the recognitions

There’s that saying “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”  Why is there a saying: “Just because there’s a phenomenon called impostor syndrome doesn’t mean you are not an impostor.”  Except, not about you.  You aren’t an impostor and if you think otherwise that’s just more evidence of how insidious impostor syndrome is.  Me, on the other hand, I’m the real deal impostor-wise.  I am the splotchy green canvas a drunk guy whipped up in a few hours and am now trying to pass myself off as a Vermeer.

4 thoughts on “the recognitions”

  1. sigh. no matter how many times i learn that it’s something common and that i shouldn’t do, i still sit around (as i have been doing for the last 24 hours prior to finally handing in an abstract for a conference) thinking “but what the hell do i know?” sheesh. i find it annoying at this point, yet i can’t seem to stop being debilitated by it.

    ironically, the best work i ever do (either in sociology or in my previous career) is when i’ve shrugged off that stupid voice and gone all “rebellious”.


  2. One of the more fun ways we used to deal with this in grad school was to take on the personality of the most self-satisfied academics we could think of. We’d sit down to write, and in our most pompous voice, we’d clear our throats and begin: “Well, it is obvious to me, but since you seem a bit confused, let me explain it to you in very simple terms…”

    Not that it ever really fixed anything, but it often got the writing started.


  3. I sometimes think that the only way to be both an academic and a well-adjusted human being is to have a bit of the impostor syndrome. Then I worry that I don’t feel like *enough* of an impostor, and am therefore one of the pompous and self-satisfied academics mentioned in #2, whom everyone secretly ridicules.


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