I Am Good Enough: Dealing with Impostor Syndrome

Posted on behalf of the Ryerson Student Scholars and Convocation and Awards Office

Are you a high achiever filled with self-doubt? If you are faced with anxiety that you are going to be “found out” despite your competence, accolades and general success, don’t worry. Many of the most successful people have had to fight with self-acceptance. This is a common feeling understood as “imposter syndrome” and it can be overcome.

The Convocations and Awards Office, sees a lot of capable students get knocked down by anxiety. But, “Impostor Syndrome” can be beat.  If you interpret your nervous energy as excitement you will be well on your way. Nobody is perfect and in fact, sometimes attempting perfection can leave you immobile. Famed Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, has this to say about perfection,“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

So, some of the brightest minds have to overcome the temptation to make everything an oeuvre. Not everything is going be a masterpiece. Accept it. Chances are that if you are reading this then you are familiar with the hard work and dedication needed to be successful.

imposter syndrome

Part of battling anxiety is about re-orienting the way you think about what’s causing you trouble

So what exactly is “Impostor Syndrome”? It is a condition that affects all sorts of people, from entrepreneurs to students, that makes them think they are not worthy. Sound ridiculous? One way to combat Imposter Syndrome is to take time to reflect on your achievements; self-reflection is important for emotional growth. 

Listen to a sit-down interview we conducted with one of the President Circle of Scholar recipients, Sadia Mehmood, a first year Biomedical Science student, to learn more about overcoming Impostor Syndrome.

You can also check out this resource on writing a great reflection paper for your application for an award.