Imposter Syndrome is a relatively common, but nevertheless destructive, pattern of thoughts and behaviours that can impact anyone at any time. It is characterised by unwarranted self-criticism, feelings of low self-esteem, and the general sense that one has deceived others into getting to where they are in life.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
People with Imposter Syndrome experience the uncomfortable sensation that they are somehow an imposter in their own lives. They may feel like they have cheated to obtaincareer success, that their partner is too good for them, and that their friends will one day discover they’re not a decent person. Although Imposter Syndrome isn’t a diagnosable health condition, it often exists alongside mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and can cause great distress to the person experiencing it.
This syndromecan affect anyone, but people who are perfectionists or high-achievers seem to experience it in more significant numbers than others.
How do I know if I am Experiencing Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome manifests in many different ways, but there are some common thoughts, feelings and beliefs associated.
- Fear of Failure– you may stick to doing things you already know you are good at and avoid new or challenging experiences because of a crippling fear that you won’t achieve to your usual high standard.
- Being a Perfectionist – you might be someone who always seems to be focussing on the flaws in your work or the negatives in your life, instead of celebrating your achievements or appreciating what you have.
- Difficulty Saying ‘No’ – if you’re someone who seems to be always picking up extra work around the office or at home, and then feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, this could be a symptom of Imposter Syndrome. This is likely to then leave you feeling even more inadequate than before as you think it is your own deficiencies stopping you from getting everything done.
- Undermining– you may be someone who often undermines yourself and your successes, rather than taking ownership of your achievements and being able to celebrate when you’ve done something well.
- Trouble Accepting Compliments– when a co-worker, friend or stranger gives you praise or encouragement, the instinctual response of someone experiencingImposter Syndrome is likely to be to downplay or outright reject the compliment. You might be inclined to assume you’re being lied to, or that the person offering the positive sentiments is just trying to make you feel better.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome with Life Resolutions
Imposter Syndrome is a hard thing to live with, but the good news is, you don’t have to! Although some people may be predisposed towards being extra critical towards themselves, it’s very possible to retrain the brain to see the positives rather than the negatives.
As Imposter Syndrome often is asymptom of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, we strongly recommend people experiencing these feeling of low self-esteem to reflect on them with the assistance of a mental health professional. A psychologist can work with you on strategies to overcome these emotions and get you back on the path to your best possible self.
The Life Resolutions Clinic
The team here atLife Resolutions are passionate and experienced mental health professionals and are always happy to offer help to people facing the issues associated with Imposter Syndrome.
Due to the current stage-four restrictions affecting Melbourne, our Life Resolutions clinics are providing Telehealth sessions as well as face-to-face consultations. Telehealth allows us to continue providing support to both new and existing clients.
Seek advice from Mary Magalotti and Jodie Brenton Life Resolutions Today
If you would like to discover more aboutthe work we do at Life Resolutions,would like to learn more about the journey of our principle psychologist, Mary Magalotti, orour CEO and founder,Jodie Brenton, please contact us here.You can also check outthe Life Resolutions website tolearn more about Jodie BrentonandMary Magalotti.