Because I work with high-achieving women, they always have goals…goals for their careers, personal goals, etc. By definition, high-achieving women tend to have a lot going on in their lives. And that’s good, right? Our culture values “doers.” We value people who achieve and earn their way. But what about when your goals keep you focused on what is up ahead in the future so you don’t have to focus on the right now? It’s easy to point out the negatives of using food or alcohol or shopping to self-soothe (or buffer), but what about when we use something those around us value, our ability to achieve and get things done?
Using our goals to avoid dealing with the things that are right in front of us is classic Imposter Syndrome (IS) behavior and something I see in the women I coach all the time. Women who struggle with IS aren’t confident in who they are. They often don’t really even know who they are because they are always chasing who they want to be or who they think they should be. Women with IS crave acceptance. Ironically, the acceptance they crave is from themselves, but in the absence of accepting themselves, they seek acceptance from others. And others value high-achievers, which brings us full circle to why IS sufferers are also high-achievers.