“The beauty of the Impostor Syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of ‘I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!’ So, you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.” — Tina Fey
“I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.” — Will Smith
Can you relate?
Do you ever feel like you are living a life in which you are not good enough and people are going to figure it out soon? Do you attribute previous successes to luck, or a fluke, or simply being in the right place at the right time? Do you fear you will not be successful or will not be able to continue your level of upward progress? If so, you might be suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome refers to a deep-seated belief of being inadequate and feeling like a “fraud,” much despite evidence supporting the exact opposite. It can cause overwhelming stress, which can lead to a host of additional problems, with your health, your work, your relationships. People with Imposter Syndrome often struggle with sleepless nights, procrastination, taking much longer than needed to complete a task and tension within relationships due to a fear that others will “find out” that you are not as competent as they might believe.
If you do experience any of those, you are in good company. In addition to the famous figures quoted above, research shows about 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome at some time in their life.
Of course, just because it’s common, it doesn’t make it easy. In fact, Imposter Syndrome can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life.
That’s the bad news.
The good news, though, is that Imposter Syndrome can be overcome.
In my book “Goodbye Imposter Syndrome,” you will discover 12 research-supported strategies to overcome your Imposter Syndrome.
One of those strategies is addressing cognitive distortions.
Cognitive distortions are faulty or skewed ways in which we see things. They are inaccurate and unhelpful ways. In imposter syndrome, certain cognitive distortions are often present and lead to greater distress. The goal is to identify when you’re using cognitive distortions and then to change your thinking to something that’s more accurate and helpful. This goes way beyond “just think happy thoughts.” We’re talking about literally rewire your brain.
One of the most common cognitive distortions among people imposter syndrome is mind reading. Mind reading occurs when you assume you know what other people think without having sufficient evidence. Have you ever thought something like “I know he thinks I can’t do this” or “She thinks I’m not good enough”? This is mind reading. We project our own fears on to others, assuming that they are judging us the same we were judging ourselves.
People who have imposter syndrome think others are viewing them as a fraud because that’s what their inner critic is shouting so loudly at them. But here’s the thing. When others look at you with a weird expression, avoid you, or make a comment that feels inappropriate or hurtful, there’s a chance that there something they are thinking something negative about you, but it is much more likely that they are in their own world and not thinking anything about you at all. Most likely, they are concerned about how you view them.
When I was a psychology student, we used to do an experiment involving people with social anxiety. People social anxiety think that everyone is looking at them and thinking negative thoughts about that. We would have these individuals dress up in the most ridiculous outfits possible, strange wigs and bright colored clothing that didn’t match, then walked on the street and noticed how many people paid attention them. The majority of the time, people didn’t even look their way, much less talk negatively about them to whomever they were walking with.
The take-home message is that people are usually more absorbed and wondering what you were thinking about them then and thinking about you.
Want to learn how to crush your inner critic and release yourself from the strain of Imposter Syndrome? It would be an honor to assist you.
And, by reading this book and applying its concepts, you are taking the first step in tackling your Imposter Syndrome and creating the wealth, health and happiness you crave and deserve.
Imposter Syndrome is one of the four categories of Inner Critic Syndrome (ICS). ICS is a condition in which you, in essence, are getting in your own way of being the best “you” possible. It is that inner voice that puts you down, minimizes who you are, and keeps you in a state of stress.
How do you know what type of ICS you have? If you haven’t done so already, please take my GOODBYE IMPOSTER SYNDROME quiz. Please note that many people are impacted by one or more of the ICS subsets. If you have taken the quiz, your most prevalent strand of ICS was identified, but please know it is normal to experience all four at some time in your life. You also are encouraged to share the link to the quiz with your family and friends as they too can benefit from the guide that corresponds to their strand.
Here are the four types of Inner Critic Syndrome:
- Imposter: You feel like a fraud and fear that others will “figure out” that you are in over your head.
- Perfectionist: You think in all-or-nothing terms, “I am either perfect or a failure.” And, since it is impossible to be perfect all the time, you consistently feel like a failure.
- Regretter: You focus on the past — what you wish you had done, what you are upset took place.
- Worrier: You constantly worry about what might happen and emotionally react as though it is imminent.
Whether you have taken the quiz and know that Imposter Syndrome influences you the most, or you just know this type of Inner Critic Syndrome impacts you, let me welcome you! Congratulations on your commitment to learn more about your inner critic and how you can overcome it in your life! It IS possible. As a clinical psychologist who has worked with clients for two decades, I have helped people cure themselves of this harmful syndrome. The result? Less stress and greater peace, passion, purpose and for many — true success.
Are you ready to feel genuinely better, even really good, about yourself without being fake or self-centered? Then let’s get started!
Here is the link for my complimentary book on Imposter Syndrome. Overcome your imposter syndrome with these steps that I use to help so many of my clients.