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Our Companion of Self-Doubt: Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome refers to that internal feeling you get when you feel like you aren't as competent as others think you are. Imposter syndrome makes you feel like a fraud - despite tons of evidence that speaks to your amazing skills - and makes you doubt your own abilities.



Signs of Imposter Syndrome:

  • You doubt yourself and your abilities.

  • You have a skewed narrative of yourself - likely because of previous experiences when someone made you feel like you weren't good enough.

  • You are super tough on yourself, even when there is clear evidence of the amazing things you are doing.

  • You experience constant fear that you won't live up to expectations.

  • You might present as an overachiever as a way of compensating for your imposter feelings.


Questions to ask Yourself:

  • Do I get stuck on criticizing the little things that aren't perfect, instead of celebrating my successes?

  • Do I ever give myself credit when things go well or is the credit always given to an outside factor/ person?

  • Is constructive criticism super detrimental to my self-esteem and feelings of self-worth?

  • Do I downplay my amazing skills and expertise because I am worried that people might think I am incompetent?


The 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome:

  1. The Perfectionist: You tend to focus on everything that could have been done better and never feel like anything you have done is good enough.

  2. The Superhuman: Feeling inadequate makes you push yourself extremely hard to complete every possible task (often to the point where you are compromising your personal wellness).

  3. The Expert: You never feel like you know enough and always dismiss your expertise.

  4. The Genius: You set unrealistic goals for yourself and then feel super disheartened when it doesn't work out (even though you didn't exactly set yourself up for success in the first place).

  5. The Soloist: You base your self-worth on how much you get done in a given time period and often decline help from others because you think it will slow you down (hello, burnout).


Tips for Coping with Imposter Syndrome:

  • Be open and authentic about your feelings, this will help you connect with others who are also coping with imposter syndrome.

  • Do regular self-assessments where you encourage yourself to point out at least three things you did well in whatever task you were completing.

  • Limit your comparisons to others.

  • Hold space for your thoughts and feelings, and give yourself time to heal from previous experiences that might have made you feel like you aren't good enough.

  • Continue joining spaces, even if you don't feel like you are good enough. Sometimes pretending like you feel like you belong will help you ease into feeling like you actually do belong, because you do!



Reminder: You are loveable and capable. You are safe and grounded. You are bold and brave. You are enough and worthy. You are so many amazing things.

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If you need direct help, please connect with me: bbrucecounselling@gmail.com.

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