By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
Please, tell me you shouted a big fat… “No!”
Because if you didn’t, you’re harming your career progression big time.
This career underminer has a widespread impact on many of us.
KPMG finds that 75 percent of female executives have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers.
It leaves you with a gnawing sense of self-doubt, incompetency, and fear of discovery despite all the evidence to the contrary—your credentials, years of education, and expertise. You begin buying into the belief snaking through your brain that luck or fate punking you is the main factor in achieving your elevated position.
Imposter syndrome is a closely-held secret between you and you alone, though you unintentionally signal it to everyone through your actions, conversations, and presence.
Dread rides you daily.
The emotion driving you is the desire to be accepted, loved, or respected by others. You’ve never built that foundation for yourself. And you believe bosses and peers will kick you out with your career trashed once they realize your unspoken secret.
Without a doubt, there are significant reasons employees fall prey to the Impostor Syndrome—particularly women executives.
- Feminine, influential role models are few and far between for women entering the marketplace. In many organizations, the overriding cultural message breeds insecurity for women—if you permit it. Stop modeling yourself after the male executives in the office. Instead, tap into the feminine leadership qualities the organization desperately requires today. Shake off any feelings of incompetency, inferiority, or insufficiency. You are and deserve to be a winner.
Bringing your exceptional talent to your company and paying attention to your giftedness is the secret to breaking through the Imposter Syndrome. Begin celebrating YOU!
It Doesn’t Help That:
- Your Locus of Control is more often than not externally oriented. Why is this bad for women or anyone? Because living life with an Internal Locus of Control means you have personal power over your life and career! But research reveals countless women believe that others and circumstances have more dominion over them than they have over themselves.
A satisfying career is rarely fulfilling when driven by external forces rather than your internal aspirations. So as opportunities open up for you, challenge yourself to determine if you’re leading in a new direction or does it emanate from the desires of others.
Richard Branson with humor lasers in on the truth: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
If others are designing your career, the chances of you feeling like an imposter are high. To achieve a genuine, rewarding career emerges out of your passions and strengths. Isn’t it time to own your career and stop feeling like you’ll be found out?
Your assignment is to clarify what you want and test future opportunities against your end goal by asking: “Will this lead me to fulfillment?” If it doesn’t, time to change direction.
- Your self-talk is likely running amuck. Stop and listen! What are you saying to yourself incessantly all day long?
If you’ve fallen prey to the Imposter Syndrome, I’m betting that your internal voice repeats over and over all the missing you or others see in yourself instead of all your greatness.
Your self-talk plays a significant role in how you feel about yourself, which impacts your confidence level.
Negative self-talk has you paying more attention to perceived flaws, blunders, and mistakes, leaving you with self-doubt and inadequacy.
On the other hand, self-talk helps a woman’s business self-confidence to break through any Imposter Syndrome shadowing a career.
Are you a powerful, competent, courageous woman ready to give up all that internal imposter junk to claim what is rightfully yours?
Your brilliant future.
And by the way, if you realize you’re a bit lacking in an area, all it means is that this is another opportunity to grow. After all, developing and learning new skills, abilities, and behaviors makes a thriving leader!
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