“But Patricia said her initial reaction to this news wasn’t pride or excitement—it was shock. She went as far as to suggest that the professor regrade the exam. She was so full of self-doubt that, even when presented with direct evidence of her abilities, her first instinct was to question it.
To a lot of you, this might sound familiar. If you’ve ever had a voice in your head telling you that everyone in the room must be smarter than you, that your success is due to luck instead of skill, or that the proper response to a compliment is a counterargument, you’ve experienced the symptoms of impostor syndrome, too.
Impostor syndrome strikes all kinds of people, but evidence suggests it’s especially prevalent among those who are underrepresented in their fields—for example, women and minorities working in tech. When you’re the only woman or person of color in the room, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the wrong room. As Proday Founder and CEO Sarah Kunst puts it, ‘There’s a saying about succeeding in the face of systemic oppression—’you have to be twice as good to get half as far.’ Impostor syndrome says the opposite, that somehow you are half as good and got twice as far undeservedly.’”
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