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Self Doubt & Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you are undeserving of your achievements? Do you constantly strive to make yourself better at what you do, to the point of perfectionism, without stopping to appreciate how far you have come?  Do you fear judgment and rejection because of your achievements? Does self-doubt elude and consume you? 

Everyone goes through periods of self-doubt. However, with imposter syndrome, people have chronic self-doubt and high expectations of themselves. The difference between imposters and non-imposters are the thoughts and thought process, about different situations, scenarios and experiences. Imposters are harsh and critical of themselves and have unrealistic standards they require of themselves to meet. It can be harmful to our spiritual growth to place such high expectations on oneself, as it becomes difficult then to love oneself for our imperfections. 

Some feelings a person suffering from imposter syndrome may have experienced, include: 

* feelings of inadequacy at your job, despite having ample experience and qualifications 

* feelings of not belonging

* guilt and shame for not getting something 'right.'

* feelings of being incompetent despite being very competent. 

* anxiety and depression

* unable to deal with constructive criticism

Some self-doubt has benefits as Thich Nhat Hanh has highlighted in a talk given about trusting oneself. He has shared, zen philosophy and wisdom believes, that self-doubt can lead to self enlightenment as in our self-doubt, we have more desire to develop understanding and compassion.


Honouring and Serving,
Simran K. Rattan MD

Content support Maria Peach


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