March - Imposter Syndrome - or a new start?
March, to me, by the end of the month at any rate, is the start of Spring, the true New Year. Yet by this time in the year, having endured the rigours of Winter, with its high winds, dreary rain and grey skies, we can feel as if our knees are buckling and we have but little energy. Sometimes, this can result in low self esteem, as we feel we may not have achieved all we want to over the past few months.
Imposter syndrome can be defined as a
"collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. Imposters suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectualfraudulence that override any feelings of success or exernal proof of their competence.'"(stephen-james.co.uk)
My belief is that imposter syndrome, or longstanding low self esteem, can be unconsciously put in place as a protection against possible disappointment. If someone constantly operates from a position of pessimism they cannot be disappointed when things go wrong, as this is what they have expected to happen all along. It is worth knowing that the deep unconscious drives, driven by the' lizard ', are only interested in survival, not quality of life. These drives will therefore override any feelings of hope, optimism or confidence in the effort to protect a person, thus, it is the belief of that person enabling him or her to survive.
How protection that the unconscious mind, with the best of intentions, provides, can lead to a more and more limited series of experiences, which can even result in agrophobia, where someone is afraid to even leave the home - or in extreme cases, their bed. Of course even staying in bed for lengthy periods as that person could end up with bed sores, which can be dangerous, to health as well as extremely unpleasant.
But, here's the good news, once someone can bring to conscious awareness the fact that simply being alive could be dangerous, they can allow themselves to have a wide set of experiences, first venturing out of their door; then going to the shops perhaps, and eventually, driving to another town, sailing on a boat or taking a train or plane to another country for a lovely holiday.....because as we know that simply being alive is dangerous ( for instance, a meteor could crash through our ceiling at any moment) they cease to worry unnecessarily, knowing that to experience Life is to enjoy it, even when things go wrong, as they frequently do.
I knew of a pair who went out for a Valentine's meal in February and, as they leisurely enjoyed their meal, one realised that the car park had already closed at 10 pm! He took the risk of running from the restaurant to the ca rpark, vaulting over the closed barrier and was thankful to find that cars were still driving out of the ca park, so that he could follow and do likewise. Of course, it could have resulted in the couple having to take an expensive taxi back to their home, as there were no buses or trains going to this small village - and having to somehow get back to the carpark in the morning. But, for all that, they had had a marvellous evening, and taking this small risk, they were were left simply with a funny memory and a good story to tell their friends!
Alternatively, we may know of, some people who veer to the opposite extreme, taking dangerous and unnecessary risks, resulting in real danger to themselves and others. However, this need not happen if one remembers that, taking things on balance, its always possible to take the middle way, enjoy delightful experiences, without over protection and without taking foolish risks.
I have found on many occasions that the hypnotherapy that I have given people has enable them to bring their irrational fears to conscious awareness, so that they can lead the happier and more fulfilling lives with lighter hearts, enjoying testing our inbuilt powers of courage and resilience.
So let us move into Spring and enjoy the coming month of Marc, the flowers emerge from the hard and sleepy soil to delight us with their fragrance and beauty!