In Part Two of this special edition of the show we call “The Writer’s Brain,” a guest series with neuroscientist Michael Grybko, we dig into a phenomenon known as “impostor syndrome,” an experience many writers struggle with.
The experience known as “impostor syndrome” has been recognized in over 70% of the population across a wide range of demographics. Everyone from bestselling authors, to A-list celebrities, and even genius-level scientists, have all admitted to feeling a kind of isolation from not wanting to be outed as a “fraud,” even though they’re far from it.
And it’s not just limited to high-achievers; it’s been found in men and women across a wide variety of groups, including those about to launch a new creative project or career, teachers, students, entrepreneurs, and many others.
Across all demographics, success tends to create an even deeper sense of the impostor experience, and although not considered a clinical psychological syndrome, the effects can be debilitating to writers at any level of experience or professional standing.
These feelings of self-doubt can snowball if not addressed, and leave you with a sinking depression, anxiety, and a sense of dread at taking on new or challenging tasks.
Luckily, research scientist Michael Grybko returned to the podcast to help me find some answers about the origins of anxiety in the human brain, and how to address the impostor experience from both a scientific and layperson’s perspective.
If you missed previous episodes of The Writer’s Brain you can find them all in the show notes, in the archives at writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you tune in.
And if you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here.
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In Part Two of this file Michael Grybko and I discuss:
- Why the “writer as athlete” trope undervalues the power of the human brain
- Small steps you can take to rewire your anxiety
- How writers can harness their interactional expertise to beat impostor experience
- Why you don’t need a PhD to sound like an expert
- Tips and tricks for overcoming your unfounded self-doubt
- Why a page a day keeps the impostor syndrome away
Listen to The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience below ...
The Show Notes
- If you’re ready to see for yourself why over 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — just go to StudioPress.com
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part One: Creativity
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Two: Empathy
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Three: Storytelling
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Four: Writer’s Block
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Five: Fake News
- What Happens When We Turn the World’s Most Famous Robot Test on Ourselves? – Evan Selinger for The Atlantic
- How a Famous Robot Test Can Help You Beat Impostor Syndrome – Kelton Reid for Copyblogger
- Sociologist fools physics judges – Nature (International Journal of Science)
- How to Outsmart Writer’s Block with Neuroscience – Kelton Reid for Copyblogger
- This Is Your Brain on Writing
- The Physics of Productivity – James Clear
- Kelton Reid on Twitter