As an interesting exercise, on a piece of paper, rate (honestly) how comfortable and accepted you would feel walking into any of these scenarios:
1 – I’m extremely uncomfortable and want to leave!
5 – It’s not my sort of place but I don’t mind staying if I have to
10 – This is exactly where I belong!
Consider those that you rated very high and very low. What kind of capital do you have that made you comfortable in those situations? What kind might you be lacking to make you feel uncomfortable in others? Is there a pressure to fit in and ‘perform well’ in these scenarios?
For some, a ‘science’-based environment may feel just as uncomfortable. If they feel they don’t have the right capital, they will assume they will be surrounded by people who are unlike them and there is a pressure to perform. Often in science-based activities, this pressure is to ‘not feel stupid’. So how do we address this?