Many of us have experienced feelings of Imposter Syndrome where we silently wonder if we are qualified for our roles. As normal as these feelings are, we have some helpful practices for managing Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome refers to an internal experience of self-doubt and believing you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. In a Simply Psychology article, Imposter Syndrome: Definition, Symptoms, Types, and Coping (simplypsychology.org) approx. 70% of us will experience Imposter Syndrome once in our lifetime.
As leaders and professionals, how can you foster your leadership to fight the feelings of Imposter Syndrome? Here are a few ideas to put into practice.
1. Identify and name your Imposters.
Imposters are inner beliefs that question if we are good enough for the task at hand. Start to identify who is showing up in your inner self-talk. Is it the Judge, evaluating actions and outcomes? Could it be the Perfectionist that wants everything to be perfect? Or maybe the High Achiever that measures self-worth through achievement and recognition? Take the time to notice who is with you, give them a name, and start to listen for what they are telling you. Once the Imposters are identified, we can question their validity.
2. True or False.
Remember those true and false quizzes we had in school? As leaders, we need to ask ourselves if what our Imposter is saying is True or False. Many times, we know the answer: yes we are capable of delivering this presentation, or yes we are ready for the next leadership role. If you are not sure of the answer, then engage in conversation with a trusted person that can provide you with insights and examples. This practice will help you to reframe your thoughts and quiet that Imposter.
3. Celebrate your successes.
By quieting your Imposters, you can focus on your knowledge and abilities. The end goal is to celebrate your successes both big and small. Your success could be building alignment with a peer that will help move an initiative forward. Or, feeling confident as you deliver a communication to a key audience. Take a few minutes and celebrate what you just accomplished, recognizing that you are competent and capable in your leadership role.
Leaders at all levels and roles in organizations have moments of self-doubt. It is important to identify the negative self-talk that we are feeding ourselves and then challenge our thinking to determine if our statements are true or false. Give yourself permission to pause, reflect, and notice when your Imposter is showing up and then reframe your thoughts to move forward in a positive way. Find a trusted person that can give you insights and examples of your leadership.
A certified professional coach can help you identify your Imposters, create strategies to quiet the noise, and support you to move forward. Our coaches would be honored to walk alongside you on your leadership journey. To learn more about our coaching team and services visit, https://jennifermaxsonassociates.com/programs/#coaching.