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The Role of Social Media in Amplifying Impostor Feelings

coaching imposter syndrome leadership mindset Dec 08, 2023

Most people go on social media sites to relax and have a good time. They are seeking positive feelings and experiences. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Chronic social media usage has been linked to high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.

If you struggle with feelings of inadequacy and undeserved achievement or view yourself as a fraud, it’s vital to limit the time you spend on social media. Here's how social media can make impostor syndrome harder to deal with.

You Only See the Filtered, Edited Experience

How many times have you posted something negative about yourself on social media? It only happens occasionally. Most people only show the upside and never the downside of their lives. This is especially true with social media influencers.

Scrolling through Facebook or TikTok, you see others excelling and succeeding. They look great doing it, as if success and other wonderful achievements come naturally to them.

Constantly feeding your brain this false image of reality might make you think you don't belong. You realize that your achievements have required work, dedication, and sacrifice. You feel like an impostor because the people you see on social media make it seem so easy. They are more worthy of success than you are.

Playing the Comparison Game

There are so many amazing people on social media. Even regular people seem to lead beautiful lives you would love to experience. You begin to compare yourself to these perfect people. You begin to feel inferior if you are honest enough to admit your life isn't perfect.

Sometimes, the comparison game has you looking down on others. This might make you feel good right now. But inside, you know that the judgment is unfair. At other times, you may be harsher on yourself, feeling that you don't deserve positive life experiences.

Comparing yourself to others, especially to the false personas on social media, can make any achievement or success feel undeserved.

Negativity is Rampant

Imagine that you are already fostering feelings of being a fraud, an impostor, and a fake. You go to your favorite social media platform for some stress relief. You know there are plenty of funny videos to watch, and your friends are very supportive.

As you are scrolling around, you encounter a lot of negativities. Some people strive to bring everyone down so they can feel better about themselves. Others fail to monitor their words and unintentionally hurt people’s feelings. If you view yourself as an impostor, this destructive aspect of social media can worsen your incorrect belief that you are undeserving and inadequate.

Be careful when you hop online to socialize. Social media sites can quickly make you believe you don't measure up to others. On top of that negative experience, online social hangouts can intensify your assumption that you are a fraud somehow. The incorrect beliefs impostor syndrome fosters are hard enough to deal with on their own. You certainly don't need social media to give you more of the same.

Ready to go deeper? You can take my online course "The Imposter Syndrome Solution" and I will guide you through the complex maze of Impostor Syndrome, shedding light on its intricacies and equipping you with effective tools to dismantle it.

Are you interested in coaching, leadership development or organization consulting support? Lets set up a call, I love to help leaders like you!

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