IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

Impostor Syndrome

I doubt myself.

My dad had a woodworking test at school: the test was to read the instructions and make the item. My dad made it, and then looked around and saw others making something different, so he broke up his project and threw it in the bin, and started again. The result, you can anticipate 🙂 He had no time to finish, so he failed … and so did everyone else! The right solution was either in the bin … or the instructions were wrong! 🙂

Impostor syndrome is when an individual doubts their skills and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. We are all subject to this false conclusion. Feeling anxiety or panic, we fall into fight or flight mode, or we may freeze, caused by emotional numbness.

Fight, flight and freeze are the three emotions of desire, aversion and ignorance, or attraction, repulsion and inertia. In common life, these emotions may help us to survive, but ultimately, they are negative when they become a habitual response in all situations.


Constantly comparing ourself to other people, we become instantaneously irritable and angry, and sensitive to constructive advice. When we are stuck in this state, we can feel anxious and panicky. This can cause us to over-function and have trouble switching off, clinging to perfectionism and avoiding difficult conversations.

Why do we doubt our self?
Our self is not our reality.

Our reality is consciousness that watches this self, this bunch of ideas that runs amuck. As long as we cling to ideas of ourstatus, we will think that we are an impostor; we feel vulnerable and never good enough, and so we become defensive and/or offensive. Re-acting is really a performance: we posture, behaving in a way that is intended to convey a false impression of sincerity. Often, so-called ‘spiritual teachers’ know how to do this, and most students fall for it by bowing even lower than is necessary.

Give up the impostor self.

Accept it for what it is
– our teacher.

As long as we remain a student,
we are willing to listen and learn, in an open manner.

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