Change your mindset and release yourself from imposter syndrome.

Can hypnotherapy help with Imposter Syndrome?

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a state of being where you do not believe that your achievements and successes arise from your own merit. With this feeling of being undeserving there arises feelings of not being good enough, whether that is in terms of professional competency or in a different sphere e.g. not being interesting enough within social situations. These thoughts lead to fears of “being found out” with the negative consequences that would follow e.g. being demoted or losing one’s friends.

When was it first identified?

The phenomenon of imposter syndrome was identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, both of whom had experienced the syndrome themselves as school pupils and as students sitting exams. Despite their academic achievements, every examination was approached with the anticipation of failure.

Their 1978 study, focusing on “successful women”, identified two distinct familial relationships that frequently led to impostor syndrome.

The first familial relationship arose from growing up in the shadow of other family members who are perceived to be “the intelligent ones”. At times, this could be paired with a perception of being “the sensitive one” i.e. the perception being that you could be one or the other but not be endowed with both qualities.

The second familial relationship stemmed from growing up with the expectation of being consistently successful in every aspect of your life. When reality then challenges this expectation, you are faced with a loss of confidence combined with spiralling self-doubt.

Since 1978 it has been recognised that both men and women from all walks of life can be affected by this syndrome. Indeed, it is estimated that 70% of people will experience this syndrome at least once in their lives.

Is it just nervousness and anxiety or something more?

Consistently doubting yourself and your abilities (where there is no logical reason to do so) is often a sign of imposter syndrome, particularly when this is also evident within areas where you experience success. You may also experience feelings of anxiety or nervousness about “being found out”.

Additionally, you are likely to attribute your success to factors out with your control e.g. “being in the right place at the right time”, “a lucky break”, “it’s who you know” etc.

From your colleagues’, friends’, or family’s perspective you may appear to be always minimising your achievements, even in areas where you have a greater degree of skill or understanding than others do.

Does everyone with imposter syndrome share a similar profile?

No, there are 5 recognised profiles:

The perfectionist who believes that unless 100% perfection is achieved, then the task or outcome is a failure.

The natural genius who expects to be highly successful in every aspect of his life, with minimal work or effort being needed.

The sole player who chooses to work alone and believes that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

The expert who feels he is not good enough because he does not know everything there is to know about a specific subject or activity.

The superhuman who attempts to be highly successful in several different areas and then feels demoralised and unworthy when he “fails” to achieve his many goals.

How can hypnotherapy help me?

Hypnotherapy addresses imposter syndrome by tackling the foundation beliefs e.g. “I am not deserving of my success,” at a subconscious level. By working at this level, it is possible to replace these unhelpful, negative beliefs with ones that are positive and founded on reality. Through the process your mindset will change, resulting in your becoming more able to accept and acknowledge the skills and attributes that are personal to you and to recognise the part they have played in your success.

What difference will it make?

You will develop greater confidence in your own skills and strengths which will lead to your deriving more pleasure from new challenges and opportunities.

Your anxiety and stress levels will reduce as you begin to feel more and more secure in yourself and in your own abilities.

You may also find that you start managing projects at work or at home in new, more creative ways.

I’m interested in learning more about how hypnotherapy can help me. What is the next step?

Contact me to book a free discovery call or to arrange a complementary online initial consultation.

Following our meeting, if we are both in agreement that hypnotherapy would be the right next step then I will create a personalised treatment plan for you.