Mental Health

Mental health: 8 hidden signs of imposter syndrome, according to a therapist

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Leah Sinclair
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How to understand the 5 types of imposter syndrome and what they mean for you

Imposter syndrome is often defined as doubting yourself or feeling like a “fake”  but, as mentioned by therapist Abby Rawlinson, there are hidden signs of this that go way beyond what we know.

Imposter syndrome is something that many of us deal with – particularly as women.

According to a 2021 study from InnovateMR, 65% of professionals today suffer from Imposter Syndrome with young women disproportionately affected by this. 

From feeling inadequate to constantly dealing with self-doubt, these negative emotions that we tend to feel can permeate various aspects of our lives and be the source of much damage to our self-confidence.

However, imposter syndrome isn’t just about feeling like a “fraud” or a “fake”.

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Instead, some of these signs can lie beyond the surface – and one person identifying the hidden signs of imposter syndrome is therapist Abby Rawlinson.

In an Instagram post, Rawlinson highlighted the key hidden signs of imposter syndrome, starting with struggling to ask for help because “you fear looking incompetent”.

The therapist adds that obsessively checking things because you’re scared of making small mistakes is a hidden sign of imposter syndrome, along with procrastination and avoiding tasks that are out of your comfort zone and constantly comparing yourself to others.

The post also highlights that being sensitive to constructive criticism and rejecting positive feedback while fixating on the negatives is a key sign we should look out for.

Lastly, Rawlison adds that setting challenging goals and then feeling disappointed when falling short is an indicator of imposter syndrome, along with imagining that everyone is more capable than you and working extra hard to cover it up.

In the post, many took to the comments to share how these signs related to them.

“Thank you for sharing these ❤️ I resonate with every single one and I never realised how much imposter syndrome has impacted my life until I started healing,” commented one user.

Another wrote: “Feeling fake or phoney is only part of battling imposter syndrome and it’s so important to acknowledge the signs which aren’t as obvious. I hope to be able to learn for this and give myself the grace I need and walk in the confidence that I know lies deep down.”

Overcoming imposter syndrome is not easy, especially when that self-doubt has been embedded in you over the years.

But acknowledging the different signs of imposter syndrome is key to making improvements and can be the start of changing the way we see and value ourselves so that our confidence can truly shine through.

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Leah Sinclair

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