Even among our closest friends, we can sometimes doubt if our sense of belonging is authentic and question our value in the group. These concerns may be a form of imposter syndrome, a mental state in which you cast doubt on your abilities or minimize past achievements.
By learning how to combat imposter syndrome, you can be fully present in your friendships and learn to enjoy them for what they are.
Imposter Syndrome and Friendships
If you struggle with low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy, you may feel undeserving of the friendships you have. You may convince yourself that you have tricked your friends into liking you, that if they only knew the real you, there’s no way you could live up to their expectations.
These feelings can come as a result of negative experiences or trauma. These persistent feelings can lead to stress, anxiety, and low self-worth, which can cause you to lose friendships or avoid them altogether.
The Difference Between Social Anxiety and Imposter Syndrome
People with social anxiety disorder have a fear of being judged by others in a public setting. You could be afraid of feeling embarrassed, ridiculed, or rejected.
That does not mean that you are afraid of being exposed as a fraud who does not deserve their success. That is where imposter syndrome comes in; it relates to perfectionism. Social anxiety causes you to avoid social situations.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
If you are struggling with imposter syndrome, it may mean that you need to work on your sense of identity and self-confidence. You might find it helpful to make a list of what makes you unique or special. Think about the skills, strengths, and personality traits that you possess.
If you need help, you can see if a friend or family member can help you make a list. Whenever you feel fixated on your character defects, look back at your list and remind yourself of your value. Replacing your negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones will make you more open to friendship.
Imposter syndrome occurs when we doubt the authenticity of our own experiences or accomplishments. You may feel like you are putting on an act for your friends and that your authentic self is something to be ashamed of. By challenging the negative beliefs you have about yourself, you can live more authentically. At Alta Loma, we understand how anxiety can interfere with our friendships. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized therapy, life and coping skills education, a long-term continuum of care, and much more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information about our services.