumed to influence ambitions and expectations of Impostors from early childhood. (Clance ’85) Impostors have a strong need to please (Bussotti,‘90); may cause children to alter their behavior to prevent loss of affection from parents (Clance,‘85).

“Giftedness manifests in many ways. Some siblings’ gifts fit the academic paradigm, while others’ gifts may go unrecognized.” Jeffrey Farley,M.Ed.,  Principal of Odom Academy, Beaumont ISD, TX.

Perfectionism is a trait that is believed to have a marked impact on the development and maintenance of impostor fears. Impostors set “excessively high, unrealistic goals & then experience self-defeating thoughts and behaviors when they can’t reach those goals” (Kets de Vries, ’05).

There are coping strategies that can be used to overcome Impostor Syndrome. Realize you’re not alone. Many experience Impostor Syndrome; few talk about it. Consider a mentor. If you or someone you know feel overcome by Impostor Syndrome, seek professional help. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

The Five Types of Impostor Syndrome and How to Beat Them

Feeling like an Impostor? You Can Escape this Confidence-Sapping Syndrome

Is Imposter Syndrome a Sign of Greatness?

The Impostor Phenomenon (pdf)

The Dangers of Feeling Like a Fake

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

The Impostor Phenomenon: Differential Effects of Parenting and the Big-Five Personality Traits (pdf)

7 Coping Strategies to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (Amazon)

Beating the Impostor Syndrome (Amazon)

The Curious Case of Impostor Syndrome

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Island – Testing, testing …

Sprite’s Site: Pleading the Pink Slipper

7 Ways Teachers Can Push Past Imposter Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome.com

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Introducing Rigor at the Secondary Level

This chat was spirited from the very beginning. The first question asked  participants to define the term ‘rigor’ and many different perspectives were expressed. In terms of this topic, most could agree that rigor was academic challenge that needed to be tailored to the individual student. All were in agreement that more rigor was needed at the secondary level. According to Kingore, we need rigor to reverse learned ‘habits of mind’ from ‘the least I can do’ to higher-level thinking.

Instructional strategies mentioned included differentiation, Socratic learning and Problem/Project-based Learning. Students need to have increased opportunities to apply learning to real-life situations making learning relevant to their lives. Schools need to provide equitable access to many possibilities including additional rigorous courses for advanced learners. Educators need time to collaborate to ensure the organization and sequencing of curriculum.

It was noted that sometimes increasing rigor can unintentionally promote failure and frustration when it is perceived as more work, more difficult work and too fast-paced instruction. Well planned implementation was seen as key.

Although it was suggested that an increase of rigor and subsequent instructional strategies would be good for all students, it was noted that gifted students still need greater depth and complexity in their studies. A full transcript can be found on this blog.

 

Links:

Differentiating Instruction To Promote Rigor/Engagement For Advanced/Gifted Students 

Lift the Ceiling Increase Rigor with Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

Differentiation at the Secondary Level (pdf)

Increase Complexity and Rigor in Tiered Assignments

Encouraging Achievement: Igniting Student Passion for Learning (Coil) (pdf)

Before and After the Walkthrough: What to Do to Improve Instructional Rigor (pdf)

Getting Rigor Right: Academic Challenge without the Backlash of Failure (pdf)

Increasing Rigor Throughout the Lesson: Data-Driven Classroom Best Practice

Rigor Redefined

A Resuscitation of Gifted Education (pdf)

High School Reform and Gifted Students from @DukeTIP

Introduction to Curriculum for Gifted & Talented Students (pdf)

Introducing Depth and Complexity” from @ByrdseedGifted

Go Deeper! Get More Complex” from @ByrdseedGifted

Transforming Textbook Questions” from @ByrdseedGifted

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