Episode 40 – Imposter Syndrome

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Have you ever heard of imposter syndrome? Has fear and insecurities kept you from seeing yourself as you truly are? Have you ever been told to stop being so hard on yourself?

In this episode of The Shrink Think podcast, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they share their observations and experiences with imposter syndrome as therapists.

In This Episode


  • What is imposter syndrome
  • How does it affect you
  • Why does it happen
  • What can you do to change it

What is imposter syndrome

  • An internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be
  • Doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud
  • Disproportionately effects high-achieving people

How does it affect you

  • You were not raised in an environment where emotions were safe to have or share
  • Your emotions and experiences were not reflected back to you by an adult
  • The adults in your family were more focused on information/logic, problems, or solutions

Why does it happen

  • People with imposter syndrome often grow up in environments where they had to succeed or else something bad would happen
  • Theory that imposter syndrome is rooted in families that value achievement over all else
  • Results from personality traits, such as perfectionism

What can you do to change it

  • Follow your fears all the way through to see that the result of your fears isn’t that bad
  • Accentuate the positives
  • Visualize success

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Thanks for Listening!

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aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 40