Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is one’s own perception of themselves. With this perception, an individual might doubt themselves. Further, there might be fear. It may seem like others know more than you do about what you are doing. Ultimately, there is a feeling that you don’t deserve your success.
Influences On Our Thinking
People who teach in face to face settings go to work every day. As a result, they can tell stories about the day to friends and family. And they might have colleagues, department chairs, or administrators. These people see their students and get involved in committees.
When we work online from home, there are just as many stories to tell. We also have colleagues and supervisors. And, we have students too. But we do not see these people face to face. And our loved ones don’t see us get dressed and leave for work. Hence, traditional ideas about work and significance seem unclear.
If you teach online asynchronously and feel like an impostor in your online career, you might struggle to feel satisfied with your efforts. Or, feel driven to work harder, and work longer hours. Teaching through the computer is known to be isolating and create its own kind of disconnect. And it may be difficult to put the computer away at the end of your teaching day.
Where to Start With Impostor Syndrome in an Online Career
While impostor phenomenon is complex, there are many ways to start to overcome these feelings. It will take consistent focus to connect your efforts to your online work. And at first, these suggestions will seem like they could never work. But trying them will help you turn around and begin to connect with your efforts and your results.
Here are tips to help you gain the upper hand, when you’re battling impostor syndrome in an online career:
- Consider and articulate your online teaching philosophy. Write it down. Make sure that it means something to you and communicates your most important values about education and teaching.
- Get to know your values, strengths, and personality. Learn about what makes you unique, and why you cannot compare yourself to others.
- Thoughtfully choose online teaching approaches that connect to your teaching philosophy, and which use your greatest strengths and skills.
- Participate in professional communities in your subject area and in online education.
- When possible, present at professional conferences.
- Develop your identity as an online educator, and share it through various outlets like LinkedIn.
- Build relationships with your students, colleagues, and peers.