Breaking the cycle of imposter syndrome with hypnotherapy

Feeling not good enough is tough, regardless of the circumstances. If you think everyone around you is more capable than you, it takes a lot of strength to remain in the environment.


When you find yourself in a situation, without really knowing how you got there and disbelieving your ability to stay there, you may have imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is regularly felt within the workplace but also in social and sporting environments and others. Sarah’s story gives one example of imposter syndrome in action. 

Sarah has her dream job at a prestigious tech company. Initially, she felt thrilled to get the job but, as she settled into the role, she began to feel like a fraud. As though she didn't have the skills or experience necessary to succeed in the job, and that she was only there because of luck or even a mistake.

As the feelings of inadequacy increased, Sarah’s work started to suffer. She felt afraid to ask questions or share her ideas in meetings, worried that her colleagues would realise she didn't belong. She’d spend hours working on projects that should have taken much less time. Sarah wanted to make everything perfect and avoid any mistakes that might give her away.

Regardless of how hard Sarah worked, she always felt one misstep away from being noticed as a mistake. She felt like she was the only one in the company who didn't belong, and that everyone else was cleverer, more talented, and more deserving of their success.

Over time, the intensity of the feelings and hours spent overworking affected Sarah’s mental health. She felt anxious and depressed, with a dread of going to work. Thankfully, Sarah reached out for help and recognised her feelings were imposter syndrome. With a newfound understanding of her feelings, she was able to turn her feelings around, recognising her capabilities and the reasons she deserved her place in the company.  

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a pattern of behaviour in which people doubt their abilities and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. People with imposter syndrome experience this feeling even when there is adequate external evidence of their success. Those experiencing imposter syndrome generally believe that they must’ve tricked people to get into their position and there is a permanent fear that it’s only a matter of time before this is discovered. 

With the help of a hypnotherapist, you’ll find yourself able to focus on your own abilities and achievements with the ability to feel confident of your true place in this world. 

Hypnotherapy for imposter syndrome

Sometimes there is a link between imposter syndrome and perfectionism. People who feel incompetent and anxious when they don’t perform at their absolutely best 100% of the time may have feelings of perfectionism. Dealing with perfectionism is the first step to getting over imposter syndrome. Sometimes these issues develop from time spent in competitive environments. People who had lots of pressure about academic achievement in childhood are at a higher risk of imposter syndrome or perfectionism. 

Your hypnotherapist may spend time helping you understand your need to make everything perfect. By exploring your life experiences you’ll piece together the reasons you put this intense pressure on yourself. Sometimes this understanding is enough to help you leave it behind.

More likely, you’ll need to spend some time recognising your achievements. Because those with imposter syndrome tend to feel their achievements are a fluke or incorrect, your hypnotherapist will help you align your achievements to your efforts. Helping you find the confidence to take ownership of your abilities. 

Your hypnotherapist will help you focus internally rather than externally. Imposter syndrome creates comparison. Someone else deserves your position more than you, everyone around you is more able than you. This unhealthy comparison is rarely valid. Often you’ll find yourself comparing chalk and cheese. With the help of a hypnotherapist, you’ll find yourself able to focus on your own abilities and achievements with the ability to feel confident of your true place in this world. 

Imposter syndrome tends to hold people back, the fear of being caught out makes you retreat into the background in the hope no one will notice you. Your hypnotherapist will help you gain the confidence to show up. To put yourself in the spotlight, share ideas, ask questions, face new challenges and ask for help, with the knowledge that you belong and people value you. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Farnham GU9 & GU10
Written by Juliet Hollingsworth, MSc
Farnham GU9 & GU10

Juliet is a trauma-informed therapist. Her passion is helping people reach their potential through a combination of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology. Juliet works online and face to face with clients across the world. (DHP Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy. MSc Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal psychology.)

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