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Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a common experience among many professionals, including foundation doctors. It is the feeling of self-doubt and insecurity despite evidence of one’s competence and success. Here are some ways to help manage imposter syndrome:

  1. Recognise and Acknowledge Your Achievements: Take the time to reflect on your accomplishments and acknowledge your successes. Keep a record of your achievements and read them when you need a reminder of your skills, abilities, testimonials or positive comments others have shared about you. It might be stored on the desktop of your laptop/computer, where you have a folder dedicated to this.
  2. Challenge Negative Self-Talk: Be mindful of the negative self-talk that may contribute to imposter syndrome. When you hear yourself saying negative things about yourself, challenge these thoughts by considering the evidence that supports your competence.
  3. Talk to Others: Talk to trusted colleagues or mentors about your experiences and feelings of imposter syndrome. They may be able to provide a different perspective and help you recognise your strengths and abilities.
  4. Learn from Mistakes: Instead of seeing mistakes as evidence of your inadequacy, see them as opportunities for learning and growth. Reflect on your mistakes and use them to improve your skills and knowledge.
  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Recognise that everyone makes mistakes and experiences self-doubt at times. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend.

Most people experience imposter syndrome. By recognising and acknowledging your achievements, challenging negative self-talk, talking to others, learning from mistakes, and practicing self-compassion, you can manage your imposter syndrome and build your confidence as a foundation doctor.

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