How to Stop Imposter Syndrome from Sabotaging Your Recovery
Imposter syndrome is one of the most damaging mental conditions to those in recovery. It can keep newcomers from reaching their full potential and make lifelong recovery seem out of reach. When we recognize this syndrome, we can take steps to help it become a thing of the past.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome was first described by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D. in the 1970s and was used to describe high achievers who simply couldn’t accept their own success.
It’s a fairly common syndrome, affecting approximately 70% of individuals. It can affect literally anyone, especially those who have experienced some form of success in their life.
How Can Imposter Syndrome Affect Your Recovery?
Those in recovery from substance or alcohol abuse can easily fail to recognize some of their most significant accomplishments and, instead, write them off as insignificant.
They compare their achievements to those of other people, often without realizing that they are comparing apples to oranges.
As a result, they may feel like a fraud and that they are living a lie, which can make recovery seem impossible. It can also affect their relationships with their family and friends, and their sense of well-being, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
How to Properly Deal with Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a very real condition. It’s a feeling of inadequacy, of not being able to live up to your own expectations. There is no shame in admitting that you feel this way. It is not your fault, and there are things you can do to help overcome it, including:
Know the Signs of Imposter Syndrome
It’s common for those in recovery to experience feelings of guilt, shame, and self-doubt. These feelings can largely be attributed to your substance abuse and can make it difficult for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Other common signs of imposter syndrome include:
- Attributing success to “luck” or “a fluke”
- You seek out validation before you accept your successes for what they are
- You fear that others will call you out as a fraud, despite your obvious successes
Know How to Distinguish Humility and Fear
Humility and fear are often confused for one another. Humility is healthy. It demonstrates your willingness to learn.
Fear, on the other hand, is debilitating. It stops you from taking chances, acting on your gut instincts, and moving forward. It stops you from living life to the fullest. It keeps you stuck in a state of perpetual inadequacy, which is exactly.
Experiencing some fear is normal during the recovery process. However, if you understand that humility is positive, and not a form of arrogance, you’ll be able to start accepting your small successes for everything they are.
Quit Comparing Your Journey to Other’s
It’s not uncommon for those in recovery to compare their successes to those of others. However, this is a dangerous habit, as everyone’s journey is different.
You may compare your recovery to that of your friend or family member, but that’s not fair, nor is it possible.
Comparing your recovery to someone else’s is actually setting yourself up for failure. You are in competition with no one but yourself.
Highlight Your Accomplishments
Imposter syndrome can be debilitating. It can make it hard to recognize your successes, celebrate your accomplishments, and realize that recovery is a real journey. But you can overcome it.
By recognizing your successes and highlighting them, you can start to feel more comfortable in your own skin. Don’t let imposter syndrome sabotage your recovery. Make sure you celebrate your accomplishments.
Speak with Your Mentor or Support Team
If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, your mentor or support team can help. They can help you identify the signs of imposter syndrome, help you understand your feelings, and help you move forward in your recovery. They can also be a great source of information, resources, and support.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with the Support from Ethos Recovery
Here at Ethos Recovery, we see people in recovery suffering from imposter syndrome daily. Our treatment team is here to support you through every step of your recovery journey.
Whether you are struggling with the basics, like connecting with your support system, or you’re having difficulty staying sober, we can help.
If you or a loved one are struggling with imposter syndrome and it’s impacting your recovery, contact our team today. We’ll be more than happy to help you continue your road to recovery.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.