What is Imposter Syndrome

What is Imposter Syndrome?

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Imposter Syndrome is a term used to describe feeling incompetent despite other people thinking otherwise. If you suffer from Imposter Syndrome, great work performance or positive feedback from your superiors don’t ease your self-doubt and you might feel like sooner or later everyone will find out that you’re a fraud.

If you:

  • Fear criticism and take it too personally
  • Downplay your skills and abilities
  • Think your success is a result of luck
  • Overthink even the tiniest mistake
  • Feel like a fraud
  • Set high goals for yourself

There’s a high chance that you might be suffering from Imposter Syndrome.  

What Causes Imposter Syndrome?

While the term was initially coined to describe high-achieving women, it can affect everyone regardless of age and gender. However, it’s more prevalent in people who are perfectionists, have low self-esteem, enter a new job role and hold negative core beliefs about themselves. For example, a person who suffers from social anxiety might believe that they aren’t likeable or good enough and feel like they don’t belong in social situations as a result.


How to Cope with Imposter Syndrome

1. Identify your core beliefs

The easiest way to do that is to keep a diary where you talk about how you feel. Over time, you’ll be able to spot a pattern and identify recurring thoughts, such as ‘I’m not loveable’ or ‘I’m worthless’. Once you do, recognise that those beliefs aren’t the reflection of who you are and try to replace them with positive statements. For example, change ‘I’m not loveable’ to ‘I’m appreciated by many people in my life.’

2. Adjust your thoughts

Instead of letting yourself engage with negative thoughts about your performance and seeing them as true, try to ask yourself if they are helpful. If you put yourself down, you might initially work harder to match your expectations but the harder you work, the more you’ll believe that you have to be at your best every time to be worthy.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s okay not to be good at everything and if someone hired you, it means you have the skills necessary to do the job and that’s more than enough.

4. Reflect on your achievements

Remind yourself that you’re competent by looking back on your previous achievements. You can also write them down and keep them somewhere in sight to remember how far you’ve come whenever you doubt yourself.


If you feel like you can’t stop doubting yourself without professional help, contact My Family Psychologist to see how we can help

References:

[1] https://www.complygate.co.uk/blog/85-uk-professionals-suffer-from-imposter-syndrome-%E2%80%93-how-to-combat-imposter-syndrome

If you are feeling pressured or need someone to speak to, contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat about how we may be able to help.

You can contact the My Family Psychologist Offices between 8 am and 8 pm to book an appointment.

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