Ready For Nursing School – Imposter Syndrome

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Welcome to the Nursing Podcast with 

Today I am going to bring up a topic that we have spoken about quite a bit in the past.  Because I think this is something that we need continual reminders about.  

I really want to talk about Imposter Syndrome.  It has been on my mind, and I feel like it has been coming up a lot in things I see around me.   

I had the opportunity to attend a conference last week.  It is hard to explain what it was like to be around human beings again…  but there were some amazing speakers there that have achieved so much.  And speaker after speaker showed signs of feeling inadequate.  Some were so clearly nervous.  Some made comments like I hope that there was something of value for you in this speech.  Or comments like  I guess the reason they chose me was that I have been doing this for a while and it seems to be working, I still have my job.  

There is NO one out there exempt from imposter syndrome.  All of us have those moments feeling like we are the only one in the room that doesn’t belong.  We are terrified that someone is going to find us out.  Discover that we are not good enough.  

However, I would posit that imposter syndrome in some ways its, its probably a good sign.  Right, I mean It is hard to feel THAT insecure when you are in your comfort zone.  SO, if you are feeling like you don’t belong or like you are an imposter, you are probably out of your comfort zone. And that’s a good thing.   That is how we improve and grow. 

So let’s talk about Nursing school.  It is very hard, and everyone will tell you that, but I want to tell you one thing… YOU belong there.  

FIRST…  LOOK what you have already done.  

  • You got into college 
  • took prerequisites  
  • You got into nursing school – which is no easy task.  Any trust me while the system is not perfect, they are actually really trying to find those that they believe will be successful.  

So, if you go there, you belong there.  Don’t let those feelings tell you otherwise.  

And to take it one more step, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise either.  

Even if you have had a teacher say you will never be a nurse, no one knows your future.  

If you fail a test, fail a class, don’t graduate, fail the NCLEX, that does NOT mean that nursing is not for you.  

  • It might mean you need more time
  • It might mean you need different teaching methods 
  • It might mean you need different study methods  

No matter which of those are the case, IT doesn’t matter because they can all be overcome.  

I know that because you graduated from high school, and got into college, took college courses.  You have discipline and grit.  And that is what you need to be successful in life.  

I was listening to a podcast this week by Martin Seligman on Well-being and he said that statistically self-discipline is twice as important to academic success and success in the world than IQ.  IQ of course is difficult to change, where self-discipline is not.    

In fact, If you want an entire book on that topic, Angela Duckworth has an incredible book called Grit.  And she talks a lot about not only what it is, but how to get it.  

This all ties back into Mindset too, which I talked about here just a couple weeks ago.  But I just want to continue to reiterate.  

Just because it is not clicking today, doesn’t mean that will always be the case.  Don’t give up.  It is ok to feel like an imposter sometimes, that just means you are stretching and growing.   But you belong here.   Look around you, your classmates likely feel the exact same way that you do.  And you don’t have to do it alone.  You can all work together to raise each other up.  

Reconnect with why you wanted to be a nurse.  Write it down, and when you need that boost, pull it out and remind yourself of your why.  

Nursing is a special calling, and we need all the great nurses we can get.  But sometimes the tools we have to measure success are not perfect.  Sometimes amazing people are weeded out when they could be amazing contributors to the field.  If you want to be a nurse don’t let imposter syndrome or fear or failure hold your back.  Keep trying.  

You can do this.  I know it is hard, but you can do this.  I believe in you.  Now go out and be your best self today and as always Happy Nursing.  

Where are You in your nursing journey?

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