Imposter Syndrome

This is for all the PhD students (from my university) who ask me for advice every week.

“I feel like I cheated myself through this PhD project”.

“I feel like I am worth nothing”.

“I am afraid to apply for a post-doc job. Who will hire me?”

“I applied for the post-doc and they invited me. Now I am scared that they find out that they made a mistake”.

This is terrible to hear to hear. Every single time. And every single week. All of these PhD students are amazing, smart people.

There is no person in the entire world that has never thought “Am I good enough?” or “Can I do it?”.

Celebrate all (small) wins: the submitted/ accepted paper, the experiment that worked out well, the award. You did not get there by chance. You did get there through hard work and because you are good at what you are doing.

Find a mentor or someone who gives you feedback and advice, when you feel a bit lost.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You will be surprised to see how many new things you are capable of doing  and learning new things is really fun too.

Think of 3 things you are grateful for every day and maybe write them down. Reading this in the future will give you many valuable insights.

Every once in a while, look back and acknowledge how far you have come already within a few months or half a year.

Don`t pay too much attention to “that negative email or comment”. Mostly this has nothing to do with you as a person.

To all the PhD students I have talked to in the last couple of weeks: You are amazing! Keep going! I know you can do it.

-by Anna Schueth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *