The Imposter Syndrome refers to a series of beliefs that seem to tell us that if we are successful, strong, confident, or ambitious—in other words, if we acquire and enjoy the good things in life—we will suffer the punishment of shame, guilt or an otherwise painful psychological consequence. People limit or put themselves down in order to mitigate such consequences. They may become perfectionists. They may be unable to properly take care of themselves and burn out. Self-awareness of such dynamics is the first step toward overcoming the imposter syndrome and allowing oneself to enjoy, rather than undo, one’s success.
When a child’s attachment to a caretaker is secure, such an attachment–based on the latter’s empathy, reliability, and emotional availability–provides a secure foundation for the development of the child’s autonomous capacity for loving relationships. When attachment is insecure, the child—and later adult—becomes clinging or avoidant. Parents need to be good enough, not perfect. Finally, our society has to better nurture and support these childhood attachment relationships.
Gaslighting is the process by which one person attempt to drive another person crazy by challenging their sense of reality and denying they are doing so. It’s a cousin to the concept of the “double-bind” and the “Catch 22.” When a parent does this to a child, the results can be catastrophic. It is also, however, seen in milder forms in couples in which one partner keeps secrets from the other but denies this reality.
Golf is especially frustrating for amateur golfers in ways similar to the frustrating process of learning and exercising other skills. At it’s heart, the discrepancy between what the golfer imagines his/her body should do and what it actually does causes what we call a narcissistic injury that the golfer responds to with either rage or despair. In addition, at moments of failure on the golf course, each golfer tells him or herself a story that accounts for it, usually one that includes harsh self-judgments. The solution to frustration such as this is to find a way to face, tolerate, and eventually accept reality.