Overcoming impostor syndrome and a sense of academic failure
A workshop about failure led by Dr. Emily Troscianko


South Hall 2635
If you’re bothered by recurring feelings of failing or being an impostor (who’s always right on the brink of being uncovered), in your professional and/or your personal life, this workshop is for you. We’ll start right from the beginning, with what you actually feel, and we’ll build up a systematic framework for doing far more constructive things with the feelings than our defaults tend to allow for. We’ll cover:
  • why failure and impostor syndrome matter (in academia), and how they relate to anxiety and perfectionism;
  • what you want to be different;
  • how to start classifying your feelings into useful categories;
  • how to put failures into perspective (in the wider context of now, and as now relates to the rest of your life);
  • failure and fraudulence: you, your career, and other people;
  • shared and individual actions that make a difference;
  • how you’ll know when you’ve succeeded in making a difference.
To prepare for the event, you’ll be asked to complete a failure/impostor-related tracking exercise and to follow the instructions provided to create your own CV of failures.
During the event, it’ll be important for you to be as open as you can about the realities of what’s going on for you. The difficulty of doing this is of course part of the problem the event is designed to address, but your willingness to overcome the secrecy and the associated shame and stasis will be crucial to achieving anything. The event will be configured so as to make this kind of openness feel as safe and supported as possible.
The event is open to all graduate students at UCSB; places are limited to 20. Email Aili at apetterssonpeeker@ucsb.edu by April 25 to sign up.

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