HomeMental HealthImposter Syndrome Hits Home | Psychology Today

Imposter Syndrome Hits Home | Psychology Today

As I was trying to decide on a topic for today’s post my eyes settled on this quote I have taped up by my desk: “I’m never looking to sit down on what I’ve already done.”

I recall tearing it out of a magazine, one of the women’s glossies, but I don’t remember which one and the quote is not attributed to any author. I liked it because it reminds me to keep moving, to never sit on my accomplishments.

A small group from the entrepreneurial program I attended in 2018 still meets every month to support each other, to offer suggestions, for accountability, and to shoot the breeze. We met yesterday and my friends were saying they admired my ability to get things done once I put my mind to it. We always make a list at the end of a meeting of things we want to achieve by the next time we meet, and I pretty much always hit everything on my list. My friend Robin, who also has a full-time job, was asking me when I wrote and I told her typically four in the morning because I’m just up, especially when I was on steroids for four months. (I’ve been off of them for a week now; please cross your fingers.)

After the meeting is when I started feeling as though I was a fraud. If only my friends knew how much I struggle, how much I doubt myself as an entrepreneur. I’ve had doubts before, but for some reason hearing their accolades had the opposite effect it should have had.

© TarikVision | Shutterstock

Source: © TarikVision | Shutterstock

In the post, “Escaping the Prison of Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome,” Margaret Rutherford writes: “So, as a highly competent adult, you get the job. You take on a huge challenge. And, as you push yourself harder and harder, the more you must deny that anything is a struggle. But, on nightly rides home or in the shower in the early morning, you can hear this shaming voice: ‘You’re not who everyone thinks you are.’ And in an effort to burrow into your psyche, that insecurity finds a home in your already well-established fear. No one has known who you really are for years. An adaptation that was likely created as protection, as emotional survival, now could easily morph into a fear of being found out. And imposter syndrome can be created.”

I don’t know if I can escape the clutches of imposter syndrome. It seems the more I accomplish, the more I will feed into it — a kind of circular impasse. One suggestion Rutherford makes is: “Know the dynamics of your triggers. Where did you learn this strategy to have to be perfect?” Where did I learn it? Thanks, Mom. Today happens to be the twentieth anniversary of her death. (I wrote about it last week.) Part of the issue is that I’m so afraid of ending up like my father, I overcompensate to emulate my mother. There is no grey area in my life; there is no room for mediocrity.

© Andrea Rosenhaft

Source: © Andrea Rosenhaft



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