Imposter syndrome and Fraud syndrome
Do you feel that you are promoted beyond your capabilities and will soon be “found out”? Perhaps despite achieving top marks at University and securing a good position at work you are afraid that someone will expose you as a fraud! Perhaps you did not go to University and feel yourself lacking just because you don’t have that qualification even though you are very good at your job?
Imposter syndrome or Fraud syndrome is not a psychologically categorised issue but nevertheless affects many people even when they are performing well and achieving top promotions in their careers. However much positive evidence is available confirming their ability and competence there always remains a nagging doubt that they will soon be “discovered” for the fraud that they think they are. The mirror image of imposter syndrome is the Dunnuing-Kruger effect whereby incompetent people remain convinced of their own competence.
To anyone who feels comfortable and competent in their own field of expertise this can seem difficult to understand but for a sufferer even offhand comments and looks in the workplace can appear to be confirmation of one’s perceived inadequacies and lack of qualifications in an area where they most probably excel.
If you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome you may:
- Be afraid people will “find you out” and see through you
- Take normal advice or criticism to heart
- Worry that praise and encouragement from others is misplaced or just being said to help you feel better
- Think everyone else is better qualified than you.
Of course friends and colleagues will most likely continue to say that this type of thinking is nonsense and try to help with encouraging words and advice. But however well meaning this may be unfortunately the “imposter” will find little solace in their words since they “know” for sure it is only a matter of time before they will get found out. Have you tried saying to yourself “Don’t think that” “Stop worrying about it” or “Forget it”? You might just as well say “Don’t think of a pink elephant”!This sort of self talk rarely works and especially so in this sort of case.
I have a phrase that I often ask clients to say to themselves whenever negative self talk is taking over the mind. Telling oneself to stop thinking this way rarely works since the message will be filtered through the frontal cortex of the rational logical mind which usually rejects it. However I have found that when we say the phrase “That thought is not available” it is a great way to divert the message past this part of the mind and straight to the unconscious creative mind. Because these words make no logical sense to our analytical thinking the phrase bypasses the conscious process.
Obviously there is work to be done in releasing past conditioning and blocks that prevent positive and realistic assessment of one’s talent. In my therapy practice I find a combination of hypnosis and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to be powerful ways to help my clients release past blocks and issues in a rapid, comfortable and empowering way.
In the words of Marianne Williamson from her book “Return to Love” “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
To find out more about how Hypnotherapy, EFT, and NLP can massively help your confidence and self belief in this and other areas of your life just call 07970218451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help you.