Stop Thinking a Lack of Self-Care Is a Trivial Matter
How often do you hear people say they aren’t good at self-care? Seems like it’s a common occurrence and quite socially acceptable these days to admit that we neglect ourselves and our well-being without any conscience about what we are doing to ourselves. It’s like a badge of honor to neglect ourselves and put everyone else’s needs before our own.
And you know what? It’s not okay. Neglecting yourself and your needs to please others or meet unrealistic expectations is not okay. You would never think it was cool to tell friends you forgot to feed your children or make sure they got enough exercise and fresh air. But when it comes to ourselves, we’ve somehow made it okay to say, “I suck at self-care,” shrug our shoulders and then keep doing it.
This mindset is fueled by Imposter Syndrome, a collection of symptoms fueled by beliefs and behaviors such as self-neglect. People who struggle with Imposter Syndrome often feel like they need to work harder and do more to prove themselves, which can lead to neglecting self-care and burning out. They will convince themselves that the consequences of taking time for themselves are too risky and that if they just power through and ignore their needs, they will be fine. People with Imposter Syndrome often believe they don’t deserve their success and will eventually be exposed as frauds. While many factors can contribute to Imposter Syndrome, one that is often overlooked is self-neglect.
Self-Neglect Is a Severe Issue…
Self-neglect is the act of ignoring one’s own needs, both physical and emotional. It manifests in many ways, including neglecting self-care, overworking, and not seeking help when needed. It’s a mindset that has nothing to do with going to a spa or taking a bath to relax after working a 14-hour day. It is a belief that we can and should do without neglecting our human needs, appetites, and personal ambitions.
Here are some of the ways that self-neglect fuels the Imposter Syndrome.
First, self-neglect causes feelings of inadequacy. When you neglect your own needs, you are sending a message to yourself that you don’t deserve care and attention. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt, common in Imposter Syndrome.
Second, self-neglect leads to burnout. When you ignore your own needs for rest and relaxation, you can become overworked and stressed. This can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, making performing well in your job or other areas of your life challenging. When you don’t perform as well as you would like, it can reinforce feelings of inadequacy and contribute to Imposter Syndrome.
Third, self-neglect causes you to doubt your own abilities. When you neglect your own needs, you are sending a message to yourself that you are not capable of taking care of yourself. This can lead to feelings of incompetence and self-doubt, which are also common in Imposter Syndrome.
Finally, self-neglect causes you to feel like a fraud. When you neglect your own needs, you are not living up to your own standards of self-care and self-respect. This can lead to guilt and shame, making you feel like a fraud or imposter.
You Can’t Do This Alone…
If you are suffering as a result of not being able to prioritize your emotional and physical needs, it’s essential to recognize that by not attending to the underlying issues that cause the Imposter Syndrome, you end up feeling guilty and ashamed of yourself. Instead of reaching out for help, you probably beat yourself up, kicking yourself when you are down. Self-care and self-compassion need to be cultivated, and being angry at yourself for not being perfect is the way to become more entrenched in the Imposter Syndrome. It doesn’t support mental health and well-being. In fact, neglecting your well-being can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and even severe health issues. It’s time to stop glorifying overworking and neglecting self-care and start prioritizing your own needs and well-being by reaching out and getting help for what is at the root of your Imposter Syndrome behavior and inability to prioritize yourself and your own needs.