Tag: <span>Mental Health</span>

Feeling Like an Imposter? The Impact of Imposter Syndrome and How to Cope with It

Feeling Like an Imposter?

The Impact of Imposter Syndrome and How to Cope with It

“I’m not good enough to be here.”

“What am I doing here?”

“Will they notice I don’t belong here and fire me?”

“I’m a fraud. Everyone will know.”

I

f you have these thoughts, chances are that you may be dealing with Imposter Syndrome. This phenomenon includes thoughts and feelings of self-doubt and incompetence that continue despite having background knowledge, experience, and accomplishments important to the position.

A person impacted by this phenomenon won’t believe they earned their success through their own merits and worry that their peers or employers will come to the same realization. Minor errors at work just reinforce this perception of yourself.

Imposter syndrome can impact anyone in any position or profession. Possible causes of Imposter Syndrome include: parental rearing or childhood environment, personality traits, current mental health status, new expectations and responsibilities, institutionalized racism, and gender bias.

Now that there is an understanding of what Imposter Syndrome is, we’re going to break-down the five types of Imposter Syndrome, the impact of Imposter Syndrome, and how to reduce the impact on your life.

The 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome

The Perfectionist

If Imposter Syndrome shows up in this type, the person may focus on how things are done to the point that perfection is expected of themselves in every area of their life. Additionally, they will not acknowledge the hard work they’ve invested and may criticize themselves for any errors, seeing them as failures.

The Natural Genius

The Natural Genius type will appear in people who spend their lives easily picking up new skills and believe new information and processes should be understood easily as well. This relates to Imposter Syndrome when they begin to have difficulty with tasks because they feel that competent people would not have any difficulty with these tasks.

The Soloist/Individualist

In this type of Imposter Syndrome, the person believes that they should be competent enough to not need help from others with tasks. If they are not able to successfully complete those tasks individually, they feel like frauds.

The Expert

This type will be observed in people who believe that they should have all the knowledge they need internally. If they are not able to answer questions or find out they were not aware of certain knowledge, they feel like failures.

The Superhero

The Superhero type often appears in people who connect competence to their capability of succeeding in every role they take on in their lives. Imposter Syndrome comes in if they are unable to successfully fulfill role demands and expectations.

This is merely an introduction to the five types of Imposter Syndrome, and we hope to elaborate on them in a future blog.

The Impact of Imposter Syndrome

            Imposter Syndrome can leave a lasting impact and overbearing burden on a person if they are not able to cope with the phenomenon. Since people are experiencing these thoughts of self-doubt and incompetence, they end up working harder than they usually would and placing higher expectations on themselves – leading to mental health issues and, ironically, poorer work performance. These thoughts of self-doubt and incompetence fuel anxiety, depression, guilt, and stress. The combination of these mental health symptoms then leads to a lack of sleep and inability to focus. If these symptoms are not worked through using effective coping skills, it can lead to other psychological and physiological symptoms.

How to Reduce the Impact of Imposter Syndrome

Sometimes our frequently used coping strategies may not work with certain phenomena, including Imposter Syndrome. There are plenty of ways to work through this self-doubt, including:

  • Discussing your feelings and thoughts with your peers, friends, coworkers, family, and mentors.
    • They may be feeling something similar and can provide insight on how they worked through the experience.
  • Recognizing your experience, knowledge, and competence.
    • It takes a lot of work to get where you are in your position or profession, and you would not have been able to get there by doing nothing.
  • Challenging your self-doubt.
    • It’s important to question whether the facts support the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself.
  • Avoid comparing yourself with others around you.
    • We are all unique in our own ways and comparing ourselves is not an accurate comparison.
  • Seek help if your symptoms worsen.
    • It can be hard to do this on our own and there is nothing wrong with needing help from a therapist, church leader, etc. to help you work through it.

Imposter Syndrome can be a difficult phenomenon to work through, especially when it feels so real and scary. However, it can be worked through if you have the right tools at your disposal. You are competent. You have the experience for the position you’re in. You’ve proved to your peers time and time again how you’re deserving of the role. Now, all you must do is allow yourself to believe it as well.

My hope for you is to see your worth in your role, profession, or position. If you would like more information, please contact our office at: (915) 209-1234.

                        Kindly,

                                 Zoe Olivo, LPC-Associate Supervised by Guillermo A. Castañeda, LPC-S

Resilience: An Anxiety Vaccine

“People experience increased stress and concern in times of crisis as we are currently facing.”

– Dr. Asim Shah, professor and executive vice president in Menninger’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.

A word that has gone viral in our society is anxiety, keeping in mind that anxiety is needed and adaptive in supporting us and preserving life, along with fear, anger, sadness, or happiness.

Until a few years ago, it was estimated that 20.6% of the world’s population suffered from anxiety. A recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association shows that Americans are suffering from anxiety.

The survey found that four out of 10 suffer from anxiety when they think they may become seriously ill or die, five out of 10 Americans experience anxiety about getting coronavirus and six in 10 suffer from anxiety because family members get the virus. In addition, individuals may be overwhelmed with concerns about uncertainty of the next paycheck, increased bills and increase in social isolation.

Considering now, that when we experience a sleep interruption and change in appetite, we find ourselves more irritable or sensitive. When it comes to anxiety, the most recurrent manifestations of anxiety are shortness in breathing, palpitations, headache, back pain, catastrophic thoughts and other symptoms, and managing them is not always easy.

If this is the case, the important thing to keep in mind is to observe these changes and address them promptly by seeking professional support, so that it does not adverse impacts on yourself or your family.

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5 Things to Consider when Navigating Uncertainty in Relationships

Dear Reader,

Naturally, life and human behavior can be both predictable and unpredictable.  In relationships uncertainty is closely tied to vulnerability“What ifs and How comes?” are questions that surface and recycle themselves both in our minds and in our hearts.

 

Therefore, to define uncertainty I like to reference Brené Brown’s research on vulnerability:

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow—that’s vulnerability.”

Simply put, uncertainty is a form of vulnerability and courage.  We do, hope and love in spite of our fears.  The challenge with uncertainty is that there are no promises, no guarantees or assurances.  It can truly trigger fear in us which can lead to a fight or flight response.  We can feel both activated and powerless at the same time.

That is not to say that we don’t like uncertainty.  To some degree it actually brings variety and spontaneity to life which can be delightful and fun.  But, in some cases, too much uncertainty can leave us feeling insecure and doubtful.

Therefore, let’s consider the following 5 things when navigating uncertainty in relationships:

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7 Types of Anxiety: Not all Anxiety is the Same

Anxiety is a totally normal response in daily life, it is a conditioned response that distinguishes us from inanimate objects. For example, when we feel hungry we have a feeling of anxiety, which preserves life.  The same is the case when an animal threatens us.  We tend to flee or defend ourselves, but when anxiety is shown disproportionately to the stimulus that caused it , or when it comes up for no apparent reason is when we are faced with a pathological situation.  Typically, this is when we seek and need help.

Usually the first answer is to go to anxiolytics, methods to reduce anxiety.  However, it is very important to find out the real triggers of anxiety so that we can feel and manage own our emotions again. That’s when we require the assistance of a professional. Anxiety of this kind deteriorates the quality of life; the world becomes a threat.

These manifestations can last a long time and/or present themselves intensely, leading to panic attacks and anxiety.  Many times, this can lead to an in individual to visit the emergency room in a hospital, where, of course, they do not discover physical problems.

Symptoms that usually occur include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling nervous, agitated or strained
  • Feeling imminent danger, panic or catastrophe
  • Increased heart rate
  • Accelerated breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Problems concentrating or thinking about anything other than the current concern
  • Having trouble falling asleep
  • Having gastrointestinal problems
  • Having difficulty controlling concerns
  • Having the need to avoid situations that create anxiety

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