15 February I am a fraud, I am an imposter
Sometimes you have had the sensation of which you are not as intelligent as your parents create?
Sometimes you think that in fact you are mediocre and that good extractions notes in the examinations because you have luck?
You have arrived at your limits, you will not be able to continue deceiving to you: in fact you are not good student. You are normalito. No, you are rather clumsy.
It looks at those companions who remove best notes. They raise the average and a world costs to you to arrive at the cutoff grade. You will never get to be as them. You begin to feel envy, even hatred. That makes you feel worse person¦
Perhaps in fact you do not serve so you are studying.
IT STOPS! YOU ARE IN AN ERROR
You do not worry, you are not raro/a. Those sensations of unsuitability are very frequent and some statistics at some time describe it in a 30-40% of the students of their lives. In a study done on Internal Medicine residents, around a 43% imposters felt (1).
In 1978, Clance and Imes, two clinical psychologists, gave the name him of imposter phenomenon. At the moment more with the name syndrome of the imposter is known.
WHAT IS THE SYNDROME OF THE IMPOSTER?
It consists of the belief that we are less able than we have pretended until now and in a short term of time the professors and our family are going it to discover. This belief persists in spite of the opposite evidence, as the simple fact that you have been able to be passing the studies course to course.
Initially it was described in women who secured professional high performances, but that felt inadequate and anxious on their profits. More ahead it was observed that these feelings also affect the men.
Between the students he is very frequent to find this at some time of life academic syndrome. In a fast investigation in Medline and Google, there am shortage several articles on this subject in magazines of infirmary, and special mentions to these feelings between foreign residents that are working in Canada (1). Also in Afro-American favored by special programs of academic and labor insertion.
One says that this syndrome often appears in people who secure great profits, in students who usually remove good notes. But in spite of the evidences, these students think that they obtain it thanks to the luck; or to external help; or because the rest of companions has studied little.
WHY IT APPEARS THE SYNDROME OF THE IMPOSTER?
I cannot make an exhaustive compilation of the psychological theories that they are behind this syndrome, since I have not studied it so much. But there are some factors that draw attention to me and they remember my experience to me:
- It is easy that they arise in new surroundings, according to Valerie Young, expert in this subject. So that you can have undergone it when home your university race. A new place, matters that never you have studied, majors exigencies¦ is easy that until the best student of the institute it doubts itself /a until learns to handle itself in its new context.
- Familiar labels of superiority: if during the school and the institute you have been a surpassed student, your parents will have spoken with pride of your capacities and of your intelligence and you will have believed in them. But when home the university you have tripped over the hard reality of the new subjects, the hard university professors, the classrooms full of tens and tens of students¦ You can doubt seriously than your parents told you.
When the race begins; when it is arrived at the clinical subjects, different from all the previous one; when a subject is crossed to you that you do not like, it is normal to have difficulties! The matter raises a step, and little by little you learn to surpass that step: takings better notes, you find better books in the library, to memorise more information for the examinations.
But many students remain with the initial sensation of incapacity and fear, and they do not realize of which no longer she has sense to thus continue feeling. He is as if a small boy continued feeling fear to loosen of the hand of his mother when he already has been months walking. But the small children lose the fear and continue advancing, and end up running and jumping.
HOW TO SURPASS THE SYNDROME OF THE IMPOSTER
- Often it is sufficient with giving account to you of which you are having those feelings of automatic form, and to learn to detect them as soon as they appear.
- To comment it with companions and friendly that also have gotten it to suffer serves as help. When it give account you of which he is something current, it loses part of his threatening power. Until the same Einstein it doubted his merits towards the end of his days. If you do not dare to speak it openly at the moment, it reads on other people who have suffered it. Richard Felder, an engineering professor that has published numerous articles on the education of this field, suffered the same this syndrome and during its race as professor helped his students to surpass that anguish.
- He breaks with the automatism: he looks for in your memory your passed triumphs, your shining works written, those examinations that you embroidered, that one subject that you were able to explain your friend and he allowed him to approve. Without a doubt they are there, or you would not have arrived where you are now. Ponlos and reviews them in writing from time to time.
- It dates account from a thing: he is not the same incompetent being who to feel incompetent. Some think that if you feel something with force, he is real, and it is not thus. Valerie Young specifically works this aspect with its clients.
- He accepts the praises that arrive to you from professors and good friendly. If they do them to you, he is because you have done something well. Ponlos and compares them with your sensations in writing, so that little by little you are improving your perception of the reality. David Dunning, an expert in social psychology of the University of Cornell, has demonstrated in several studies that we are very bad at the time of judging to us same. We leave then that helps those us that is near us.
- Forget to you to be perfect. There is nobody perfect one! All those shining sportsmen or professors or investigators to those who we admired have had to work very hard to arrive where they are, because there was a little while in that still NO-TENAN-NI-IDEA. Federer and Nadal, two of the best tennis players of the world, even continue losing started off in their better seasons. It accepts that you either will not be able to take all the subjects perfectly to the examination. It does not pass anything if you approve some subject by the hairs. Beam accounts: your average at the end of the race will be seen very little affected.
Still memory how much it weighed to have removed only approving to me in Anatomy I, English, Psychiatry and other subjects¦ How much I thought that it was going to influence in my race¦ Nothing else far from the reality. My English was bad during the University and improved during the residence, allowing me to work in England. We learn day after day. If we are kind, we can learn new things continuously. That is, indeed, which causes that to live it is worth the trouble: to know more, to be better, to persecute illusions.
HOW YOU HAVE SURPASSED YOUR BAD SENSATIONS DURING YOUR STUDIES? YOU ARE STILL IN IT? ANIMATE TO COMMENT AND TO PARTICIPATE TO YOU
- Legassie J1, Zibrowski member state, Goldszmidt MA. Measuring resident well-being: impostorism and burnout syndrome in residency. J Gen Intern Med 2008; 23:1090-1094