Author Archives: Hugh Kearns

Do I dare?

One of my favourite poems is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. Here’s an extract:                   These lines so accurately describe doubt. How in just one minute we … Continue reading

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The job hunter

I’ve coached many people who have stunted their careers because of an overdeveloped imposter syndrome. “I’ve reached the top of my level and would like to get a higher level job. People are encouraging me to apply for jobs. I … Continue reading

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Beginnings and transitions

Beginnings and transitions are a very common time to experience imposter feelings. It might be starting a new job or a new project, teaching a new topic, or learning a new skill. Naturally, at the start of any new project … Continue reading

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We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves with others but despite that we’re often not very good at it. For example, here are three comparisons that people regularly make. Apples and oranges A new PhD student compares their first … Continue reading

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The hidden benefit of procrastination

We all procrastinate occasionally (well, quite often actually) – we put off writing the assignment, we avoid making that difficult phone call, we do the housework instead of paying the bills. That’s pretty normal. But some people use it as … Continue reading

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Perfectionism leading to procrastination

This is where you set high standards for yourself. But not just high standards – stratospheric standards. The presentation can’t be just good. It has to be the best presentation in the conference. Or that novel you’re planning to write … Continue reading

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Prepare for mistakes

A danger time for imposter feelings is when something goes wrong. When you make a mistake. This is likely to send a shiver through your imposter body and stir up all the imposter fears. So it’s a good idea to … Continue reading

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Well, what do you expect?

What do you expect of yourself? What do others expect of you? What do you expect of others? Through this tangle of expectations we form our view of ourselves and the world around us. And if you don’t meet these … Continue reading

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The imposter syndrome at university

Claire “I can clearly remember my first day at university. It was terrifying. I was a mature student. As my kids got older I went back to high school and did well. The teachers suggested that I should go to … Continue reading

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CV of Failures

On 23 April 2016, Johannes Haushofer, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University in the US, used twitter to release a CV of failures. He did this because he noticed that in our CVs we highlight … Continue reading

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