What is Impostor Syndrome, and How To Overcome It

What is Impostor Syndrome, and How To Overcome It

At one time or another, everyone, especially therapy professionals new in their careers, experience "impostor syndrome."  These feelings of doubt or fear can be crippling to your confidence, and affect your daily work environment.  Keep reading to find out exactly what it is, and what you can do to counter it and move on.


What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Simply put, it is the feeling that you are not qualified to do your job, that you are an "impostor", and that others will "find you out".  In a broader sense, it can manifest as feelings of anxiety and doubt in yourself and your ability to help your clients.  All professionals experience this a little bit, but it can hit therapists especially hard, since you are in charge of your clients' mental well-being.

So, how to overcome it?


#1 - Visualize Success

When you start thinking of yourself as successful, you crowd out the thoughts of failure.  This will help lower stress and put you in the right frame of mind to accurately guide your patients.


#2 - Focus on Facts, Not Just Feelings

We all feel inadequate from time to time.  Instead of dwelling on these thoughts, go through a list of facts in your mind.  What specialty are you focused on, what degree did you earn?  Once you learn to accept the facts of your life, you will not feel like an imposter. Which, brings us to the last tip:


#3 - Share Your Thoughts With Others

Open up about your fears, doubts, anxieties, etc., with a close colleague or loved one.  When you verbalize the things in your life which are causing anxiety, you are able to take power away from them.  You will also discover very quickly that everyone feels that way from time to time, which will also make you feel empowered.

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