Imposter syndrome is not new.
No, I’m not talking about a condition that secret agents get after they retire but an actual phenomenon that has been studied by social psychologists since the 1970’s.
An article in the New York Times online website caught my eye, it was called “Feeling like a Fraud? At Times, Maybe You Should”.
It mentioned how graduate students and other professionals often have fears they are faking their competency and only received high marks or success from being lucky.
Their fear of failure is so strong they often think they do not belong in their program or profession.
Women are especially prone to this condition but there are men who feel this way too.
I feel this explains why some of us in graduate school often have moments of doubt. It’s very difficult to convince a person they have the skills to succeed when they think they are faking their success.
So I think in order to help resolve these feelings we should include some professional or self-development classes as part of the graduate programs. Not just optional classes or workshops that graduates must take outside of regular class times.
If it works well, we may see less graduates having a hard time at the start of their programs.