By Sue Siebens
Is it fear of failure? Or is it knowing that winning will never be an option for me—at least not without a painful struggle?
Imposter syndrome is when we feel incompetent, incapable or unqualified regardless of our skills, training or experience. It is the negative self-talk that has us restless and nervous about our performance. Common characteristics 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 success
· Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short
We are pressed on all sides by the need to achieve. It's a big ask, especially when first starting. If we do succeed but not in a big way, that also is a kind of failure.
"Ultimately, the impostor phenomenon becomes a cycle. Afraid of being discovered as a fraud, people with impostor feelings go through contortions to do a project perfectly. When they succeed, they begin to believe all that anxiety and effort paid off. Eventually, they develop almost superstitious beliefs, thinking their successes must be due to that self-torture."
Imposter syndrome feelings and behaviors are self-defeating barriers to success.
Imposter syndrome occurs in people of all backgrounds, ages and genders. There is a variety of contributing influencers.
· Overcontrolling or overprotective parenting
· Mixed messages from parents, such as flipping back and forth between offering praise and being critical
· High levels of conflict with low levels of support
· High pressures to achieve combined with a lack of experience
· Low self-efficacy – your ability to succeed
· Social anxiety
· Experienced discrimination or exclusion
Impostor syndrome even exists among high achievers who cannot internalize and accept their success.
It’s the confusion between approval, love and worthiness.
There is lots of advice out there to cope with the false narratives of imposter syndrome:
· Fake it until you make it
· Face until you make it
· Failing is good. That is how we learn. Work, fail, learn from it, work, fail, learn, etc., until you get it right
· Stop comparing yourself to others. We all advance at our own pace.
· Take baby steps—give up perfection and focus on progress
These strategies are about forcing action. But having the courage to do something you are afraid of takes a lot of energy and work! AND these coping mechanisms don’t get rid of the problem—cope now, but it will play out again the next time you’re in a similar situation.
Getting beyond feelings of self-doubt and incompetence
When we experience these emotions, we tend to believe these expressions are part of our core personality and we are stuck with them. Sometimes we will think that knowing the details of the original wounds will free us. Too often, we accept that emotional wounds are complicated and dealing with them is too complex and painful. None of this is true!
Emotional Resolution, EmRes, is the easiest way to remove the emotional stress that makes our life less than perfect. Instead of being courageous, EmRes allows us to be rationally fearless.
When we feel uncomfortable emotions for longer than a few seconds, we are reexperiencing an unprocessed emotion. During high-stress events, in-flight emotions may not be entirely processed by our bodies. When there are other more essential survival priorities, unprocessed emotions remain in our bodies as emotional-sensory imprints. These are the triggered emotions when we encounter similar situations in the future.
Emotional Resolution, developed by the Emotional Health Institute, uses current understandings in modern neuropsychology. EmRes is not another coping mechanism. It is a body of work based on interoception, watching physical sensations to clear triggered emotions.
EmRes creates the time and space for the body to process the unprocessed emotions. EmRes removes the emotional-sensory imprints permanently. Once gone, they can not be triggered again.
Addressing unprocessed emotions in the EmRes way has some unique benefits:
· Sessions are like having a calm conversation with a friend.
· We don’t have to know the origin or details of the original emotional injury.
· Even if remembered, sessions do not involve reliving or triggered
· There is no need to share personal details if it is too uncomfortable
· Emotional relief is a result of each EmRes session. Complex issues often require just a few sessions.
If you feel incompetent, incapable or unqualified, regardless of your skills, then you are being pressured by unprocessed emotions to feel and think that way.
Imposter syndrome can change with EmRes. You can rise to a place of calmness and confidence in spaces where you felt otherwise.
Are you ready to believe in yourself and live your life fearlessly?
1. What Is Imposter Syndrome?, by Arlin Cuncic, https://www.verywellmind.com/imposter-syndrome-and-social-anxiety-disorder-4156469#citation-3 ,(4. Sakulku J, Alexander J. The imposter phenomenon. Int J Behav Sci. 2011;6(1):73-92. doi:10.14456/IJBS.2011.6)
2. Feel like a fraud?, by Kirsten Weir, https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/fraud
3. What Is Imposter Syndrome?, by Arlin Cuncic, https://www.verywellmind.com/imposter-syndrome-and-social-anxiety-disorder-4156469#citation-3
Photo by Microsoft Edge on Unsplash
Sue Siebens uses Emotional Resolution, EmRes, to work at a fundamental level, where the roots of the illness, fear, and pain can be accessed and resolved. Sue teaches and writes to raise awareness about this new technology so that as many people as possible can find relief and peace in their life. Sue is based in Dallas, Tx, USA.