Ep. 207: Dr. Jill Stoddard — A Better Way to Overcome Self-Doubt When You Feel Like an Imposter

My guest this week is psychologist and author Dr. Jill Stoddard, who recently wrote a book called Imposter No More: Overcome Self-Doubt and Imposterism to Cultivate a Successful Career. Jill and I had a great discussion about feeling like an imposter—why it happens, who’s likely to have the experience, and most important, how to deal with those thoughts and feelings. The solution probably won’t be what you expect because the answer is not to force yourself to think and feel differently. Most of us find that our thoughts and feelings kind of have a mind of their own, and trying to make them change is often more frustrating than successful. So if you’ve wrestled with the imposter syndrome, you’ll find this conversation really helpful. Topics we discussed included: What the imposter syndrome is Terminology: imposterism, imposter syndrome, imposter phenomenon Who is likely to feel like an imposter The lack of solid research into imposterism Possible evolutionary adaptations related to feeling like an imposter The degree to which imposterism is based on past experiences Why more success typically is not the answer to feeling like a fraud or out of place Where in our lives imposterism tends to show up most often Jill’s own experience of trying to do more and more and eventually burning out The difficulty in trying to get rid of imposter thoughts and feelings Psychological flexibility as a way to make peace with imposterism Different ways of saying the same thing in the therapy world The different meanings of fear depending on the context Thoughts that are more or less likely to be disputed effectively The difficulty in believing the good things that others see in us Jill Stoddard, PhD, is passionate about sharing science-backed ideas from psychology to help people thrive. She is a psychologist, TEDx speaker, award-winning teacher, peer-reviewed ACT trainer, and cohost of the popular Psychologists off the Clock podcast. Jill has written two books in addition to her latest one: Be Mighty, and The Big Book of ACT Metaphors. Her writing has also appeared in Psychology Today, Scary Mommy, Thrive Global, the Good Men Project, Mindful Return, and The Washington Post. She regularly appears on podcasts as an expert source for various media outlets. Jill lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and disobedient French bulldog. Find out more about Jill at her website.

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The Think Act Be podcast features conversations about finding happiness, peace, and connection. Each week your host, psychologist Seth Gillihan, talks with his guests about effective ways to face life’s challenges: What thoughts serve us well? What actions promote well-being? How can we practice mindful presence? Guests from a wide range of backgrounds share their expertise on ways to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.