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Struggling to remove the mask

Melancholy Yogini
Community Member

Hi to all who read this post. 


Right now I feel like an impostor. There is no doubt in my mind that I am suffering from impostor syndrome as I am struggling to remove that mask and be proud of who I am. I have endured, overcome, and accomplished so much in my life so why am I anxious and fearful about the next steps? I am weeks away from turning 50; this makes me anxious because my father died at 50 years of age. 


I have had these feeling for a long time, and now that I am weeks away from finishing a diploma in mental health and a few months away from completed a Bach of Psychological Sciences the thought of finishing is making me fretful. I'm a qualified yoga and Pilates teacher, and work in the counselling world; so I have all the knowledge and techniques to deal with this. I studied in all of these areas to help understand myself yet I don't feel I am any closer. If anything it has just helped me hide who I am better. 


I help people almost everyday to deal with life. So why can't I help myself? Are my past traumas so deeply entrenched in my psyche that they have me in a constant state of flight? I remind myself over and over what I have accomplished yet I still feel like a fraud. I find myself procrastinating now because I am anxious when thinking about actually finishing my studies. I don't know what the future holds and I should be excited yet here I am worrying about what others are going to expect from me, worrying about what my next steps will be. I feel lost. 


I welcome any advice or words of wisdom to help me gain a different perspective. 

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi MY, welcome


I'm in awe of your experience and achievements, including those pending ones fast approaching. So I'll fast track the basics not to bore you with what you know.


Yes we can achieve a lot of things but you are right that constant stage of "flight" can and often is permanent having been wired from childhood or even birth. It is more a case for us that we should try to get out of ourselves the best hand from a dealt deck. 


So, with a severe anxiety disorder in 1987 it took a couple of decades to eliminate my anxiety. The first post of my links is all that I ask you to read. 




In that post you might find a few things that you are overlooking yourself. If not thats ok, without suggesting I can diagnose, I cant of course, here is my second thought about the corner of anxiety-




Being nicknamed "the worrier" at 12yo by a clever observant teacher has credit. I had to detune my natural tendency to worry adopted by my mother that to this day at 92yo is in denial from her mental health issues (I'm guessing due to that denial).


Finally I have also developed distraction to a whole new level (for me). It began when I would dwell about family issues and we owned a huge 3000 piece jigsaw. Every time I over thought I'd enter a spare bedroom and do a handful of pieces. By the time I placed 10 pieces into their spots my thoughts were no longer on what I dwelled on.




Re:  "I help people almost everyday to deal with life"  Perhaps it's time to consider "charity begins at home? " Have you thought that your attention to others has left your own needs thinner than they should be?


I'm here daily or more often, feel free to reply.



Thank you TonyWH for your words and for links to your previous posts.


As amazing as it was to read how you have explored and found ways to help you, I really feel like I have tried everything over the years with the exception of medication which is not an option for me. You may be correct in that helping others has left me a little less focused on my own issues. While I don't feel transference has been an issue, maybe it has been? That's something I hadn't considered; I thought I was handling it well. 


I really do like the jigsaw distraction and have used it in the past but had forgotten about that one, so I may also give that I try. In saying that I wonder if, as wonderful a distraction as it is, I may end up using it to procrastinate. 


Perhaps the suggestion of making small changes in my life, my routine, just changing things up a bit may be helpful. I can only try. 


Thank you again 

Window shopping helps even if you buy an all day lollypop! I like your attitude to it all. 



Reading your post is like wow gives me hope that i can get thru my depression and anxiety with these tips thank u for adding the links I will try the jigsaw puzzles I currently colour and walk a lot  occasionally garden been a bit too wet to do it. . Also considering major move and job rehabilitation into a different role or area of employment when my thoughts settle down