Imposter Syndrome
   Date :17-Mar-2024

Imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a behavioural health disorder. Under the influence of this syndrome one doubts one’s own abilities. The victim belittles his own accomplishments and distrusts his own success. He attributes his success to external factors. As a result of this psychological issue the person is not confident of his knowledge, skill and intellect. Even if the person is an expert in an area and excels there, he berates his capabilities. This mental problem is mostly found in high achieving individuals. The syndrome causes loss of confidence and generates anxiety and depression. There is alwaysafeeling of uncertainty. Even after being an achiever, the person feels like a failure. He thinks that his success has come by chance. The victim does not enjoy or celebrate his success and accomplishments. A sense of inadequacy and guilt always looms large in the mind of the victim.
Frustrating mood becomes dominant. Internal psychological traits are disturbed and self worth, career, relationships are badly impacted. The person always remains in a stressful condition. Prolonged imposter syndrome leads to personality disorders and severe mood swings. Experts assign many reasons to the phenomenon of imposter syndrome. Systemic bias against a person can cause this syndrome. In many cases persons from marginalised communities face this problem. Bad parenting may be one of the factors to lead to imposter syndrome. High expectations from parents are cited as one of the reasons. High levels of conflict in families with low support systems may also cause this syndrome. It is said that those who are perfectionists mostly suffer from the syndrome.
Too much fear of failure is also the cause of this syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a subject matter of all the three psychology, psychiatry and sociology. Many psychological techniques are used to treat this syndrome. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the techniques to address the problem. Counselling is also done to redress the issue. Some of the mind management andYogic techniques which are found effective in curing the imposter syndrome are listed below;
1) First step is to write down the success and accomplishments . Then standing before a mirror, those accomplishments are to be repeated time and again.
2) Talking to friends, family members and mentors are also found to be relieving the syndrome.
3) A habit needs to be cultivated to validate success.
4) Self doubts are to be challenged.
5) The most effectiveYogic technique is Swadhyaya or self reflection. Self reflection leads to self awareness and one becomes a witness to own emotions. A connectivity is built internally and the person is able to realise his own doubts. At the same time one acknowledges the phenomenon of the mind in a clear manner.
6) Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is a very effective breathing technique to cool down the nervous system, making it possible to reflect properly. Breath is to be inhaled for 3 counts through the right nostril, to be retained inside for 4 counts, to be exhaled for 5 counts from left nostril and again retained outside for 3 counts. The practice to be reversed , starting breathing through the left nostril. Five to ten minutes practice will activate the subconscious mind where positive suggestions can be given to reprogramme it.
(The writer is Former DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra)