Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
AbbyHunt

Confidence issues

Recommended Posts

I started a new research-based program in experimental psychology last Sept. My current research areas do not overlap with what I've done before and I often feel myself not competent enough compared to my lab mates, even some undergraduate research assistants. My school is a top university in the States and the academic environment is excellent. I enjoy learning new knowledge and really want to eventually become a competent researcher. However, it is so hard for me to adjust o the new environment and show people that I can do it. I found sometimes my supervisor and other grad students don't really take my opinions seriously and I feel I'm a total loser. I work hard and do my job, but because of my anxiety, I just can't seem to articulate my ideas in a convincing way and I start to make stupid mistakes. I start questioning my ability and whether this is the right path for me. Please help me out and give my some tips. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely normal to feel this way! As someone who struggled with anxiety growing up I sometimes have these thoughts too.

I try to keep things in perspective: the fact that you made it into a very competitive program means that your supervisor recognized your skills, work ethic and ability to succeed! Many students also come from different places with different skill sets, so it's okay that you might not share the same knowledge that other grad students or RAs might have. I try to remind myself that being a grad student is about learning the skills that will be important to my career, and I don't need to know them already. If there are topics or skills that seem to be important to have in your area, now is the perfect time to learn them, and to get help from those students in doing so, there's nothing wrong with this!

I know it can definitely be hard not to doubt yourself or compare yourself to others. It's important to have people in your life that you can talk to openly about these feelings. But always remember that you deserve to be here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being surrounded by more qualified (for a particular task) people is not necessarily a bad thing. It is hardly enjoyable but you can improve much faster.  Also, your past experience might come in handy later.

Stay strong!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/28/2020 at 6:49 AM, AbbyHunt said:

I started a new research-based program in experimental psychology last Sept. My current research areas do not overlap with what I've done before and I often feel myself not competent enough compared to my lab mates, even some undergraduate research assistants. My school is a top university in the States and the academic environment is excellent. I enjoy learning new knowledge and really want to eventually become a competent researcher. However, it is so hard for me to adjust o the new environment and show people that I can do it. I found sometimes my supervisor and other grad students don't really take my opinions seriously and I feel I'm a total loser. I work hard and do my job, but because of my anxiety, I just can't seem to articulate my ideas in a convincing way and I start to make stupid mistakes. I start questioning my ability and whether this is the right path for me. Please help me out and give my some tips. 

@AbbyHunt Abby, you managed to get into that program, at one of the top universities in the country, YOU ARE QUALIFIED. People don't accidentally stumble into a program like that, don't undervalue yourself 😁. We should be harsh on ourselves for things that actually matter like <do I answer my mom's calls> <do I treat people with dignity?> etc but the last thing you should care about is the opinions of your peers. I recently finished my PhD and honestly, I respect people who question themselves (that shows humility) knowing full well that none of us know everything, but some people would rather pretend to know things they don't know to project an image of themselves that is not real. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best advice I got is not to compare yourself with others, everyone is on their own pace.

Beside, part of the PhD journey is learning, I don't think you are expected to know everything from the start

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.