No matter how far you are in your career or how many accolades you’ve amassed, there’s a chance that you’re occasionally struck with imposter syndrome, the dreadful feeling that you’re not as accomplished as others perceive you to be.
“If you leave it unchecked, imposter syndrome can talk you out of taking risks or pursuing amazing opportunities in your career,” says Sian Proctor, a geoscientist who is also an artist and poet. She uses her afro-futurist space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry.
Sian was a guest on the latest episode of season 7 of the Design Better Podcast. She talks about using StrengthsFinder tests to maximize collaboration across teams and the need for active allies to get more women of color into space programs. Sian also answers questions about what it was like going to space and whether she believes aliens are out there.
During the conversation, Sian shares the internal conversation she has with herself to combat imposter syndrome, and it’s a script that you can use, too.
“First, understand that imposter syndrome stems from fear and the unknown,” Sian says. Ask yourself a series of questions:
- “Where is it coming from?”
- “What am I afraid of?”
- “What is the worst that can happen?”
- “What is the true risk?”
“A lot of it is based on the unknown and how well we will be perceived among others or our ability to perform in high-stress environments,” Sian says.
But once you have this conversation with yourself, you can start to dismantle these feelings of self-doubt and feel more empowered.