Imposter Syndrome

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As leaders, we can forget that emerging leaders don't understand Imposter Syndrome. They don't know that negative thoughts and ideas can pop into our heads at any time to undermine our confidence.

I battle negative thoughts all the time.

“Your program isn’t that special — people know this stuff already.”

“You have no idea what you’re doing, and they all know!”

“Everyone is disappointed in you.”

Imposter Syndrome can stop me from getting started or stop me from really enjoying what I'm doing. The fact is, I'm never going to get rid of negative thoughts. No matter how much I meditate or eat chocolate.

The thing that has helped me push past these negative thoughts has been the knowledge that others experience it too. Hearing someone more successful than me say "I feel like a fraud" makes me realise I'm not alone and negative thoughts are normal.

What about you?
Is this something you are comfortable sharing with others?

If you have strategies to challenge your Imposter Syndrome I would love to hear it.
In the meantime, if your mentee needs support in this area the below strategies may be of help:

  • Challenge it.
    • Is this true? How do I know everyone is disappointed in me?
      In reality, my Mum, dog and mentors tell me all the time they love my work.
  • Save it.
    • When someone gives you a compliment or a gold star for a job well done ... WRITE IT DOWN! Create a gratitude journal. Whenever you are feeling like a fraud open up this book and let the negativity get swept away.
  • Look at it.
    • Write a positive affirmation where you will see it every day. Next to a mirror. Near your computer. A screen saver on your phone. Have a quote that inspires you to believe in yourself will create a positive thought habit.

Being able to open up about Imposter Syndrome with your mentee can be a vulnerable but totally worthwhile experience. I know emerging leaders want to hear it. With your help, they will feel less lonely and better equipt to take on leadership challenges.

Let me know how you go!

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