Feeling Like A Fraud: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
Feelings of self-doubt, a drive toward perfectionism, and difficulty acknowledging one’s abilities are all hallmarks of imposter syndrome, a phenomenon first described by Drs. Imes and Clance in the 1970s.
Basically, imposter syndrome is the creeping sensation that you are a fraud. You live with anxiety that you will be found out and your ‘shortcomings’ will be exposed. You think that any success is attributed to chance rather than your efforts.
Often those experiencing imposter syndrome are embarrassed to voice their fears and instead believe they are the only ones who feel this way. Everyone else appears more confident and capable. Social media, providing never-ending opportunity for comparison, can contribute to feelings of anxiety and worthlessness.
I have seen how imposter syndrome, and the anxiety and depression that accompanies it, stand as a barrier to achieving goals and having the ability to enjoy those accomplishments. Imposter syndrome can cause you to sabotage relationships, turn down career opportunities and hold yourself back from taking risks.
How can therapy help you to overcome these destructive feelings?
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Image credit: Natalya Lobanova c/o BuzzFeed