There’s an abundance of information available on the imposter syndrome but during a fascinating interview with Dr Fiona Wood, on the fab podcast, Don’t Stop Us Now, I got a fresh insight into the value of healthy self-doubt, and how it might lead to strengthened performance.
Co-host of the podcast, Greta Thomas, asked Fiona how she deals with self-doubt – here’s a summary of her response:
It’s interesting, because I think it’s normal. I think, like many things, extremes of emotion can be corrosive and destructive but … to bowl up to work every day (thinking) you’re the best thing since sliced bread, and believing it, it’s possibly not healthy either. To wonder whether you’ve got clay feet now and again is probably not a bad idea.
But to be crippled where you may think you’ve got this facade in front of you and you’ve nothing behind, clearly is pathological.
The middle road … a healthy regard … an understanding that you might not have the answers to everything is not at all a bad thing. Some days you think … How can I actually do this job? Do I know enough about this? How can I actually improve? How can I work out how to do better?
That vulnerability is actually a strength … and connecting with others, whether it’s locally or internationally, or (connecting through) the literature or a different specialty - then you learn. The people that don’t think they need to learn anything I think are a little dangerous. The people who have a little bit of healthy self-doubt, I’m very comfortable in that space.
This brief observation was a fraction of the program and I really do encourage you to listen to this terrific interview with an innovative, wise, brilliant and humble Dr Fiona Wood. Happy listening!
Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash