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Imposter Syndrome, Perfectionism and Perfectionist Culture

Friday, September 22, 2023, 10:30 am12:00 pm

Imposter syndrome or imposter phenomenon is the belief that you’re inadequate or incompetent despite evidence that you’re skilled and actually quite successful. We all struggle with this sometimes. But Imposter Syndrome and its oft times buddy, perfectionism, can paralyze you and actually make you less effective at work. But what if imposter syndrome isn’t just an internal process but also a result of a culture that focuses on mistakes making someone wrong? In this interactive session, we will begin by learning about these concepts in a bit more detail, and participate in informal assessments, individual reflection and small group breakout sessions. We will explore these sometimes scary places to see how we might be able to begin to change the stories we tell ourselves in order to reach a happier and more sustainable positive sense of self. We’ll also take a look at the demands of our institutions and the Perfectionist Culture (sometimes called White Supremacy Culture) they often espouse in order to gain some perspective on ourselves, our workplaces, and possible alternatives.

This session is led by Pamela Rich, Organizational Development Consultant at UC Berkeley. Pamela Rich has been an internal, organization development consultant with UC Berkeley’s People and Organization Development team for 4 years. She has led groups all over campus through strategic planning, team building and goal setting projects. She works to balance process with results aiming for just the right amount of discussion and action planning. In her facilitation, she also seeks to promote a culture of inclusion and belonging appreciating a mindset of continuous improvement.