The Praise Paradox is a phenomenon where individuals with imposter syndrome have difficulty accepting praise or recognition for their accomplishments. Despite achieving great success, these individuals struggle to internalize positive feedback or acknowledge their own competence, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. 

For example, imagine you just delivered a fantastic presentation at work, and your boss tells you that you did a great job. Instead of feeling proud of your work and accepting the compliment, you might discount your success by thinking, “Oh, it wasn’t that great” or “I got lucky.” This is the Praise Paradox in action. 

People who struggle with imposter syndrome may also feel like they are frauds who are undeserving of recognition or success. They might think that they are only successful because of luck or because they fooled other people into thinking they are capable. This leads to a cycle of discounting their own success and feeling like they don’t deserve praise. 

The Praise Paradox can be especially frustrating because it can be difficult to break out of. The more praise someone receives, the more they might feel like they don’t deserve it. And if they don’t believe they deserve praise, they might not be motivated to continue striving for success. 

This is the Praise Paradox in action. It’s the feeling of being uncomfortable or unworthy when receiving praise or recognition, even if it is well-deserved. The paradox is that even though we crave recognition and validation, when we receive it, we often discount it or reject it entirely. 

So why does this happen? One reason is that we are conditioned to believe that humility is a virtue. We’re taught that it’s not polite to brag, and that we should be modest about our accomplishments. This can lead to feelings of guilt or shame when we do receive praise. 

Another reason is that we may have a distorted view of our own abilities. When we struggle with Imposter Syndrome, we may feel like we don’t deserve recognition because we don’t believe we actually did anything special. We discount our successes, thinking that anyone could have done what we did. 

But here’s the thing: when we reject praise, we’re not only denying ourselves the satisfaction of feeling accomplished, but we’re also denying the person who gave us the praise the opportunity to show their appreciation. It’s like turning down a gift that someone has carefully chosen for us. 

So what can we do about the Praise Paradox? Well, for starters, we can practice accepting compliments graciously. Instead of brushing off praise or discounting our accomplishments, we can say “thank you” and acknowledge the hard work that went into our achievements. 

We can also work on changing our inner dialogue. When we receive praise, we can remind ourselves that we worked hard for our accomplishments and that we deserve recognition. We can challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations. 

Lastly, we can remember that it’s okay to be proud of ourselves. We don’t have to hide our successes or downplay our accomplishments. By embracing our strengths and accepting recognition, we can build our confidence and feel more empowered to pursue our goals. 

In summary, the Praise Paradox is a common experience that can be overcome with a little practice and self-awareness. By accepting compliments graciously, changing our inner dialogue, and embracing our strengths, we can learn to bask in the glow of well-deserved praise. So go ahead, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy the warm fuzzies that come with a job well done! 

By learning to differentiate between the defensive strategies of your Imposter Persona, like self-doubt, and your authentic self, you can learn to be human, to go after what you want despite what your brain is telling you and let your authentic self be free to thrive. Your Imposter Syndrome Persona is limited, your authentic self is not. So, muster up the courage and reach out and get the help you need to release you from the grip of the praise that is stopping you from owning your success.