• How fragile is your mood when you are affected by Impostor Syndrome 
  • The slightest thing can send you spiraling down 
  • It’s like a predator watching your every move, waiting to pounce

I found out about six months ago that there is a name for how I’ve felt nearly my entire life. That name is “Impostor Syndrome.”  In my case, I believe it is caused by my upbringing – without going into too much detail, I was brought up as a perfectionist by a father who didn’t really like children. As a result, I was very sure of anything I believed in, and when it was shown to be wrong, I took it as a complete refutation of everything I believed. I was certain that everyone was laughing at me, when in reality people didn’t give a rip after the first ninety seconds or so. Everybody’s wrong at one time or another, but my psyche wouldn’t allow it.

I’m finally giving myself a break these days, not expecting everything to be perfect.The problem is that my programming is so deep-seated that even though my rational self laughs at error now, my deepest feelings still recoil in horror. This makes my everyday mood extremely fragile – it seems like the slightest thing can set me down into a self-defeating mood that can last for days. Fortunately for me, I have found a network of support on Twitter, of all places. My virtual friends in the #WritingCommunity help me regain my spirits, and also keep me more grounded on a daily basis. I owe an unpayable debt to these people.

I am finding that my spirals have to do with a lack of perspective – exploding a small event into a critique of my entire existence. My rational mind is fighting these episodes by thinking about the temporal nature of the triggering event and not letting it expand beyond what it is. It’s a difficult struggle, but I’m finding that it gets a little easier every time. I have decades of this mental programming to fight against, but I’m encouraged by my progress. I hope that my experience can help others who suffer from this ridiculous affliction.

Thoughts? Please leave a comment…

Comments (1)

  1. Reply

    This sounds like something I’ve gone through to some degree in my life by being brought up in a home with a father who tried brainwashing as a mode of parenting. We took everything he said as gospel, therefore, everything I said was gospel when I grew up and when my words were challenged, I would fall apart. I’ve got to research this. It’s the first I’ve heard of it.
    Thank you for this. It explains a lot.

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