Posted on May 10, 2023

You are not small.
Your Foremothers did not do what they did so you could occupy small!”
― Malebo Sephodi

What Happens When We Pull the Veil Over Our Own Eyes?

When you hear the word imposter, what comes to mind? The word imposter generally means someone pretending to be something or someone they’re not.

 At the heart of it, most people meet this Specialized Inner Critic at some point in their lives. You might hear things in your head that sound like:

“Who am I to think I can command this stage, give advice, talk like an expert, or deserve these accolades?”

Ever heard the phrase, fake it till you make it? Sometimes, it seems, we’re all just putting up a brave face, trying to get by–but not really feeling like we can trust what we know, what we can do, or that others will find value in us.

Imposter Syndrome Self-Check

So how do you know if imposter syndrome might be holding you back from shining in the (well-deserved) spotlight, grabbing that promotion, or even just enjoying the heck out of a life for which you’ve worked really hard (so that you can finally relax into your worthiness?)

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you feel valued and valuable? Now this question can go multiple ways. It can refer to a specific accomplishment, a job, or even a role (like parenthood!) If you find yourself questioning whether you *deserve* any praise, affirmation, or attention for what you have done, you might struggle with imposter syndrome.
  • Do you view yourself as intelligent and capable?  When someone asks you to help out or take on a new task, is your first thought that someone else could do it better?
  • Do you (intentionally or not) try to “cover your tracks?"  Are you constantly nervous that someone will figure out you don’t know as much as you feel you should?
  • Do you regularly attribute your successes to someone or something else? This might be the most tell-tale sign of imposter syndrome. This goes beyond dodging compliments, which so many of us do. You truly believe you aren’t the cause of your success.

If any of these thoughts sound familiar, it may be that a deep-down, often-ignored feeling is bubbling up. Your answers can reveal whether you may struggle with an Imposter Syndrome blindspot.

Perfectionism vs. Imposter Syndrome

But wait, what if you're just a garden-variety perfectionist? What’s the difference, anyway?

Perhaps you are. Maybe you feel like you do deserve your success, but only if the outcome is perfect. However, perfectionism is imposter syndrome’s wall-flower best friend. It’s always lurking, and it isn’t helping your situation.

The constant striving for perfection can steal your joy and often make you feel unworthy of whatever you have accomplished—not to mention exhausted, burned out, and empty. 

It might be time to redefine what is actually perfect in your book—and cut yourself a huge break (and maybe a big slice of cake to go with it, just for good measure.)

So, What do I do now?

People with imposter syndrome are often high-achieving individuals. It might surprise the average person just how many people around them struggle with this presenting issue. In fact, the majority of adults will experience imposter syndrome in some form at some point in their life.

This quote by Albert Einstein is incredibly telling. “The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.”

Albert Einstein was a phenomenally successful scientist. Because of him, the trajectory of the world changed and evolved—most would argue for the better.

So if someone as gifted and admired as Mr. Einstein struggled with feeling worthy, is there much hope for the rest of us? 

The short answer is a resounding “yes.”

Just because you might currently struggle with imposter syndrome, or have grappled with it in the past, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to forever feel like a fraud. You do have the power in you to make changes, and they always require practice–plus sometimes a helping and supportive hand.

I offer all of the content in this article and others to help anyone struggling with the symptoms of imposter syndrome and experiencing suffering because of it.  However, if you feel ready for a deeper dive into your change process, learn more about it and schedule your first personalized hypnotherapy session with me HERE.

I’m right here waiting to meet you where you are and support you with a safe and loving space to create the change you desire in your life. Remember to click the link and find out more about how hypnotherapy can assist and accelerate the changes you want to see in your life.

Sending you lots of confident vibes your way,

Sara Raymond