Overcoming Imposter Syndrome As A Holistic Nutritionist
So, you’ve recently graduated as a registered holistic nutritionist, and you’re at work when suddenly, it strikes.
Out of the blue, you think to yourself, “what am I doing, telling this person what to eat and how to heal themselves? I’ve only just graduated from my program!”
Our registered holistic nutritionist training may prepare you for a future career as a holistic nutritionist, but it’s not designed to prepare you to deal with your own psyche.
However, there is help.
Read below for an overview of the dreaded imposter syndrome, and how you can overcome it.
What Is Imposter Syndrome?
The phrase “imposter syndrome” was first used in 1978 by two clinical psychologists: Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes.
Imposter syndrome is not considered a disorder of any type, but describes a pattern of behaviour.
People who suffer from imposter syndrome explain it as feeling like a fraud, and a fear of being discovered to be not as clever as their achievements or success would lead someone to believe.
These feelings belong to people who are indeed accomplished, and have achieved this through their own hard work, talents and skills.
Ironically, imposter syndrome happens almost entirely to people who are good enough at what they do to not need to feel imposter syndrome.
So believe it or not, imposter syndrome is actually a sign that you know what you’re doing.
Recognizing The Signs Of Imposter Syndrome
Stay mindful of when you start to experience imposter syndrome, and you’ll stand a better chance of beating it.
Imposter syndrome can have an impact on your performance at work or in life.
It can have negative side effects such as burnout, which happens as people try to achieve perfection in order to assuage their feelings of being a fraud.
Ask yourself: do you think compliments from others are misplaced?
When you’re successful or hit a goal, do you attribute it to good timing or sheer luck?
Do you feel as if you’ve ‘tricked’ colleagues or friends into seeing you as more successful than you consider yourself to be?
Do you feel guilty about your achievements, or that you don’t deserve them?
Do you feel fear about being ‘outed’ as unworthy?
These are all common thoughts among people who have experienced imposter syndrome.
How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome As A Holistic Nutritionist
Step one is to recognize it as it’s happening to you; hopefully the above section has helped you to see that clearly.
Next up, stop those useless thoughts in their tracks – check out these tactics below.
1. Recognize That You’re Not Alone
There have been quite a few studies on imposter syndrome since it was first identified in 1978.
However, there have been a number of different results from these studies.
In these studies, the prevalence of imposter syndrome is reported to be anywhere between 9% and 82%, which is not a scientifically helpful variance.
In addition, some studies reported it’s more common in women, while others show that it’s as equally as common in all genders.
Other results show a high prevalence of imposter syndrome in ethnic minority and LGBTQ2+ groups.
One thing we can take away from these studies, though, is that there are very obviously many people who suffer from this condition; you are not alone.
2. Recognize Your Knowledge And Accomplishments
Another way to take back your power is to pause and recognize what you’ve accomplished.
After all, you were the one who got yourself here – you took a step, studied hard, completed your courses, and graduated with your diploma.
Even if you’re mid-study, you’ve managed to complete all the course work so far by yourself – that’s your accomplishment, no one else’s.
Consider the talents, skills, and qualities that you possess that helped you get here.
What else have you accomplished – such as volunteer work, published work, or speaking engagements?
Try to see yourself how others see you – Google yourself, even, to get a clear view – and accept that this may be closer to the truth than how you are currently feeling.
3. Recognize That Making Mistakes Is Okay
“To err is human,” as they say.
And it’s true – every single person on this Earth has made mistakes.
It’s going to happen.
When you do flub, remember that it’s just a moment – one in which you’ve learned something.
Even if you feel embarrassed in front of others, remember that they’ve likely been there before too, and will feel empathy for you.
Many people deal with imposter syndrome, so they may be more understanding than you could guess.
In the end, it’s what you take away from the mistake – it doesn’t reflect your worth.
4. Recognize The Artificial Nature Of Social Media
Social media is highly curated, and highly stylized.
When you’re browsing through your channel of choice, recognize that you’re seeing what people want you to see, which doesn’t necessarily reflect who they truly are.
It’s very easy to see these perfect pictures – improved with filters and effects – and believe yourself to be less than them.
This is false.
Don’t compare yourself or fall prey to insecurity, even if it means taking a social media break every once in a while.
Even your favourite influencer with millions of followers has their dark days – they just don’t post photos of themselves ugly crying.
5. Don’t Be Afraid Of New Opportunities
Another way that imposter syndrome can affect your career and your enjoyment of life is that it can rob you of the opportunities that make you who you are.
Experiences allow us to grow, and learn, and experiment.
If you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to follow your natural curiosity – due to fear of being inadequate – you’re short-changing yourself and your future.
Don’t be afraid to consider new ideas, and new fields of study – after all, part of being good at what you do is seeking out opportunities for continuing education for holistic nutritionists.
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition
If you’re looking for a career that allows you to grow, thrive, help others, and be respected, then consider joining our holistic nutritionist program.
We provide the training necessary for you to work in a clinic or open your own practice.
Contact The Edison Institute of Nutrition today to learn more about qualifications, requirements, or to have your questions answered.