Doubt and Anxiety Lie at the Heart of Imposter Syndrome
Think Your Accomplishments Shield You From Imposter Syndrome?
Contrary to popular thinking, lack of confidence, chronic doubt and low self-esteem are not exclusively within the province of the rudderless. Some individuals have set goals and oodles of motivation, but feel wracked with self-doubt and feeling fake despite meeting their goals that reflect objective standards of success.
Typically, imposter syndrome afflicts high achievers whose doubt is often reflected in fear of exposure and rejection. So in this way, the Imposter Syndrome, mirrors the ongoing tension of a secret agent who fears detection. Thus, this tension often manifests as intense anxiety. Other symptoms may include:
- Fear of being judged
- Core beliefs related to inadequacy and incompetence
- Fear of being “outed” as a fraud
- Fear of failure
Is Imposter Syndrome Something New?
Sometimes it may seem like mental health professionals are looking for new work by inventing illnesses for everyday occurences. Though it might seem like that, syndromes or disorders are really ways to categorize behavior so that we can conceptualize better what is going on and how to tackle addressing the underlying issues. Also, cultural mindsets change which in turn impact personal and social expectations. In general, at least in the current western culture, we are much more predisposed to recognizing that what once might have been described as personality, maybe a sign of treatable dysfunction. This is certainly the case regarding attitudes towards PTSD and Addiction. This has made counseling much more accepted.
What Can You Do?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, otherwise known as CBT can really help identify and rewire internal thoughts and associated beliefs that drive some of the behaviors behind imposter syndrome. Some say that individuals afflicted by imposter syndrome hold onto entrenched beliefs from childhood. As with many ailments, stress can exacerbate the tendencies of imposter syndrome and merit copious amounts of self-care.
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