It is human nature to experience self-doubt in certain situations. Many people suffer from a more extreme version of this known as imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a state where a person has constant doubt of their ability to do certain things. These could be anything from performing a task, handling a situation, sustaining relationships with others, and more. The syndrome brings internal self-doubt resulting in fear and worry of others as being incapable or being found out as a fraud. Anyone can have imposter syndrome, although it is common in overachievers.
People with imposter syndrome often don’t realize what they’re struggling with. Imposter syndrome manifests what may feel like normal feelings and reactions to certain situations. However, the more self-doubt they experience, the more they plunge deeper into believing in their apparent belief that they may fail in something expected of them.
Imposter Syndrome in Friendships
A person may experience imposter syndrome in everyday relationships with friends and family. They may feel inadequate to their friends, prompting them to believe they cannot be who their friendship circles expect them to be. As a result, such people have low self-esteem and tend to have a different persona when with other people. It is dangerous as they continue to feel like an imposter, prompting them to withdraw from friendships altogether.
Some people suffer from social anxiety, but this does not necessarily mean that they have imposter syndrome. There is a slight difference between the two, but social anxiety is temporary, and these individuals may not experience these feelings away from a social setting. People with social anxiety have a lot of self-doubt in social settings, but they don’t necessarily fear failure.
In workplace settings, people with imposter syndrome may lack confidence at work and constantly fear being seen as incapable. As if this is not enough, even when they succeed, they might still worry that other people may not find them deserving of this success and accomplishment.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
There is no easy way to overcome imposter syndrome, and it requires a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy, positive affirmations, and conscious effort to replace negative thoughts with positive alternatives.
One of the best ways to do this is to identify their strengths and unique qualities and capitalize on them. Being conscious about these helps grow confidence which gives reassurance when feelings of self-doubt begin to manifest.
In extreme cases, a person may seek professional help if the negative thoughts persist.
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