Understanding the Causes of Imposter Syndrome
Have you ever doubted your ability or knowledge to do something that life presents you? Most of us have. I know there have been many times that I have stopped in my tracks, worried I had exceeded my skills set, or thought everyone would laugh at me. It is so common it was given its very own name – the Imposter Syndrome.
Have you ever encountered the problem? Please let me know your experience of it in the comments below.
The Imposter Syndrome stops more people striving for greater things than any other cause. Nearly 95% of us has been the victim of it during our lives, on occasions, if not always. I know have, many times when being put into situations where my old self-image found a task or position daunting, causing self doubt and “frozen talent”. Over 40 years of clinical practice I have often seen the damage that it does, the broken lives and opportunities.
Let’s explore the Imposter Syndrome and solutions to the problem.
It is caused by underlying belief systems we learn in our first five years, and no matter how hard we try to overcome a causal poor self image, the self-doubt plagues most people for the rest of their lives. The Imposter Syndrome can affect anyone, at any time, in any situation.
Step One is to recognise and understand the Imposter Syndrome, its cause and solutions.
Step Two is to convince your unconscious mind to also recognise what it is doing and to agree to stop doing it. That’s a little harder but doable.
Most people struggle with feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure at some time during their lives, if not all the time. Unconscious programs can also lead to repetitive thoughts filled with judgment and self criticism. Once the source of the negative self-talk is identified, it becomes easier to address it directly in a proactive way.
The thing that traps most of us is that we almost always have two self images. The first is the one we take on board before the age of 5 years old when we just absorb everything happening around us as fact. The second usually comes after that period when we can start to rationalise our lives and what is happening to us and around us.
Often, these two self images are in conflict, causing self-doubt, hesitation and sometimes desperation.
Spend time being aware of your reactions
A very basic way to begin challenging negative self-talk is to practice mindful awareness. In other words, always be mindful of your thought flow, and be aware of the causes of that flow of thoughts as it relates to surrounding triggers. When those critical voices start up, take a few moments to pause and observe the thoughts objectively. This will help you gain insight into their source and can help you recognize that these thoughts are simply patterns perpetuated by your unconscious mind.
It’s important to remember that challenging negative self-talk doesn’t mean ignoring it. Instead, a good strategy is to make an effort to replace it with positive self-talk and affirmations. A much more powerful way is to learn specific strategies to communicate with your unconscious in language that it understands. Because everyone of us is unique and our unconscious has a very specific unique way to communicate with us, being able to do this takes learning some new skills.
Another way to directly influence unconscious processes is to use special semi-hypnotic subliminal audio programs that direct bypass the critical conscious mind and reprogram the negative self-image. You can find a carefully crafted audio program to do this HERE. If you would like a free copy of this audio program fill in the form below.
Building Support Systems to Enhance Self-Confidence
Finding solutions and building support systems to boost self-confidence is vital for overall well-being. When developing healthy self-confidence, it is important to recognize that the journey to success can be a challenging one. This often involves recognizing and overcoming challenges such as Imposter Syndrome, which itself can be a significant obstacle to progress since any attempt to modify its underlying cause actually creates a reaction of resistance. You see, you unconscious program is simply reactive. It does what it does because it thinks it is protecting you.
If you think about it, in many ways stopping you from doing something through self-doubt can be seen as protecting you by stopping you from doing something stupid! At least that’s what it has learned. But that can get you into all sorts of trouble in real life.
The Imposter Syndrome, as a feeling of inadequacy or uncertainty, despite evidence of successes one has achieved, may lead to an inability to accept compliments or recognition, and a fear of failure. It is important to learn how to cope with Imposter Syndrome so that it does not become a roadblock on the path to you desired success.
At a clinical level, combining two competing self-images into one positive Super Self is relatively easy. First I would suggest you try the EQ2030 SBV Self Confidence program. You can receive a free copy of this powerful audio program by completing the form adjacent to this.
If you still need help, or would like to explore the advantages of improving the self-image of a group of people or your staff, with the tremendous benefits of productivity and self-activation, fill in the form here and I’ll keep you updated with a special program in preparation that will provide clinical benefits and superlative results, due for completion shortly.
And, of course, as always, let me know your thoughts, questions and comments in the comments section below.
The Neuro-Com Program, Johnston G.W 2013, GMF Publishing