I know what imposter syndrome is. But, believe me that's not the case with me. I have worked hard for the 4.5 years of my PhD, but I feel that my research is absolutely mediocre and as a result my self-confidence has taken a toll.
Now, my advisor is a brilliant person. She is well known in her field (computational mechanics) and has many high-impact publications (IF>10). I had my undergrad in materials science and was exposed to computational mechanics in my masters. I was fascinated by it and wanted to study and work on it. However, when I joined my PhD, I was asked to learn and use a different modeling technique and a different length scale which was not in the realm of my advisor's expertise. I work in continuum while she works in nano scale. Yes, the impact-factors vary in the journals for nano and continuum. But, all I am concerned with is the quality of my research work.
Post qualifiers and research proposal (my committee seemed happy with my theoretical knowledge, preliminary work and plans), I published one paper in a decent journal. But, my work was nowhere near that being done by my colleagues. I kept on working and completed three more manuscripts which are to be submitted soon. But still, my work is just mediocre and most likely will end up in average journals (IF <2).
I feel that I should not have pursued PhD and I was not fit for producing good research. I also feel that I have screwed my chance of doing anything significant in academia.
I also feel that I am still being funded and not fired because my advisor is a good person and is allowing me to stay regardless of my average performance out of pity.
Does my advisor owe me anything? Could it be that she keeps me only out of pity?