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  • Writer's pictureMark

Imposter Syndrome

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Do you ever get the feeling that you should not be in your current position of responsibility? Like you could not possibly know enough to do the job?

This guy wears a cape to hide behind when he needs to escape

I wanted to talk a bit in this post about the current hot topic of

"Imposter Syndrome"

aka "fake it till you make it" or something like that.

To quote the Harvard Business Review: "Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence." - Overcoming Imposter Syndrome by Gill Corkindale

Do you remember the first time you were out on a job site, and the contractor turns to you, asks you a question, and you go completely blank.

You have no idea what the answer to that contractor's question is.

You avoid the situation and pretend you did not hear it and hope that someone else answers, or they move on. Or you were afraid to ask for help because you are an "independent person" and should not need someone to tell you the answer.

Perhaps you have taken one of your #ArchitectureRegistrationExams already, and during that test, one of the questions completely threw you off. You did not even know where to start to answer the question. You thought you studied EVERYTHING, but then that ONE THING you had NO IDEA about.

Maybe you have not even scheduled an exam yet because as a perfectionist, the FEAR of getting something wrong that keeps you from ever trying. You are too afraid you may fail, and the world would know you got something wrong and did not have all the answers.

How could you possibly be an architect, and NOT KNOW THE ANSWER?

These are all symptoms of IMPOSTER SYNDROME.

You're training to be a registered architect You are not a fraud. You are not faking it.

You are LEARNING and studying and practicing! The Architecture Registration Exams test you to determine if you have enough knowledge to practice architecture on your own.

Additionally, sometimes even the most experienced Architect does not know the answer!


Take action. If you do not know the answer, what better way to beat the fear of not knowing the answer, than by studying to learn the answer?

Turn that FEAR of not knowing into the CURIOSITY to LEARN.

Schedule that first exam, thereby giving yourself the need to take action (study).

By the way, on that job site, "I will have to double-check before I can answer that" is a perfectly good answer to that question - and respectable over offering an ill-informed or incorrect answer.


Taking a guess is a perfectly good thing to do.

There will always be that one question that you do not remember studying. Try not to let it ruin the other 74 or so other questions you DO know the answer to.

ANY QUESTION LEFT UNANSWERED is AUTOMATICALLY INCORRECT. So ALWAYS select an answer to every question on the Exam!

DO not FEAR being an IMPOSTER - defeat that fear! Take Practice Exams! and be prepared for the next time that fear creeps up!

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