Do you sometimes feel your achievements are not the result of your hard work and skill but are just luck? And do you fear that one day, someone will reveal you as an imposter or fraud? You might have imposter syndrome!
People suffering from imposter syndrome feel they don't deserve to be where they are and only got there are by sheer chance. The term is most commonly applied to the fields of work and intelligence but is equally applicable to relationships.
Imposter syndrome can also be a form of social anxiety. Even if you perform well in a social situation, you feel that it's just chance and that a socially inept person will never belong in the group. Your belief that you are socially awkward is so strong that you always feel like an imposter and are at risk of being found out. People suffering from imposter syndrome tend to hide their feelings and will suffer in silence. These feelings will eventually worsen anxiety and may trigger depression.
Some of the signs of imposter syndrome that you might recognise in yourself include:
People suffering from imposter syndrome are often high fliers, but their achievements come at the cost of perpetual anxiety. They may work harder than required or prepare over-meticulously so that no one discovers that they are "faking it". They seem unable to internalise their successes. The greater their achievements, the more they feel like imposters.
This syndrome can be triggered by parents who flipflop between high praise for a child's achievements and criticising them too harshly. It can also be triggered by moving into a different life stage; for example, a student starting at university for the first time might feel that they don't deserve to be there.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome, you're certainly not alone! Psychologists believe that around 70% of people will experience imposter syndrome on at least one occasion in their lives. Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you might be one of them:
Imposter syndrome is characterised by self-doubt, negative thoughts and self-sabotage and can impact on many aspects of your life. Bach Flower Mix 44 is specially formulated to help with performance anxiety and a lack of self-confidence.
Psychologists have identified several different personality types who are likely to experience imposter syndrome:
To get past feelings of being an imposter, you need to confront some of your most deeply rooted beliefs about yourself. No matter how much you feel like you don't belong, don't let that stop you from pursuing your goals.
Here are a few techniques to try:
Acknowledging that you are suffering from imposter syndrome is the first step in dealing with it. Don't allow negative emotions to hold you back. When you feel self-doubt starting to creep in, try to turn your thoughts to a positive direction by remembering everything you've achieved in your life. This will boost your self-confidence and set you on the right path to deal with future challenges.
It's not always easy to tell if someone has depression. While some signs such as sadness, pessimism and withdrawal from social interaction are easy to recognise, other symptoms may be less obvious. And some people are very good at hiding their depression - even from themselves!
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