Archive for category: Life and Work

Impostor Syndrome

Earlier this year I saw Dr. Valerie Young speak about ‘Impostor Syndrome‘, her talk was called How to Feel As Bright and Capable As Everyone Thinks You Are. Interestingly enough, one of the groups more inclined to have Impostor Syndrome is people who are creative for a living, in part because the work is so subjective and is constantly up for critique.

What is Impostor Syndrom?
Despite evidence to the contrary, there are those of us who are bright, capable people but do not trust in our competence or success, believing instead that we’ve fooled everybody around us. We manage to ignore hard facts like fancy degrees, test scores, GPAs and kudos from people we respect; writing it all off as an accident, working harder than everyone else or that people just really like you. Sound familiar, anyone?

*Anna raises her hand*

So you’re  fooling people.
You should probably do them a favor and set them straight: Imagine all of the smart, amazing people you have in your life that (mistakenly) think that you’re smart and amazing. Then imagine telling one of them how daft they are in thinking such things about you, how you’ve so adeptly pulled the wool over their eyes.

Got it? How did that convo go for you? Mine wasn’t great, in fact I’m pretty sure I got laughed at, a lot.

So…maybe you’re not an impostor after all? Mull that over and I’ll throw some more thoughts on the subject your way in a couple of days.

What’s Next?

Whew! What a whirlwind couple of weeks…uh, or month actually. First, my apologies for disappearing, the last month has been filled with finals, graduation, goodbyes and ‘oh my gosh, what comes next’. I came out the other side with:

  • a 4′ x 3′ mind map of my independent study research and corresponding article that I hope to publish in the coming months,
  • an abnormally large diploma (that does not fit neatly in a file drawer like my other does) that dubs me a Master,
  • lots of hugs and congratulations from parents, family and friends,
  • friends scattering across the globe who I look forward to visiting in the coming years

I am now in the process of determining what comes next, weighing consulting vs finding a ‘real job’. Regardless of where I end up, my passion for the crossroads of creativity and management will continue, and so too will this blog. I’ve got a number of half written entries on generations, creativity and management that I will finish and post in the coming weeks.

Second, I would like to say thank you to everyone who played a part in my independent study – interviewees, my advisor (Denise Rousseau), colleagues, friends and family. It was hugely inspiring for me and I learned so much about people and what they need to better manage the creative process. I look forward to continuing to grow that knowledge and working to help design firms evolve.

Lastly, I would like to welcome you all to continue on this journey with me. I would love to talk with you, hear your ideas, frustrations, hopes and dreams for design and management. Help me affect the evolution of an industry…


Penelope Trunk on Rules for Rule Beakers

This is a great post about why it’s important to know the rules before you start trying to break them. Officially taken to heart in my personal quest to buck the status quo…

Jeff Gordinier | X Saves the World

Today I came across the book Gen X Saves the World: How Gen X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking by Jeff Gordinier. I haven’t read it yet (just added it to my cart) but liked this video of Jeff talking about the book and his inspiration for it.


Granted, he comes off as a bit jaded. But his passion for our generation and how little credit we’ve gotten (or wanted) for our collective accomplishments struck a chord. We are quietly changing the world, it has already happened and will continue.