The Imposter Cure – Jessamy Hibberd
Understanding why we feel as if we are not worthy of our job or title.
A Big Change
Imposter syndrome is typically more intense during times of transition or change, or when confronted with new challenges (a new job, project, or being accepted into higher education). This forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and into new routines, as well as subject you to increased scrutiny.
The syndrome can also occur when you feel disconnected from your core group.
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Setting unrealistically high standards
Imposter syndrome usually occurs when there is a conflict between two points of view: the standards you set for yourself and how you evaluate your own performance.
The high standards you set for yourself, as well as the negative internal voice you use to motivate yourself, are major contributors to the problem. You believe that you must be the best at everything in your career, relationships, and personal life.
The competence types
- Perfectionists have unrealistically high expectations of themselves and believe they must perform flawlessly.
- Natural Geniuses strive to master any new skill quickly and easily.
- The Soloist defines competence as the ability to do something on one’s own and believes that achievement only counts if it is achieved without assistance.
- The Expert must know it all and believe that true competence entails knowing everything.
- The Superwoman/man ‘measures competence based on “how many” roles they can excel in.
Imposter syndrome is all about fear
Imposters are so afraid of being discovered or of not being good enough that they do not question their fear. If what you believe is true, you have every right to be terrified: being discovered, failing, and the humiliation that comes with what you imagine are all terrifying.
With anxiety, fear filters everything we do. Our emotions can lead us to believe that things are worse than they are.
How confident people approach discomfort
Confident people feel the same discomfort and share some of the same fears. However, they reach a different conclusion, allowing them to ignore their emotions.
Instead of seeing their discomfort as a sign that they are imposters, they see it as a fear of trying something new and stepping outside of their comfort zone.
The mistake you do: Confirmation Bias
You decided a long time ago that you were a fraud, and you’ve been building an argument in your head to support this for years, ignoring any information that doesn’t fit and operating with a strong bias against yourself. One of the main reasons you can’t move forward is your unwavering belief.
Overworking and Avoidance
Overworking. The belief that you are a fraud motivates you to work harder and more conscientiously because you believe that everyone else is more capable and intelligent than you.
Avoidance. When you have such high expectations and a crippling fear of failure, you are bound to avoid work and procrastinate instead.
Thoughts aren’t facts
You may feel like an imposter, but that does not imply that you are. Your thoughts and feelings are important, but they are only part of the picture, especially when it comes to imposter syndrome.
There is always more than one point of view. When you are feeling uneasy, remind yourself that this is just how you are feeling, not how things are.
To truly believe that how you feel is no different from how other people feel, you must begin talking about what’s going on more openly.
This is the only way to ensure that when others appear confident and capable, they may not be feeling that way all of the time.
You can’t control everything
When you see yourself as solely responsible for everything going right, you accept full responsibility for anything that goes wrong.
Keep in mind the other people involved and their shared responsibility. And, no matter how hard you try, there is no pain-free path through life, and attempting to prevent anything from ever going wrong only adds to your stress.
Compassion: The Antidote to Self-Criticism
Compassion for oneself is no different than compassion for others. Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes, and it’s normal to be stressed or sad. Pain and suffering are part of the human experience; they are simply reactions to what is going on in our lives.
There are three main components to self-compassion:
- Recognizing stress or difficulty without being judgmental or overreacting
- When we’re struggling, we should be kind, gentle, and understanding to ourselves.
- Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has difficulties from time to time.