Working through “The Imposter Cure”

Imposter syndrome sucks and I’m working through a rough case of it. Whenever something’s hard for me, I read a book about it. So I just started reading The Imposter Cure.

The book has lots of exercises and questions to ask myself. I figured I could use this ol’ blog of mine to work through it in public. Year of Courage, right?

The first question is a fill in the blank (my answers are in italics):

My top three hopes for the book are:

  1. I won’t constantly worry about what people think of how I’m doing
  2. I won’t let fear of people getting upset hold me back from pushing for what I think is best
  3. I won’t allow negative feedback won’t ruin my day/week/month

A few interesting things from the book so far:

People say that imposter syndrome has its benefits: it keeps you humble and motivates you to work harder. The book says this is hot garbage.

There are no advantages to holding on to imposter syndrome! Rather than helping you, imposter syndrome has been holding you back. It makes you feel more anxious, it stops you taking on board any of the good things you do and makes it difficult to enjoy the things you care about.

Of course, no one wants to be arrogant or lack insight, but overcoming imposter syndrome will not cause this. What you are doing is not being modest but putting yourself down. Acknowledging your own skills, knowledge and experience is not arrogance.

Imposter syndrome is not what pushes you or makes you good at what you do; you are the one that does this. You are hard-working and conscientious; that is the person you are.

Wouldn’t it be better to be ambitious, take on challenges, have humility and courage without the anxiety imposter feelings can bring and the cost to your health and happiness?

Dr. Jessamy Hibberd, The Imposter Cure

It also talks about the five categories of people with imposter syndrome and says that I may fit into more than one category:

  1. Perfectionist: Focuses on how. Believes if everything doesn’t go 100% perfectly then it’s a failure.
  2. Natural Genius: Focuses on how and when. Believes that success hinges on inherent ability and doing things right on the first try with no room for development.
  3. Soloist: Focuses on who. Believes that it’s only a success if you do it without any help.
  4. Expert: Focuses on how much and what. Believes that success means knowing everything about a subject. They’re the knowledge version of the Perfectionist.
  5. Superwoman/man: Focuses on how many. Believes success means filling many different roles perfectly: boss, colleague, parent, friend, host, etc.

I’m struggling to decide which of those is me. I see parts of all of them in myself. All the more reason I need to work on this!

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