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The Cure for Imposter Syndrome

Searching the web, you will find an abundance of articles about imposter syndrome. Various attempts to define what it is exactly, and more importantly, what causes it and how to cope with it.

Like other mental health conditions that vary in degree of seriousness such as depression or anxiety, there is no absolute cure for imposter syndrome. Nothing in modern medicine or psychology will enable you to completely rid yourself of it. Much of it being an internal battle, the ability to cope with it, and ideally, disallowing it from hindering life, is very much up to the individual. There is no one size fits all.

WHAT IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME AND HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE IT?

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a deep feeling of inadequacy, of “never being good enough.” Many have described it as constantly feeling like a phony or a fraud. This can apply to various situations and aspects of life. For instance, someone with IS may feel they are unworthy of a promotion at their job, unsuited to receive a higher salary, undeserving of relationships with people that are “better” than them. And this can range from personal life to professional life which it is quite common to affect both.

People suffering from IS are often living in a state of constant anxiety. They truly believe they are not competent as others believe them to be, even when there is encouragement around them and plenty of proof of their competence.

THE OVERBEARING FEAR OF BEING EXPOSED AS A FRAUD IS ALWAYS LOOMING.

A common trait of someone with imposter syndrome is to overwork, obsessively, to try and compensate for their internal inadequacy. They are typically “workaholics” who are never completely finished or happy with their work. They tend to fixate on flaws, disguise it as perfectionism, and won’t allow themselves to ask for help out of fear of appearing weak or incompetent. There is a constant need to compare themselves, or their work, to others, which is never good enough, further “proving” their inferiority and unworthiness. The internal voice repeating “You’re not ready. You have a lot more to prove. They are way better than you are at this. Do you really think you’re good enough?” And on and on the pathological inner critic continues.

Modern psychology claims the causes for these symptoms to be your personality, your upbringing, a change of work environment or social anxiety. While none of this is inherently wrong, the root cause of imposter syndrome is commonly much deeper.

HOW IMPOSTER SYNDROME AFFECTS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Imposter syndrome is, at its core, a manifestation of real self-doubt, deep fears of inadequacy, and truly negative core beliefs. The dominant feeling of never being worthy will not allow the functional space for healthy experiences of love, gratitude, attention or presence to live and flourish. As a result, any potential for a substantial relationship is sabotaged. This goes for friendships, romantic relationships and business relationships.

There simply is no room for real relationships as long as imposter syndrome is thriving.

At the heart of it, imposter syndrome is the controlling and maniacal inner-voice of extremely low self-esteem. It is the painfully harsh living proof of how low self-value and lack of self-worth can limit a person’s life experience. To live with IS unchecked, is to live inhibited and as a victim of self-driven fear.

As noted above, there is no direct cure for imposter syndrome. But this does not mean it can’t be unlearned and avoided.

To overcome imposter syndrome, it requires real self-analysis. Reflecting on and directly facing your inner fears, doubts, and traumas. It’s about identifying these individual pain points and understanding them, so you can learn what triggers them and start to prevent them from triggering you into your smallness of IS and all of its fears and doubts.

This is the first step forward. Once you begin to make peace with these internal issues that are blocking you from growing, you can then start to clear the way for your true self to shine through.

THE IMPOSTER CANNOT SURVIVE THE REAL YOU. 

Taking the necessary steps to LIVE your life’s purpose with intention, vision and, in turn, your self-empowerment – this is the true “cure” for imposter syndrome.

Check out our programs page to learn more about our SELF-EMPOWERMENT THROUGH PURPOSE program. Fill out the brief assessment to see if this program is a good fit for you.

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There is no “Us” in Isolation

Why are we more isolated than ever? Is it by choice?

Even prior to the 2020 pandemic, our level of isolation and distance from each other has been the norm for some time now. Is it social media? Internet culture? Streaming services?

ARE WE HAPPIER AT A SOCIAL DISTANCE?

With people living virtually and vicariously through a screen, the “need” to actually connect with others in real life has taken a downturn.

Where has this led us to?

According to the stats – plenty of suffering.

From deep loneliness and depression, to social anxiety and panic, to excessive drug and alcohol consumption, to complete emotional disconnect and apathy, to increased suicide rates. It’s all of this, and then some. 

ISOLATION IS THE NEW NORM.

How can it be that you can feel completely alone in a roomful of “friends”? Why are we indifferent to connecting and committing to other people in real life? And does it matter?

By nature, we are social beings. We have an innate need to connect with our fellow individuals. Even the most introverted of us have an inner need to connect, to relate with others, so be it, a select few. Personal connection and relationships are crucial to our well-being. Our individual health is rooted in our ability to connect with others and form balanced, meaningful relationships. This is why we begin socializing children even before they can speak coherently. The importance of sharing, relating with one another and connecting is essential to our growth. And this doesn’t stop in adulthood.

As adults, some of us may not make an effort to meet as many new people or be as social as we once were, but the need to relate and connect with each other is just as important nevertheless. The hazard of isolation is that there can be such a thing as too much time alone. This can lead us to essentially live inside our minds, our own personal bubble, and lose a sense of reality outside of this space. On the other hand, there is also a danger in spending too much time socializing and not enough time in seclusion whereas one may lose themselves, their own thoughts and energy, in the act of exhausting it with others.

ISOLATION AND TIME TO SELF-REFLECT IS IMPORTANT, BUT THERE MUST BE A BALANCE OF BOTH – TIME TO SECLUDE, AND TIME TO SOCIALIZE.

It is fairly typical for us, especially as adults, to struggle with this balance which inadvertently affects our relationships. In this time of collective isolation, it is important that we stay cognisant of this and make an active effort to maintain our ability to connect with others, as well as nurture our existing relationships.

If this is something you are currently experiencing, visit our program page under RELATIONSHIP BUILDING + CORE VIRTUES. We have an immersive section that deals with the balance of self maintenance and relationship building with many core principles around this that are sensible and practical in applying to your life.

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Imprisoned By Anxiety, Overpower Your Fear

The world is a dangerous place and life always ends deadly.
“Memento mori”

Living in western society we have been fairly sheltered from many of the dangers and cruelties of the world around us. But throughout the pandemic and in light of recent events, there is a collective anxiety growing among us. This is the inevitable impact of any war and/or event of mass violence.

Feelings of anxiety, panic, and fear creep into our lives, into our thoughts and into our souls. We’re looking at these events unfolding, in shock and helpless, unable to “do something about it.” Humans watching other humans in pain, violence, and death breeds an enormous amount of fear and reaction within us.

Real threats to the peace and freedoms that many of us take for granted in the west are becoming more and more commonplace as we’re watching, transfixed, seeing the world as we know it, fall apart.

Is it not normal to be afraid in a situation like this?
Afraid for your loved ones, for your future, for your country?

Fear is a natural reaction to a situation like the one we’re witnessing right now. But we need to be very careful not to be consumed by it.

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.“ – Frank Herbert, Dune

Yes, fear as a reaction is natural – but at what cost?

Fear can render you unable to think clearly. It has the power to dampen your inner fire, and rob you of your passion and purpose.

Uncontrolled fear can completely imprison you.

To continue to function in times of inner and outer crisis you need to stay connected with your inner self. Preserving a strong foundation within yourself is essential. You NEED your inner fire, your passion to stay in control and to claim your power over your own life. This is survival.

In fearful times, your self-esteem is your armor, your protection. It keeps you in control and able to stay aware of your surroundings while NOT being consumed by them.

A person with healthy self-esteem has an appropriate understanding of life. To the challenges life throws at them. The unpredictable and the dangerous.
Are they afraid? Yes. But they are prepared to keep moving forward, past their fears. They can navigate through the challenges of life without being controlled by the panic of anxiety or by the darkness of depression.

Breaking the habit of fear and anxiety is complicated, and many people cannot do it without a mentor or a strong support system.

I’ve personally been down this road in my life many times, consumed by darkness, losing control of my life to fear and anxiety. 

I’ve lost relationships, friends, money, career positions, everything. I’ve seen war and destruction. And I was able to pull myself through, continually growing stronger than before. Each loss was a lesson. And if I could do it, you can absolutely do it.

Sometimes the only way out of a situation is through it.

Many of us just need some guidance and the right tools to help us overpower the real life enemy of inner fear and anxiety. If you are ready for this journey, I can help.

Let’s work together.
Contact me at [email protected] with the subject line: FEEL DIFFERENT