ADHD And Imposter Syndrome: When Will I Ever Feel Good Enough?

A graphic of a person holding a mask in hand. This could symbolize overcoming ADHD imposter syndrome with the help of an ADHD specialist. Contact Focused Mind ADHD Counseling in Columbus, OH

It’s stressful to feel like your self-esteem doesn’t always align with your achievements. You stay up late panicking when things go wrong, always fearing you’ll be “found out” for making a huge mistake or not being the right person for the job. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and imposter syndrome are a common pairing. You just want to stop beating yourself up, to stop feeling like a failure no matter what you achieve. You want to feel good enough on the inside. To feel like you’ve really earned the seat at the grown-ups’ table.

Why Adhd And Imposter Syndrome Go Together: Your Inner Child…Who Also Has ADHD.

A businesswoman thinks while sitting with her hands folded against her mouth. This could represent ADHD imposter syndrome and the fears of not being enough. Search "ADHD specialist near me" for support with anxiety symptoms in Columbus, OH at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling. Getting criticized for unintended mistakes while you’re growing up takes its toll on self-worth. No matter how your ADHD impacted your feelings or life, there’s a good chance you worked harder than other people. Struggling to live up to superficial ideals not designed for your awesome race-car brain.

As an adult, you likely carry the “ADHD inner child with you.” You know, that little kid who never felt like they “fit,” the loner, or the one who was told things like “you do good when you want to,” or “stop daydreaming.” Now, all grown up, you might be surrounded by accomplishments, but in your heart of hearts, you feel shame and frustration daily. You struggle with rejection sensitivity. It just never feels like you’re getting a good report card––no matter your grades.

Signs Of Imposter Syndrome:

Never celebrating achievements 

Got done with a big work project? On to the next task, right? “I’ll celebrate after [fill in the name of the next big project], then I’ll feel good enough and can relax.” A pattern of never taking a moment to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished might indicate that you don’t feel you deserve what you’ve achieved.

Constantly comparing yourself to others

Always feeling like you’re looking up at the grown-ups at the big table. Never feeling like you have earned a seat at the table (even though you’ve literally earned a seat at the table). Feeling like others are just inherently better or more this or that. All those things might show a disconnect between what you’re doing and how you feel inside.

People Pleasing

If you don’t feel good enough, you might by default do a lot of accommodating, asking permission or seeking validation (often from questionable sources). It’s hard to be a “no” person when you’re conditioned to say “yes.” The more uncomfortable saying “no,” the higher the likelihood imposter syndrome might be playing a role.

A girl stands looking away from the camera with a dark cloud around her head. This could represnet feelings of ADHD imposter syndrome. Contact an ADHD specialist for support in overcoming anxiety symptoms in Columbus, OH

Minimizing your accomplishments

This one comes down to those moments when others can see your achievements, but you yourself invalidate them.

Your boss, spouse, best friend, etc: “Good job!”

You: “Yeah, but look at what I missed,” or “That doesn’t count.”

Self-Invalidation is sneaky and often disguised as self-deprecating humor. In reality, it’s feelings of shame and self-doubt.

3 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

You have to name it to tame

The first step to knowing you have a problem is acceptance. Just acknowledging you have imposter syndrome can shift your mindset. It can help you stop feeling convinced you’re not good enough and nudge you into realizing that it is just your perception––not you actually being not good enough.

Give up on perfection

Perfection is not a thing. It’s fairly common for adults with ADHD to develop perfectionism to overpower struggles with attention. However, to master the anxiety and stress of “not measuring up,” you might need to learn to accept the messiness of life at times.

Authenticity will set you free

Embrace your inner nerd. Embrace your flaws and your strengths. Know if you got the gig, you earned the gig. And if someone doesn’t like your freak flag, they’re likely jealous that they can’t embrace their own.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, OH

A room of people in a board room clap in approval. This could represent overcoming ADHD imposter syndrome and negative self worth. Contact an ADHD specialist at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling for support with overcoming anxiety symptoms today. If you’re looking for more personalized help overcoming imposter syndrome, we can help. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer ADHD testing and Adult ADHD treatment. This way you can find answers and a path forward to the life you want to be living. A caring ADHD specialist would love to help you from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice.

To start ADHD treatment, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the contact form to schedule a consult
  2. Meet with an adult ADHD specialist 
  3. Start overcoming imposter syndrome, and embrace your authentic self!

Other Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD counseling

Because ADHD impacts people in different ways, Focused Mind ADHD Counseling offers a variety of services, including adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. If you have any questions regarding testing or ADHD treatment, schedule a consultation with one of our trusted therapists.