Does imposter syndrome ever go away?

When asked to blog about my alumna adventures, I couldn’t bring myself to write before I got my assignment results back from my MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology course at the University of East London.

Imposter syndrome is my perception that I am not as good as other people think I am and that I will eventually be ‘found out’.  I’ve had it forever. It used to stop me from achieving anything for fear of failure, but now imposter syndrome helps me rather than conspires against me. I got distinctions on my assignments though, so I am very aware any condemnatory thoughts are unfounded.

However, imposter syndrome is linked to perfectionism and I guess it is that little voice (I call it Jeff) that keeps pushing me to persevere with assignments, until I am absolutely certain I have covered everything and don’t want to look at them ever again.

I keep the marking rubric next to me while working and have the assignment question in full view to make sure I stay on track. Because I can easily go off on tangents. This will come as no surprise to those who know me well.

So, while not particularly pleasant, perhaps Jeff deserves acknowledgement for those distinctions. If I were more confident about my abilities, perhaps I would give up sooner, or become complacent or arrogant about my capabilities. Perhaps I could even be grateful for imposter syndrome? Thank you, Jeff. Maybe I couldn’t have done it without you. Although I do hope to find out one day : )

Already, Jeff is not-so-quietly doubting the quality of work on my next assignments, despite me researching 40 hours a week.

Nonetheless, Jeff and I are thoroughly loving our academic journey. My journey in higher education scratches an intellectual itch I thought I would never be able to reach. I am the first person in my family to graduate from university. I also thought I would never be able to commit to a 4 year degree at Warwick, let alone another year on top of that at UEL. I am even considering my PhD at some point. I have a love of learning (actually one of my top VIA character strengths) that will ensure my education is a lifelong adventure. I guess I’ll stop growing and learning when I stop breathing.

While I do have an idea where my path leads after graduation this Summer, it is unfolding one mindful step at a time. Until my graduation, I am offering some free coaching sessions (valued at £300) to help increase my hours for accreditation. If you are interested, please contact me for more details hello@JulesSparkles.co.uk

I am also building my coaching portfolio by volunteering to coach 16-24 year olds and attending workshops to develop my skills to coach clients who are neurodiverse. I am creating an online positive psychology training programme and attending as many free online webinars as possible to develop myself as a coach and integrated positive psychology practitioner. I want to train as a Laughter Yoga teacher and continue my druid training to become a celebrant.

I am prioritising my physical and psychological health and wellbeing and relationships that nourish me. I surround myself (virtually) with fun, supportive, uplifting friends and look forward to the day I can physically hug them all again.  Apart from that, I’m not up to much!  XD

And my message to anyone else with an appendage like Jeff is – YOU ARE CAPABLE!  Make imposter syndrome your friend. Develop self-love and compassion. Learn to love life as it shows up, and as there doesn’t seem to be much to laugh about at the moment – laugh for no reason! I’ve just written a blogpost on the benefits of laughter at www.JulesSparkles.co.uk

If applicable to you, I wish you and your Jeff a wonderful working relationship together!

Onwards and LOLwards on all your adventures xXx

About the author

This blog was written by alumna, Jules Sparkle, who completed the 2+2 degree pathway in July 2020.

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