Online Therapy for Imposter Syndrome
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of trendy buzz words. There always seems to be an “in word” in my field, the trendy new way to identify a pattern of behavior. People trying to find a popular way to make a mental health concern sound nice.
Imposter syndrome is one of those terms. One that you can find all over a web search and one that many individuals use in casual conversations.
Like most buzz words, I tend to run the opposite direction and find any other way to explain the pattern. But I cannot find any other word that embodies the phenomenon as clearly, as directly. No other term is as accurate.
In some ways, we are all imposters
As a fan of psychological thrillers and espionage novels/movies, the word imposter reflects a threat. It describes someone who isn’t as they appear to be or a character that is dark and devious. Imposters are often surrounded by mystery, danger, and an alluring appeal. This is what draws the reader into the story and oftentimes results in late-night reading.
Since the characters in James Patterson’s most recent thriller who are imposters tend to be the “bad guys”, why is imposter syndrome gaining so much hype? It seems like everyone is searching for it on Google.
It is hard to type, even harder to accept. But, we are all imposters on some level.
Helping professionals or high achieving professionals are at a higher risk for developing Imposter Syndrome
I Teach, Therefore I Am
I Am, Therefore, I Teach.
I Teach What I Am,
And I Am What I Teach.
I Teach To Live
And I Live To Teach.
Teach, Live, Be!
I Teach Everyone
And I Teach No One.
I Teach Everything
And I Teach Nothing.
Teaching Is In And Of Itself An Education.
Teach, Live, Be!….
A tad more philosophical than I tend to be, but the poem struck me. You can check out the entire poem here. As professionals, we teach others how to heal their hurts, make peace with their past, find a healthy balance, and thrive in the life that they choose. At the end of the day, we leave our jobs empty, exhausted, and chuckling at the irony that we struggle to practice what we preach.
Or perhaps that is just me…
Those who struggle with Imposter Syndrome wake up each day wondering if today is the day that they “will be found out.” If today is the day that people realize they have more bark than bite, they aren’t really the rockstar they appear to be, and if their world will start to crumble around them.
Some of the common signs of imposter syndrome include:
- An inability to realistically assess your competence and skills
- Attributing your success to external factors
- Berating your performance
- Fear that you won’t live up to expectations
- Sabotaging your own success
- Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short.
While for some people, impostor syndrome can fuel success, but it usually comes at a cost in the form of constant anxiety. You might over-prepare or work much harder than necessary to “make sure” that nobody finds out you are a fraud.
According to ImpostorSyndrome.com what emerged from research are five different Competence Types — each with its own unique focus:
If you’re a perfectionist your primary focus is on “how” something is done. This includes how the work is conducted and how it turns out. One minor flaw in an otherwise stellar performance or 99 out of 100 equals failure. This causes shame.
The expert is the knowledge version of the Perfectionist. Here, the primary concern is on “what” and “how much” you know or can do. Because you expect to know everything, even a minor lack of knowledge denotes failure and shame.
A Soloist cares mostly about “who” completes the task. To make it on the achievement list, it has to be you and you alone. Because you think you need to do and figure out everything on your own, needing help is a sign of failure that evokes shame.
The Natural Genius
A Natural Genius also care about “how” and “when” accomplishments happen. But for you, competence is measured in terms of ease and speed. The fact that you have to struggle to master a subject or skill or that you’re not able to bang out your masterpiece on the first try equals failure which evokes shame.
The Superwoman/Superman/Super Student
The Supers measure competence based on “how many” roles they can both juggle and excel in. Falling short in any role — as a parent, partner, on the home-front, host/hostess, friend, volunteer — all evoke shame because they feel they should be able to handle it all — perfectly and easily.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome is Possible With Online Therapy
No matter what type of impostor syndrome you exhibit, beating it starts from you assessing yourself and accepting that you have it. Then, you can move on to discussing it with other people like trusted friends or professionals who can help you deal with it. This way, you are accountable to people who can help you track your progress when you start working on yourself.
Feeling like a fraud on any level is emotionally exhausting, physically draining and a cycle that can fuel a slippery slope to compassion fatigue and/or burnout.
But, there can be a different path.
If the things I have discussed resonate with you, then let’s chat! I have a feeling we would be a great fit to work together in counseling. I will be committed to partnering with you to get you back to the high achiever you are – with realistic expectations of life, self, and those around you.
Begin Online Therapy for Imposter Syndrome in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, and Tennessee:
If you’re ready to feel good about yourself and your life, then I’m here to help! I provide online therapy in Ohio, online therapy in Tennessee, online therapy in Florida, online therapy in California, and online therapy in Pennsylvania. In addition to offering therapy for professionals, I offer online therapy for helping professionals, online therapy for burnout, online anxiety therapy, and Therapy for Therapists™. I am certified in Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™ and offer online workshops to people wanting to overcome shame. Contact me today and let’s get started!