Thoughts on Post-Conference Feelings and Imposter Syndrome

Hello everyone, I posted this thread on my social media sites, and it received some attention, so I thought it might be worth sharing here, and I will also elaborate a little more because I can do that in a blog!

It started as just thinking aloud, so I began with “Important post-conference reminder (mostly for myself, but I though it might help someone else):” but it has evolved and many people seemed to find it helpful. I hope you do too!

It is wonderful to be engaged in a field where I am able to meet others and get excited about their projects and ideas for the future! I am privileged to have such opportunities, so I want to get everything I can out of them. Importantly, then, I want to concentrate on keeping the joy that comes from these events and not let it feed imposter syndrome!

It is easy, especially when I am feeling melancholy after a wonderful conference ends, to make a harmful transition from “these people are remarkable and I am fortunate to meet them” to “I’m not as remarkable and I don’t know if my project is worth doing”. Ideally, I want to sit with the first thought, and avoid the second.

This is difficult, though, especially for introverts. It is okay to feel sad and even a little depressed after “being up” for several days. It is normal, and many people experience the same feeling. Allow yourself to be sad, this is part of life. The trick is to allow yourself the time you need to recover without allowing this sadness to combine with the thoughts that are harmful.

These times of recovery are often the times when doubts are most likely to come up. I struggle with this a lot! I will give you some things that I have learned to help myself, though I still struggle, and maybe they will help you!

Things to remember:

  1. Forgive yourself: it is okay to be sad. This just means that you have enjoyed the past several days and the people you have met!
  2. Thoughts like this are something that a lot of people struggle with. Remember that rebounding will happen, these thoughts are temporary!
  3. Most importantly, reaching out to others is the best way to help imposter syndrome!

Talking about imposter syndrome doesn’t make the feelings go away entirely, but knowing that you are not alone eases a lot of the stress and anxiety associated with it.

If you don’t have anyone to reach out to, message me!

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