You ARE a real cyclist: Taking on impostor syndrome

In a sport hung up on rules and details, it’s easy to feel you’re falling short of the mark and failing to fit in. Dr Josephine Perry goes to work on impostor syndrome

Racers at the Crystal Palace Criterium n 2016
(Image credit: Future)

We tend to think of cycling as brilliantly accessible. It takes us on adventures, provides the backbone of our social life and, if you commute by bike, saves thousands on motoring expenses. But cycling is not always as accessible as we like to think, and newcomers often feel shut out. From the obscure ‘rules’ that we only know exist when we’re mocked for having broken them, to the ‘secret squirrel’ developments in technology, to the multitude of acronyms and arcane language combining French, Italian and English words referencing a history that it takes years to learn. Hardly surprisingly, then, that none of us is immune from occasionally feeling like an outsider. 

>>> Find the inner strength within: The three pillars of self-motivation

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Josephine Perry

Dr Josephine Perry is a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist whose purpose is to help people discover the metrics which matter most to them so they are able to accomplish more than they had previously believed possible. She integrates expertise in sport psychology and communications to support athletes, stage performers and business leaders to develop the approaches, mental skills and strategies which will help them achieve their ambitions. Josephine has written five books including Performing Under Pressure, The 10 Pillars of Success and I Can: The Teenage Athlete’s Guide to Mental Fitness. For Cycling Weekly she tends to write about the psychological side of training and racing and how to manage mental health issues which may prevent brilliant performance. At last count she owned eight bikes and so is a passionate advocate of the idea that the ideal number of bikes to own is N+1.