Many of us know the feeling. You may be sitting in a meeting with your team, a client, an agency, a potential business partner and you wonder when they are going to call you out for being a fraud. A pretender. A no nothing who has no business being in that room. That is Imposter Syndrome, and you may be stunned to learn that it is far more prevalent that you can ever guess.
Imposter Syndrome is a term that was first used in the 1970s and was originally thought to apply mainly to high achieving women. These days, it is widely recognised as being able to affect anyone at any point in their career and is not in any way gender specific. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of people will experience Imposter Syndrome at some point and it doesn’t matter if you own the business, sit in a position of leadership or happen to be the new graduate in marketing.
You aren’t a Fake
Understanding Imposter Syndrome will help you overcome its negative impacts and allow you to move forward with more confidence in your own ability as a leader and as a knowledgeable, capable expert in your field.
Imposter Syndrome is a specific form of intellectual self-doubt. Sounds fancy but it is as simple as that gnawing feeling that you are not as competent as you should be and that anytime now, you will be uncovered as a fraud or a phony and that you don’t belong at the table with the adults. Imposter Syndrome is fed by the idea that your accomplishments and triumphs have more to do with luck rather than the any inherent talent, hard work or learned abilities and knowledge.
Stop the Damage
Key to the damage that this internal battle is causing is the potential to impact your performance as a leader. If you are filled with self-doubt – no matter how much you put up a front of confidence – how do you have faith in the decisions you need to make, how do you trust yourself to take your business and your team forward, how do you bring out the best in your employees when you don’t believe in your own true worth?
Signs that Imposter Syndrome is present
There are a number of indicators – aside from feeling fraudulent - that can suggest that you are susceptible to Imposter Syndrome. But if you acknowledge how your self-doubt is impacting your behaviour, you may be able to sow some seed of self confidence in yourself instead:
Tips to help overcome the insecurity
Anytime feelings of self-doubt manifest for extended periods, there will be an impact to your overall health. It seems obvious but Imposter Syndrome can increase anxiety, depression and feelings of low self-worth so following are some tips to help yourself out of the doubt…
Becoming Self Aware
As a leader, you need to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and maximise your talents to drive a successful business. But knowing you have some vulnerabilities does not make you an Imposter – it makes you self-aware. It will allow you to play to your strengths, work on improving your shortcomings and give you the insight to call on others to advice or support you when required.
To that end, HR Staff n’ Stuff is always here to help – contact the team if you need support or coaching….. Our Director Deb is the MASTER of knowing when to ask others for advice or to fill in her gaps which is why she’s surrounded herself with such an outstanding team! See, that’s excellent self-awareness and playing to strengths right there! What a clever minx!
Regardless though of how you feel about your own leadership abilities and style, we get it and we are always here to build you up! Call us anytime 😊
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!