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Overcoming Self Doubt

A highly requested topic that I’ve had from many women in medicine, especially medically trainees.

I’m no expert on overcoming self-doubt. In fact, I continue to work on my own Imposter Syndrome. There are days that I have a reality check. Wait, I’m operating. On my own? Yes…and I’ve done hundreds of surgical cases.

So why do we have self-doubt? Are females more prone to self-doubt?

Research has shown that when placed in similar situations, men doubt themselves just as women do. The difference is they do not let their doubts stop them as often as women do.  

(source: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/05/the-confidence-gap/359815/)

As females, our society breeds us to think we need to be “perfect”. As Reshma Saujani talks about in her Ted talk, the bravery deficit in young girls. This “deficit” has translated into women socialized to avert risk with the downstream effect of underrepresentation of women as leaders in the grown-up world. Especially in areas like government, law, corporation, and STEM.

Success is intertwined with confidence AND competence. The good news is- just like competence can be learned, confidence can also be acquired.

(source: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/05/the-confidence-gap/359815/)

The first step in overcoming self-doubt is realizing you are not alone. It’s also realizing that your confidence is self-driven. You can be your greatest ally and enemy, all at once.

You have the competence. You have the grades, skills, abilities.

You just need you – your inner drive and confidence- your bravery.

I’ll be talking more about my challenges in medicine and how I overcame them in future blog posts!

Have you ever felt Imposter Syndrome?

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