Impostor syndrome has become a popular way to describe the feeling of not measuring up. Groups gather to discuss it and feel better knowing that they are not alone in feeling like an impostor.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to this syndrome, yet recently I decide to investigate it more deeply to figure out what it’s about and how I can help women overcome this feeling. That’s when I discovered how many women seem to suffer from these symptoms.
- Impostor syndrome is defined as a persistent belief in your lack of intelligence, skills, and competence. You are constantly comparing yourself to others and putting yourself down. Despite outer appearances you feel undeserving and doubt your abilities.
- People who struggle with impostor syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held.
- They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.
Labeling something is dangerous especially if you let that label become you. It will lock you into creating more of the same.
Dis-eases are given a name when there are a group of symptoms that many people have in relation to their similar experience. As a chiropractor we would look to discover the source or root cause of the person’s problem. We believed that the symptoms were a result of a deeper issue. When the core problem was addressed, the symptoms would lessen and potentially disappear. Thus, I naturally was drawn to discover the core issue around impostor syndrome.
When you say, ‘I am an impostor’ or ‘I feel like an impostor’, you are cementing that idea inside of you. When you say, ‘I have impostor syndrome’ it labels you and puts you in a group. Ironically it makes you feel better to ‘have’ something, be diagnosed with something, and to not feel so alone. Yet, it perpetuates the problem.
Impostor syndrome was first labeled as Impostor Phenomenon back in 1978 as occurring in high achieving women. It was considered a persistent belief in their lack of intelligence, skills, and competence. They believed that the praise from others was undeserved. They continue to doubt their ability.
Are you really an impostor or is it just a ‘label’ you have accepted?
We can all have impostor syndrome. It happens anytime you stretch yourself out of your comfort zone. You are conditioned to act, talk, walk, and behave a certain way. When you set a goal that is outside of where you are now, you are not congruent with the new self you need to become to reach that goal. Your current self-image will hold you back.
Your self-image (how you see yourself) sets the limit on what you can accomplish. Every time you want to achieve a new goal you must shift your self-image to that of the person of your goal. And keep holding the image of yourself where you are going until you achieve it.
How did your self-image get formed?
You were conditioned at an early age. You were like a sponge and were influenced by your genetics and your environment to walk, talk, believe, and act like those around you. So much so that by the time you were 18 years old you were nearly 98% programmed with certain habits, beliefs, and self-image. You run off that programming the rest of your life unless you choose to change it.
I believe that those who feel imposter syndrome have gotten to a particular station in life, yet their self-image is still that of their much younger self. And a lot of what the younger self learned and believes about herself wasn’t true for her or even the people she learned it from. So, you could be a lawyer, doctor or successful businesswoman by day and come home feeling like you just don’t measure up because the inner chatter of your younger self programming isn’t congruent with who you are today.
You might have ways that you cope with this incongruency in your feelings about yourself.
You might be overly diligent, hardworking, and always try hard. You hold back and settle. Put on the charms socially so others won’t find out. You might procrastinate or be plagued by indecision. You might like to maintain a low profile or prefer to go unnoticed. You may have a habit of never finishing things. You could find a way to self-sabotage or cut yourself down to size.
What is the way out of Impostor Syndrome?
- It is to begin to understand yourself, what is happening and how you can improve your self-image.
- Get your self-image aligned with where you are now and focused on what you want to achieve.
- Develop a strong self-belief through the solid belief of a coach and mentor.
- Begin new self-talk behaviors that are uplifting and affirmative of the truth of who you are.
- Gain self-mastery and mindset mastery so that you are always in charge of yourself and your life.
If you are ready for a change reach out to Dr. Shelley for a FREE 1-1 Consultation: https://drshelley.as.me/consultation
The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young, EdD
Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz