Michael Bastos

Removing impostor syndrome by understanding induction

Removing impostor syndrome by understanding induction

Have you ever woken up with a pain in your side and wondered if it could be something serious like cancer? It’s normal to worry, but it can be challenging to calibrate your response to a threat. The problem with threat calibration, especially when it’s something new, is that it’s a complicated and nearly impossible computational problem. There are ten different mechanisms we use to try to solve this problem. However, one of the mechanisms is acknowledging that everyone responds differently to threats.

If you’re someone who struggles with imposter syndrome, it can be tough to believe in your competence and the validity of your position. The only known treatment for this is to voluntarily expose yourself to the things that scare you, and in doing so, you’ll become braver. But, keep in mind that some people have to live with imposter syndrome more than others.

When you continue to disprove your imposter syndrome in the real world, you might eventually become adamant that you won’t, can’t, or don’t deserve to get past it. But, you will get past it eventually, and then you’ll have to admit to yourself that your imposter syndrome has nothing to do with your capacity and everything to do with your addiction to feeling like an imposter.

As you age, your addiction to feeling like an imposter will change. Generally speaking, people become more agreeable, more conscientious, and have lower negative emotions. This adaptation occurs because you survive through various challenges, and then you can review the evidence to yourself. Additionally, the people around you bolster you because they have confidence in you, and their anxiety doesn’t trigger your anxiety. They’ll remind you that you’ve got this and that you’ve done things with a wealth of data.

The variability and trait neuroticism is a consequence of the probability of the failure of induction. In other words, just because something happened multiple times in the past doesn’t mean it will happen the same way the next time. We’re all adapted to some degree to the failure of induction, and it can be challenging to regulate negative emotion. However, the best way to regulate negative emotion is to face challenges voluntarily, pay attention at a rate that works for you, and develop your competence. That will stabilize the environment around you, making it less predictable and less threatening. You’ll accrue evidence, and people around you will give you social support, which is your best pathway forward.

In treating your neighbor, you should always aim to encourage and develop them. But, you should also treat yourself with the same attitude, regardless of your opinion of yourself. Being hyper-critical of yourself is common if you’re anxious or hyper-conscientious. So, remember to treat yourself as if you’re someone you care for.

Removing impostor syndrome by understanding induction
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