Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is a phenomenon a lot of my clients are familiar with. It describes the internal belief system that you are a fraud. This leads to believing your accomplishments are not true accomplishments, that everybody will discover you are not that great, that you are not capable of true success, etc. Many of my clients who struggle with anxiety also struggle with this inner dialogue. It can feel like you need to outperform everyone to “keep up” or prove your worth. It feels like always working yourself till you are exhausted and then still feeling like you are not doing enough. Frequent core beliefs include, “something is wrong with me,” “I’m not good enough,” “people don’t like me, they are faking it” and “I’m a failure.” Common emotional experiences include shame, guilt, burnout, and hopelessness.


With imposter syndrome, it is common to replay past mistakes over and over again.  It is also common to repeat interactions throughout the day and mentally punish yourself for not saying or doing the right things. There tend to be a lot of comparison, self-judgment, and holding yourself to unrealistic standards. Unrealistic standards lead to perfectionistic behaviors and overachieving. Feeling you must be perfect in every aspect is paralyzing. This leads some to hold back from making changes that would lead to growth or success. For many who struggle with imposter syndrome, it is difficult to even visualize a future. Maybe a successful future feels impossible or scary. Maybe it feels like too much pressure, or that you will inevitably prove to yourself you are a failure after all.


The truth is, as humans we are all flawed. We have all done things we regret. We all have parts of ourselves we would rather hide from the rest of the world. Through therapy, you will learn to relax in knowing you are imperfect. That doesn’t mean you are unworthy or unlovable, it just means you are a human, and it is okay to be human! There is no such thing as a superhuman who has their life totally and perfectly together 24/7, no matter how they try to make it look that way on social media. If that were the case, that person would be a robot. But, even robots malfunction from time to time.


You are worth more than the negative inner dialogue tells you. You are capable. You are deserving. You have the courage it takes to be imperfect. I believe you already have within you everything you need to be successful… it just takes some time and some work to get you to believe it too.


At Brighter Minds Therapy, we treat imposter syndrome daily. We will lead you in processing the core wounds that led to this belief system.  We will identify and challenge the ways you define your worth. Through internal family systems, we will navigate your inner dialogue and develop self-compassion towards all parts of yourself- even the parts that feel unlovable, shameful, or undeserving. We will work on developing a new inner dialogue that allows you to thrive and find opportunities in your mistakes. Together we will develop true freedom through knowing you are worthy and enough.


Reach out today if you struggle with imposter syndrome.

Therapist, Practice Owner, Business Coach

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