Have you ever felt like someone would one day find out that you are really not that good as they think you are? That you are not that talented, prepared, experienced, smart, etc?
As a coach I see this all the time. Especially with C level executives of fast growing companies.
What if my success this far has been due to luck? To a series of events that led me here, but now, in this new stage of growth, I don’t have what it takes to make it?
This happens to many of us, specially entrepreneurs, artists, creatives, high achievers or anyone who dares to put themselves a little bit beyond their comfort zone. It happens to me every time I write a blog post, every time I stand in front of a large audience. What if they find out that I don’t have what it?
Margie Warrell, in her article “Afraid Of Being ‘Found Out?’ How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome” published in Forbes writes:
“…what matters most is not whether we occasionally (or regularly) fear failing, looking foolish or not being ‘whatever enough’; it’s whether we give those fears the power to keep us from taking the actions needed to achieve our goals and highest aspirations. Unfortunately, too often people do just that.”
Here’s 3 strategize I use to deal with impostor syndrome for myself or my clients:
- QUESTION: Is it really all a lie? Did you really get here just by luck? Make a list of everything you accomplished so far, was all that gifted to you? Usually the answers to these questions will give us a glimpse of the truth that while we might have been lucky here or there, getting here has required work, commitment and consistent action on our part.
- PERSPECTIVE. If you are an impostor, would you say the same for every teacher, colleague, partner that has been in your path? Those you learned from, your mentors, your colleagues? Usually the answer to this question is a very strong NO. We tend to see those we work with or learn from as the real deal.
- FOCUS ON VALUE. OK, you are a fake. Now what? You are still the CEO of the company or the SVP or standing in front of the crowd. What, in the role you are assigned at that moment, can you do to bring the most value? Maybe it won’t be perfect, maybe you don’t have all the answers, bring forth what you DO have to offer and be open and transparent about what you are still learning, where you need help or where you feel you are not prepared.
CLARITY on where you stand and how you are moving forward is key to dealing with impostor syndrome and reconnecting with your strength, your worth and your voice.