Alesha Dixon fits the profile of someone who was born to have a career in the limelight, with her fiery energy on full-display in the girl band Mis-Teeq, which propelled her to fame and acted as a springboard for her successful television career, with notable highlights including becoming a judge on Britain’s Got Talent. Despite her outward confidence, the star revealed she battles with a psychological condition called imposter syndrome.
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Speaking to the Mirror.co.uk, she said: “I’ve definitely been crippled by fear. At school I was a contradiction. Outwardly, I was a confident, brave individual who went for it and was unafraid.
“But inside, I always had a niggle in my brain, moments of self-doubt which made me question my abilities.”
Caught up in the rollercoaster of fame since 2001, Alesha has only recently realised she has been grappling with the condition.
What is imposter syndrome?
According to independent charity Kings Fund, imposter syndrome describes a high-achieving individual who struggles to internalise success, who feels fraudulent and who attributes success to factors such as hard work, charm or luck.
Those with “imposter syndrome” experience a chronic sense of inadequacy and it affects women and men, notes the charity.
Research carried by hair brand TRESemme points to the impact imposter syndrome has had on women.
The study found 88 percent of working women in the UK have experienced imposter syndrome at some point.
One in four admitted they haven’t pursued a professional dream because of a lack of confidence.
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Alesha revealed how the condition held her back throughout her teenage years: “I remember being terrified to even pick up the phone to enquire about a street dance class I liked the sound of – but once I did, within two weeks I had been approached about joining the band.”
Despite her successes, the BGT judge admitted that the condition has still occasionally causes her grief.
She recounted a troubling episode brought on by the negative feedback she received when she first announced she would be a judge on Britain’s Got Talent.
Alesha devised her own way of coping with the crippling condition, telling herself that the opportunities wouldn’t keeping coming in if she wasn’t up to the job.
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Alesha also focused on the bigger picture to help her confront the condition.
She said: “I could have spent three years on that panel feeling like an imposter, feeling insecure, but you only get one life and I realised there was no point wasting it by questioning whether I should be there or not.”
Other ways to treat it
As the NHS explains, a psychological therapies service may help you learn to cope with your anxiety.
“Your GP or psychological therapies service may suggest trying a guided self-help course to see if it can help you learn to cope with your anxiety,” explained the health body.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety, says the health site.
CBT helps you to question your negative or anxious thoughts and do things you’d usually avoid because they make you anxious, explains the health body.
In fact, studies different treatments for anxiety have found the benefits of CBT may last longer than those of medication, but no single treatment works for everyone.
“It usually involves meeting with a specially trained and accredited therapist for a one hour session every week for three to four months,” added the NHS.
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