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Monday, 2 October 2017 at 8:20pm
Monday, 2 October 2017 at 8:21pm
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Thread: Struck with a severe case of 'imposter syndrome'...

02-Oct-17, 20:32
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posted about 9 months ago
Hi all,

I'm in the second year of my PhD and recently had my upgrade viva meeting. Whilst I was accepted for the upgrade, the materials I had submitted were ripped to shreds by the panel and I was left feeling very emotional and rather humiliated. I have had a long, hard think about what I want to do and have now revised my research question into something with which I think I will be more confident. I have written a revised chapter plan and just emailed it to my supervisor, but it took an awful lot of willpower to do so. Since the upgrade meeting, I have been gripped with severe anxiety every time I even think about my PhD. I worry that my revised attempt will not be good enough; I worry that my supervisor thinks I'm an idiot (I'm quite intimidated by them already, as they are so intelligent and a very well-respected academic); I worry that another 18 months/two years isn't enough time to complete, etc etc. It's the last thing I think of at night and the first thing I think about in the morning. I have had thoughts of quitting, especially if I still can't somehow get my thesis focus right soon. I know that it's natural to feel bad after such a dressing-down, but this anxiety is honestly crippling my ability to work and write, even sending emails to the person who is supposed to provide guidance and advice! But I don't want to have to admit this to my supervisor.

Does anyone have any advice as to how I might regain my confidence, and recover from this severe 'imposter syndrome'?

Many thanks in advance!
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