And who do you think you are?

I’m a fraud.

I’m not worthy.

Is this really me?

I don’t belong here.

I’m not good enough.

Who do I think I am?

Who am I getting ideas above my station?

Sound familiar?

Welcome to Imposter Syndrome. You’re in good company. Nigella Lawson, Michelle Obama, Lady GaGa and Lily Allen have all shared their imposter syndrome experiences publicly. But what is this demon?

It’s an umbrella term, under which lives one or more limiting beliefs such as those generalised ones above. They may be accompanied by more specific beliefs. These are typically formed rationally in childhood and, as children, may serve us well. For example;

 I need everyone to approve of me.

To be a valued I must succeed in everything I do.

I shouldn’t have to feel sadness, discomfort and pain.

It is not OK for me to make mistakes. If I do, I am bad.

Someone, somewhere, should take responsibility for me.

Everyone needs to rely on someone stronger than themselves.

In can feel happy in life without contributing back in some way.

What would your own list look like?

However, time moves on and things change. As we become adults, our childhood beliefs serve us less well – and the resultant behaviours may be incongruent with the situation we are in. This leads to the conclusion that one of the things it means to grow up, is to develop out of our childhood beliefs and adopt a new set of beliefs that will serve us better as adults. This progression follows a broad pattern of developing from dependence as children to independence as young adults to interdependence as mature adults.



Our overall set of beliefs are developing all the time. However, most of us will carry some of our childhood beliefs with us in to adulthood. Most of these will be innocuous most of the time but some of them will, sometimes, impede our performance as high functioning, inter-dependent, adults. As adults, we benefit from identifying our limiting beliefs, and growing in to more valuable beliefs.

By way of an example, a common limiting belief sitting under the Imposter Syndrome umbrella is ‘I must compare myself to others’ which can be re-framed to ‘I live my own life on my own terms’ or ‘I have a unique set of character strengths, as do others’. In turn the re-framed beliefs can underpin valuable affirmations such as ‘Because I live my own life, I enjoy the successes of others’ or ‘I choose to celebrate my successes without reference to other’s accomplishments’ or ‘The fact that I choose to live my life authentically means I only compare myself against my own standards’.


A standard element of working with PERMA Hypnotherapy is developing a high degree of self-awareness via exploring your characters strengths, values, beliefs and limiting beliefs which paves the way to defining your identity. In turn, this leaves you ideally placed to choose your own best future and use trance to support you in getting there.

Working with a hypnotherapist is particularly well suited to personal development in this area as – by its very nature – it opens up the pathways between the parts we know and recognise as ‘us’ and the deeper levels of our wisdom: ideal for when we need to take those big steps forward.