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Imposter syndrome myths & facts

psychologymental healthanxietytherapytelepsychiatrydepressiontalk therapy • 2 min read • Jun 16, 2023 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Sam Giebelhausen

Second guessing yourself doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it’s worth asking if you’re ready for a major life transition or qualified for that new job. However, if you constantly find yourself questioning whether your accomplishments are genuine, you may be struggling with imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is nothing new, but it is a more frequent topic of conversation as people are becoming more willing to talk about it. It’s also increasingly prevalent in a volatile political and economic climate that’s created a shadow of uncertainty over the lives of many people, especially young adults who are just now finding some career and financial success. Below we’ll take a look at some myths and facts about imposter syndrome, so you can better tackle the feelings you may be dealing with.

Fact: Imposter syndrome is common.

It’s easy to feel like you’re alone if you are telling yourself that you are living a lie, are in over your head, or aren’t deserving of the accomplishments you’ve achieved in life. However, about 82% of people report that they’ve felt like an imposter at some point, proving that imposter syndrome is more common than you might think.

Myth: Imposter syndrome only affects women.

In the past, imposter syndrome has been commonly associated with high-achieving women. However, it’s common among men as well. Still, it does tend to be more frequently observed in those who are marginalized due to race, gender, sexual orientation, or neurodivergence.

Fact: Imposter syndrome is not a mental health condition.

It is important to recognize that imposter syndrome is not a true medical condition, although it can benefit from many of the same strategies used to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and group counseling. CBT is particularly effective, as this type of therapy focuses on redirecting negative thoughts and creating new thought patterns.

Myth: Imposter syndrome is helpful for keeping the ego in check.

Confidence is a healthy trait when it’s rooted in genuine accomplishments, and imposter syndrome is more than simply staying humble. Imposter syndrome isn’t an effective measure for keeping the ego in check. Instead, it’s a distortion of your own achievements and capabilities. It can also lead to some dangerous effects that impact your health, such as digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and burnout.

It can be difficult to carve out time to care for yourself and invest in strategies like talk therapy. With Walmart Health Virtual Care, you can talk to a therapist on your own terms with telehealth visits that you can attend from the comfort of home or the privacy of your office.

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Sam Giebelhausen