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Meditation and the Imposter Syndrome

Dealing with the little critic that's inside our head can lead to a great deal of stress. That critic loves to point out when we fall short and question whether we are good enough for college, deserving of our awards, and ready to handle the upcoming organic chemistry exam.

This foe, which at one point it was there to help, now wears us down consistently. This is what many like to call the impostor syndrome – a state of mental battles

Author Arlin Cuncin defines the imposter syndrome as an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be (Cunci, 2021) – a little voice that paints an incorrect image of ourselves in our mind.

Luckily, meditation can help us notice that this critic is present; it can help us identify the weight of our emotions and recognize the Charlie Brown storm-cloud raining over us. How do we do it? Let me explain.

  1. Carry on with your normal meditation routine. Sit down and focus on your present state without worrying about what you’re going to eat later, about the homework you have to tackle, or the exam you have to start studying for.

  2. After focusing on your breathing a bit, change your track by introducing a support phrase that fits who you are. Experiment with phrases like “I’m capable”, “I’m here”, or (this is a good one) “I love you”.

  3. This phrase could be anything that fits you. Maybe it doesn’t even have to be directed towards you; it can just be a phrase like “it’s ok”.

  4. Try introducing this phrase in your practice every time and embrace it with openness.

By practicing the introduction of a supportive phrase, you will start changing your internal wiring. Hence, that critic that once sparked stress will then become a supportive friend

Note: most of the information for this blog was obtained through today’s Calm’s meditation session.

Warren, Jeff. “Good Talking To You” Calm, September 17, 2021.

Cuncic, Arlin. “How to Stop Feeling like an Outsider When You Have Social Anxiety.” Verywell Mind,

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