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Imposter Syndrome Relief

You know you’ve earned it. But…

You’ve trained for this. You have the degree behind your name and accolades from the people who know and appreciate your work. You know intellectually that you have earned your place here.

So why do you always feel as though you need to shrink away from being seen?

Why do you always feel the need to deflect direct questions or defer to others?

Self-talk is a sure thing… right?

So you try talking yourself through it…

“You can do this.”

“You’re just as qualified as anyone else here.”

But your heart is still racing, and you still feel that awful collapsing sensation in your chest. It’s as though you’re preemptively feeling embarrassed for doing it wrong or showing yourself to be the amateur you feel like inside. Intellectually you know it makes no sense.

“I did the schooling.”

“My grades were good.”

“I almost always get positive feedback.”

Imposter syndrome is very real indeed.

And when you have it, you feel like a frightened child walking around in her mother’s heels, hoping not to get “found out.”

It has no basis in reality (if you don’t count that one mistake you made six months ago that your lovely brain has been helping you relive regularly)… but it is absolutely real!

And because it’s not based in reality, your logical powers are of no use here! That irritatingly persistent part of your brain that has an answer for everything only reinforces it:

“I was lucky on that project.”

“I had a lot of help.”

“Those classes were easier than they should have been.”

And living with it takes a toll.

You’re tired of selling yourself short.

You want to be able to walk into the room with your head held high.

You want to be able to trust yourself and your capabilities.

Here’s where the therapy comes in…

Self-talk can be great, but one of its major weaknesses is that it doesn’t address how you feel in your body. It doesn’t change the behavioral loop you’re caught in; it’s just a response and maintains your status quo.

You and I will work to actually change the pattern. We’ll deal with the feelings you’re having separately from the situations that keep triggering them.

So, when your boss doesn’t say hello when you were passing in the hall and that ignites a whole slew of new concerns and considerations about how you’re not good enough, we’re going to take a new approach.

Instead of picking apart all of your recent interactions with him and trying to determine where it went wrong, or even trying to convince you that it hasn’t gone wrong at all, we’re going to focus on the feeling in the pit of your stomach like the bottom just dropped out.

We’re going to focus on that sensation of feeling small and wanting to hide.

We’re going to gently walk you through what you’re feeling and what you fear that this means about who you are.

Then we’re going to support you in finding the part of you that knew all along that you are safe. The part of you that knows that even if your boss was upset with you, it doesn’t diminish you.

The thing is that you have that part. I know you do. It just doesn’t usually hang out in the same time and space as the shrinking part. Maybe it’s most present when you’re comforting someone else. Maybe you recognize it as the part that can pick up a small child after they fell; comforting, compassionate, and safe in the knowledge that while this moment is hard, not all moments will be.

We want to invite the grounded part of you who has the benefit of all your many years, experience, and expertise to come to the forefront more of the time. This is not a process of pretending at feeling something you don’t or pretending to be something you’re not.

It’s about getting more access to the part of you that knows that you’re okay and for once letting that part of you run the show.

Let’s face it: You didn’t need to make that one mistake six months ago to feel not good enough. You already felt that way (you’re a pro at beating yourself up).

Now, I know what you might be thinking…

“Being so hard on myself is how I got here. If I let my guard down, there’s no telling how bad it could be!”

I hear you. I don’t agree, but I hear you. It’s scary to be nice to yourself. It feels dangerous to not be hypercritical.

Are you starting to see why it’s been so hard to talk yourself out of this?

Our job is to help you be more okay with making mistakes (because you’re a person, not a robot) and recognize that the vast majority of the time you can do all the same things that have helped you be so successful – just be more calmly and kindly to yourself. You can do it with an energy that is more grounded and confident. To be frank, the calmer you are, the fewer mistakes are likely to happen anyway!

We’re on the same team!

I want what you want… for you to be successful and confident.

I want you to have a voice in your workplace… to be excited to answer questions and contribute your extensive knowledge and skills.

Really though… this can be you. And I can help you get there!

Let’s deal with the feelings that have been plaguing you for so long and transform the way you experience yourself professionally.

Curious? Call me today at (703) 972-5705.