Why do We have Fitness Impostor Syndrome?

  • 27th Sep'21
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Whenever you are about to do something meaningful, do you hear a constant little nagging? A voice inside your head was saying, “If you think you can do it, you are wrong, and you will fail this time.” The singer continues to doubt your abilities despite your apparent success, for which others have appreciated you as well. The feeling it creates is that of a fraud, a sham riding a wave of undeserving success waiting to be discovered by the other people. Such feelings are a mark of impostor syndrome. It is a growing phenomenon that has impacted people from all spheres of life. 

American author and poet Maya Angelou suffered from impostor syndrome despite having 11 best-selling books to her name. She once said, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” Likewise, there are several sports icons and celebrities who have struggled with impostor syndrome, have all been known to have suffered from impostor syndrome. Some of them are – Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep. Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, Jodie Foster, Serena Williams, and David Bowie.


Impostor Syndrome


What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is a fraudulent feeling that creates self-doubt in people despite their notable success and skill. It is a typical term that people associate themselves with for professional background and career, impostor syndrome. It is the feeling of inadequacy where the employee feels unsatisfied despite being rewarded by their boss or leader. Usually, people suffering from impostor syndrome fear their success as they think of themselves as undeserving and a sham. They believe that they are a fraudster who will eventually get caught for underperforming. 

Impostor syndrome is of many types but have you ever heard of the fitness impostor syndrome? Yes, it exists. Impostor syndrome exists everywhere (including fitness as well). So, what is fitness impostor syndrome? And why do we have it? Let’s take a look at both, one after another.


Fitness Impostor Syndrome


Fitness Impostor Syndrome

Fitness impostor syndrome can be defined as the embarrassment and awkwardness that a person experiences when walking into a gym. It happens in the gym as gyms are a public place where people often perceive others as some level of competition. Also, gym-goers can visibly see each other working out. As a result, the feeling of being noticed and judged internally by more professional gym-goers can turn up the negativity inside you into believing that you are fit enough.  

When it comes to negative beliefs, they can be extremely stubborn. Despite training consistently, a person can still be affected by the negative sentiment that had affected them at the beginning of their fitness journey.


Why Do We Have Fitness Impostor Syndrome?

People tend to develop fitness impostor syndrome due to their unhealthy lifestyle or a tough time when health inadvertently gets neglected for a period. Their mind gets infested with, notably, negative and low thoughts. They even start comparing their lack of fitness to others, mainly friends or members of a family, higher fitness levels causing them to question their fitness. The good thing is with proper counseling and support from friends and family, a person suffering from fitness impostor syndrome can be cured with a positive mindset. However, first, the person will have to identify with the fitness impostor syndrome itself. Also, you can combat impostor syndrome with our top 10 health and wellness trends for 2021.


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About the author:

Sunny Samanta, OpenGrowth Content Team

A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.

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