Just like that summer is coming to an end. The fun care free attitude is now being replaced by the anxieties and what if’s of the fast approaching school year. If you were like me as a high schooler, the excitement of the new school year was often over shadowed by self-doubt and worry as to what the school year will bring. Will I get good grades? Who will I hang out with at lunch? Will my friends be in my class? Will I make varsity? Behind these what if’s is often an underlying feeling of self-doubt and questions about your own ability to cope and manage the demands of the upcoming year.
Having gone to University High School, a high school in the shadow of a 4 year University the demands of school work coupled with navigating the ever so sticky high school social landscape was a recipe for high levels of self-doubt and anxiety. This self-doubt often expressed itself in what could be called the “student imposter syndrome.” The “imposter syndrome” is nothing new, it’s the idea that one can look good on “paper” or in this day and age “Instagram” but still suffer from high degrees of self-doubt and anxiety. The inability of one to internalize previous success and pull on your inherent strengths to boost confidence is a culprit behind the student imposter syndrome. Hence, as images and thoughts of the upcoming school year swarm they are often tainted by the failures of times past or imagined failures of what’s to come. This in turn leads to a feeling of “faking” it and high degrees of self-doubt, self-criticism and anxiety. Luckily this school year doesn’t have to be full of self-doubt and worry; instead this chronic questioning of yourself and the future can cease to control you if you change a couple of thinking habits that keep you stuck. Read More