Doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraus, even in areas where you typically excel is called Imposter Syndrome.
If this is familiar to you, please know you are not alone. Imposter Syndrome is common, whether you to understand it and hopefully adopt some behaviours to minimise the negative effects of it for you…
HOW CAN IMPOSTER SYNDROME PRESENT:
- Self Doubt
- Negative self talk (it thrives on it)
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Lack of self confidence
- Constant comparison to others
- Dwelling on the past
- Irrational fears for the future
Regardless of whether you are the CEO of a company, a doctor, a secretary, a retail assistant, a vet, a PT a Mum, or simply a woman wanting to use the weights room – chances are you have experienced imposter syndrome.
This is never more apparent than in the world today where there is constant exposure to the lives of others on social media; forcing us to compare ourselves to other people.
Research has shown that women suffer from imposter syndrome more than men(1), although there is also some argument for Imposter Syndrome in women being Gender Bias instead (the result of being systemically and constantly excluded and discriminated against in the workplace(2)). Further gender differences have been unveiled in the context where the syndrome is felt; men most often feel it in the workplace, women feel it in the workplace, in education, out with friends, in gyms, and as a parent.
Motherhood imposter syndrome is when mothers feel a sense of no matter what they do, they will never be good enough (“Momposter” (3)).
SIGNS OF MOTHERHOOD IMPOSTER SYNDROME MAY INCLUDE:
- Frequent comparing oneself to others
- Feeling like a failure
- Struggling to return to work after maternity leave
- Isolating from others
- Negative Self Talk
- Difficulty asking for help
- Minimizing your accomplishments
- Anxiety about being judged by others
- Trying to do everything for everyone
- Putting others needs first
- Constant exhaustion
- Chronic stress
Imposter syndrome can be broken down into five basic types(4):
- The Perfectionist. This type of imposter syndrome involves believing that, unless you were absolutely perfect, you could have done better. You feel like an imposter because your perfectionsistic traits where you believe that you’re not as good as others might think you are.
- The Expert. The expert feels like an imposter because they don’t know everything there is to know about a particular subject or topic, or they haven’t mastered every step in a process. Because there is more for them to learn, they don’t feel as if they’ve reached the rank of “expert.”
- The Natural Genius. In this imposter syndrome type, you may feel like a fraud simply because you don’t believe that you are naturally intelligent or competent. If you don’t get something right the first time around or it takes you longer to master a skill, you feel like an imposter.
- The Soloist. It’s also possible to feel like an imposter if you had to ask for help to reach a certain level or status. Since you couldn’t get there on your own, you question your competence or abilities.
- The Superperson. This type of imposter syndrome involves believing that you must be the hardest worker or reach the highest levels of achievement possible and, if you don’t, you are a fraud.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME:
- Family upbringing
- New opportunities
- Social Anxiety
HOW TO COPE WITH IMPOSTER SYNDROME:
- Let go of perfectionism
- Share your feelings
- Celebrate your successes
- Share your failures
- Focus on helping someone in a similar situation to build confidence
- Learn the facts
- Talk about it
- Be kind to yourself
- Do some counselling with me – book here!
If any of what I’ve shared resonates with you and you feel like you are comparing yourself to others or talking negatively to yourself regarding your abilities or self worth please look to make some small changes…. starting with getting help or talking about your experiences.
If social media is a catalyst for feeling like an imposter, re-evaluate who you are following and remember, what you see isn’t always real… no-one’s life is perfect.
YOU are Enough, YOU are Worthy, YOU are Loved.
Charlie is a stylist, couseller, and personal trainer who blends mental health and movement to help you thrive and flourish in this life, right now, no matter what your size or weight is. Book in for a free session here.