Some tools to manage imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is often defined as ""the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved". It is a syndrome that describes where an individual feels and thinks that they aren't worthy of the things that they have in their life. Imposter syndrome is most often described in relation to professional achievements. People that I work with will often tell me that professionally imposter syndrome brings up some of the following feelings and thoughts:

  • that they aren't "good enough" for their job;

  • that everyone else around them is better than them at the job;

  • that they are a "fraud" or just slipped through the net to get the job;

  • that they only achieved what they did by being lucky and not due to any natural talent; and

  • that soon they will be "found out" and lose their job.

However, imposter syndrome can also affect an individual's personal life too. Many of the people that I work with feel bad about their body and their appearance and so often feel that they are not deserving of relationships or friendships that they have in their life too. This form of imposter syndrome may show up with some of the following thoughts and feelings:

  • that their partner or their friends are going to leave them or abandon them;

  • that their partner or friends think negative thoughts about them or don't "really like" them;

  • that their partner or friends have only settled by having them around;

  • that their partner or friends don't know the "real them" or else they would leave; and

  • that they aren't "good enough" for their partner or friends.

Imposter syndrome can have a very negative effect on someone's mental health and day-to-day life. It can make them doubt their relationships both professional and personal and really doubt themselves too. An individual struggling with imposter syndrome will also often not allow themselves to live up to their full potential or really enjoy life because they are making choices from a place of fear or insecurity. For example, perhaps they won't apply for that new job or promotion or go on that date because they believe that they just aren't "good enough" to do so.


So if you are starting to identify that you may have imposter syndrome in one or more areas of your life, what can you do about it? Here are a few tools that you can start to use to manage imposter syndrome:


REMIND YOURSELF OF THE FACTS

We often assume that everything that we think is a fact. However the thoughts that we think are just interpretations of situations and circumstances. These interpretations can sometimes become very distorted, very detached from reality and also very unhelpful. When your mind is thinking things like "I am not good enough for my partner or my job" - remind yourself that the facts are that either your employer or your partner CHOSE you