Tell-Tale Signs Imposter Syndrome Is Taking Over Your Life (And How To Overcome It)

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Imposter syndrome can also show up in the form of perfectionism or even denial (per StatPearls). If you’re crediting happenstance as the reason for your success or downplaying your own knowledge or skill set, these can be signs of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome can also show up as fear, most predominantly fear of failure, or oppositely, fear of success.

If any of these characteristics sound familiar, know there are techniques one can turn to to help alleviate these feelings. Experts at McLean Hospital suggest talking to a trusted friend or family member to discuss these emotions — you may find out that they, too, struggle with imposter syndrome. Additionally, you can implement positive self-talk in your day-to-day life and practice receiving positive feedback from others by saying “thank you” rather than side-stepping the praise. Even better, you can write down the compliments you receive and make it a habit to regularly revisit them.

Managing these feelings should not be the sole responsibility of the patient, however. Research has shown imposter syndrome to be more prevalent among women and members of historically underserved communities. As a result, experts emphasize the need for increased access to behavioral health services as well as the importance of patient education, particularly among students in high-stress academic environments.

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