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Living with Imposter Syndrome

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Living with Imposter Syndrome

Do you often find yourself struggling with feelings of never being ‘good enough’? If so, you may be dealing with imposter syndrome. Often, this presents in the workplace, academics and even in relationships. Generally, people dealing with imposter syndrome often struggle with feeling they are incompetent, not deserving of their accomplishments and worry that people will eventually discover they are a ‘fraud’, despite their abilities.

Is this sounding familiar? Here are 5 signs you may be experiencing imposter syndrome in your daily life:

 
  1. Attributing your successes to luck or forces other than yourself

  2. Overworking yourself to the point of burnout

  3. Anxiety around your accomplishments

  4. Frustration when you do not achieve your goals perfectly

  5. Believe you have ‘tricked’ people into thinking you are more talented than you truly are

 

As previously mentioned, imposter syndrome can appear in various areas of your life. Additionally, it can take on different forms for everyone. Below are 5 different ways imposter syndrome can manifest in your life:

 

  1. The Expert: avoid doing tasks unless you are certain you can complete them precisely

  2. The Super Woman/Man: sensitive to feedback, want to appear invincible

  3. The Perfectionist: need to achieve things perfectly or there is no point in trying

  4. The Soloist: tendency to micromanage and take on everyones’ responsibilities

  5. The Natural Genius: desire to understand everything about a task

 

If this is resonating with you, it may be time to explore treatment options. Here are 3 ways in which people can learn to cope and treat their imposter syndrome:

 
  1. Work on increasing self-compassion

  2. Recognize cognitive distortions you may be experiencing

  3. Celebrate your achievements

 

In therapy, your therapist will work with you to develop a plan allowing you to recognize your cognitive distortions, improve self-compassion and find ways to celebrate your wins while developing your self-esteem. This can look like creating and practicing effective thought patterns such as recognizing the importance of making mistakes and accepting that failure is an inevitable part of life. Additionally, your therapist may utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist in combating the ineffective self-talk you are engaging in.

If you are struggling with imposter syndrome, here are a few steps you can take to help yourself reframe these ineffective thoughts:

 

  1. Understand your strengths and look for ways to utilize them in your daily life

  2. Shift thoughts that your achievements are the result of “luck”, to a recognition and awareness of experiences where you feel capable

  3. Open up about what you are feeling to a loved one who can support you

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