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Let’s dive into a topic that often lurks in the depths of one’s thoughts, something that even accomplished leaders struggle with – “imposter syndrome.” Yes, that persistent feeling that you may not be as capable or accomplished as others perceive you to be. Does this ring a bell? Well, rest assured you’re not alone.

Imposter syndrome can creep up on anyone, regardless of their role or triumphs. After all, leaders are expected to have everything under control. However, as a leader, I know that this syndrome can be particularly treacherous. Even the most experienced leaders can grapple with doubts and feelings of inadequacy. I have coached many leaders to break the mental and emotional bonds holding them back.

So, how can you know if you’re grappling with imposter syndrome? Here are some clear indicators:

  • Self-doubt: You might doubt your capabilities. Rethink your choices when your track record speaks of success.
  • Attributing Achievements to Chance: You tend to diminish your accomplishments by attributing them to luck or fortunate timing rather than recognizing your talents and hard work.
  • Fear of Failing: The fear of failure can sometimes hold you back. Stop you from taking chances and exploring possibilities.
  • Making Comparisons: It’s common to compare your progress to that of your peers or coworkers, often feeling like you fall short or that everyone else has it all figured out.
  • Overworking: You push yourself to work harder and longer hours to prove your worth, but it never feels like enough.

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, rest assured that you are not alone. There are steps you can follow to combat imposter syndrome:

  1. Acknowledge Your Emotions: The initial step in overcoming the syndrome is recognizing that you are going through it. Understand that doubts and insecurities are normal and don’t diminish your leadership capabilities.
  2. Challenge Negative Thinking: When self-doubt creeps in, please question those thoughts. Analyze whether there’s any basis for them or if they’re your inner critic trying to deceive you.
  3. Recognize Your Accomplishments: Celebrate your victories regardless of how small they may appear. Maintain a record of what you’ve achieved and refer to it whenever doubt starts creeping in. (Start journaling—if you want, send me an email, and I will send you some reflection questions to assist you.)
  4. Seek Support: Don’t be afraid to seek support from mentors, peers, or a professional executive coach. Talking about your feelings and frustrations with someone you trust can help put things into perspective and remind you that you’re not alone.
  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the kindness and understanding you would offer a friend. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes and that nobody is perfect.
  6. Focus on Growth: Instead of striving for perfection, focus on growth and continuous improvement. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
  7. Embrace Your Uniqueness: Recognize your unique perspective and experiences make you valuable as a leader. Embrace your strengths and flaws, knowing they all contribute to your identity.

Remember that overcoming imposter syndrome is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when needed. With practice and time, you can silence your inner critic. Step into your role, as a confident leader.

If you’re interested, I would encourage you to explore imposter syndrome further. I can assist. Please schedule a complimentary 15-minute executive coaching session with me. We can discuss your barriers and determine the most suitable way forward together. You can reserve your session here.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734