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Overcoming impostor syndrome

portrait photo of Valerie Young
Image credit: Courtesy Valerie Young
Nov 7 2019
Events, Stanford, Students, VPGE

A high-pressure, high-stakes environment like Stanford can sometimes make a person doubt themselves and think “I’m not good enough, I don’t belong here” or “I’m not really that smart.”

There’s a name for the feelings that lead to these thoughts. It’s called impostor syndrome.

“It’s the unconscious belief that – deep down – we’re not as bright or capable as others seem to think we are,” said Valerie Young, a leading expert on the condition. “So we’re left with this fear that we’ll be found out.”

The condition is experienced by millions of people around the world and across all fields and industries. In a talk at Stanford on Nov. 14, Young will explain the condition, offer tips for overcoming it, and assure students and postdocs that there is a cure.