Impostor Syndrome

There has been a lot written about Impostor Syndrome which is where someone feels like they are undeserving or that they will be “found out” as an impostor.

Most “remedies” I’ve found point towards improving self-image and self-worth.  I feel that this is damage control because the feelings already happened and there is already the hit to my self-image.

I wanted to get to the root cause of what was making me feel like an Impostor.  Having to fight the impostor thoughts was like herding cats.

Taken out of context it appear that sufferers of Impostor Syndrome are constantly plagued with feelings of inferiority and being a “found out”.  It wasn’t like this for me and I haven’t spoken to anyone who actually feels like an impostor all the time.

My impostor feelings usually happened after a dopamine rush caused by an achievement or success.  The drop is sharper with bigger wins.  The body says “I’m done”.  It is known among competitive athletes as an adrenaline crash.

I have found that the subconscious can interpret this as “I’ve lost”, “I give up” or “I’ve failed”.  This is reasonable because our bodies wind down after effort the same way whether we win or lose.

If the person is at a high level in business, research, sport or any competitive environment then recognition, victory or success may be rare or lacking.  During the struggles to reach the higher levels of performance the subconscious has learned to interpret this physical state based on what it has experienced the most.

There are plenty of moments where an ambitious person has feelings like defeat after a failure, physical exhaustion, soul crushing realizations, and rejection of ideas.  This this teaches the subconscious “Impostor” feelings and thoughts.

I have developed methods to redefine this connection with our bodies and minds to treat “impostor” feelings.  Using physiology science, sports psychology and non-violent communication I’ve been able to reduce the effects of the triggers and how the subconscious interprets the adrenaline crash.

I will be holding workshops and releasing training modules on Impostor Syndrome in the coming weeks.