On the surface, you’re successful.
But on the inside, you’re scared of being found out.
That inner voice critiquing your every move keeps getting louder. Being hard on yourself is the only thing that’s ever really motivated you... but it’s not working for you anymore.
You’ve always been able to get things done.
You’ve accomplished so much. The test you needed to pass, the school you needed to get into, the competition you had to overcome, climbing the career ladder—every time there is an obstacle you just power through it.
You meet deadlines, you try to be encouraging and supportive of those you manage, and you’re attentive to your supervisors’ goals. You strive to be an asset they can count on.
Meanwhile, in secret, you check and double-check your work to avoid mistakes.
Perfectionism is your way of coping with the constant fear of failure.
You spend more time on simple tasks so that they will be absolutely correct. Or you procrastinate on a big project because you dread screwing it up in some way.
Others give you positive feedback, but you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. The endless loop of self-doubt plays in your head: I’m such a fake. I don’t deserve this praise; I’ve just been lucky so far. When they find out who I really am, it will all come crashing down.
Instead of being proud of your accomplishments, you feel guilty and anxious about hiding your struggles.
The worst part is how alone you feel, because it seems like everyone else has it together. It’s a heavy burden to carry, this fear of being caught up in a mistake and found out as a fraud.
But the truth is, you’re not the only one. In fact, so many people go through this experience that there’s actually a word for it.
It’s called imposter syndrome: feeling like a failure despite evidence of your accomplishments.
It’s when no amount of positive feedback from others can affect your internal sense of being “not good enough.” (Read more about imposter syndrome here.)
The good news is that therapy can help to alleviate imposter syndrome, so that you can become confident in your worth and compassionate toward yourself.
For some people, imposter syndrome is a side effect of complex trauma.
If you experienced a difficult time growing up because of abuse, neglect, or lack of emotional support, the patterns of survival you learned as a kid may unconsciously continue as an adult.
Even after you are no longer living in an unreliable or unpredictable environment, it may feel essential to do things perfectly so that you avoid upsetting anyone. Or you may have a self-perception that doesn’t match how the outer world sees you, thanks to constant criticism from the adults in your early life. Maybe it was impossible to ever make your family satisfied because of their unrealistic demands, and now you’re the one making harsh demands on yourself—still trying to measure up and be good enough.
Many people come to therapy to identify and change these patterns. Perfectionism and imposter syndrome are treatable, and you don’t have to be stuck in old unhealthy ways of coping.
I MAY BE THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR YOU IF:
· You experience imposter syndrome
· You feel alienated from people you care about, or feel like you don’t fit anywhere
· You’re starting to experience burnout in your work
· You second-guess your decisions
· You’re anxious or worried most of the time
· Your self-esteem has hit rock bottom
· You wonder if childhood trauma keeps you from having compassion for yourself
THERAPY WILL HELP YOU:
· Overcome self-doubt and minimize your critical inner voice
· Invest in your relationships
· Balance your work life and home life
· Feel confident in your skills and trust your own judgment
· Do your work in the world with focus, not fear
You don’t have to feel this way anymore, and you don’t have to struggle through it by yourself. Let me help.