It may creep up on you, or it may hit you all at once: the very debilitating feeling that you are not actually equipped to lead, that you are faking it—and you will be found out. Left unchecked, it can limit your ability to navigate problems and create the kind of self-doubt that produces bad decisions. And your business relationships will have a front-row seat to this dilemma.
If this ever happens to you, don’t worry and don’t be embarrassed. You’re far from alone. It’s called imposter syndrome, and it affects as many as a third of high achievers—men and women, regardless of age, race, or ethnicity. The most vulnerable are the perfectionists amongst us. Another culprit is often found amongst those who faced intense academic pressure during their early adolescent years. High achievers, strivers to please, and extreme consensus builders – seldom accused of fraud – tend to attribute their success to almost everything else other than their talents and hard work!
So, what’s the answer when it comes to overcoming this insecurity in your relationships? Here are five suggestions based on a great deal of research, and many instances of personal struggles over the years:
1. Reflect + Celebrate. If you pause your hustle long enough to reflect, recognize, assess, and celebrate your real achievements, you’ll uncover a great many hows in your success journeys! Sharpen your ears for genuine compliments from your relationships here as well.
2. Prepare + Teach. One of the many facets I love about the Nour Forum is that I get a chance to prepare and teach ideas I’m passionate about. In many ways, I’ve always seen teaching as a way to give back and a great reset button for self-perception. “Wow, I really do know more about this topic than I thought!” You don’t need a formal platform; offer to help when and where appropriate, as often as you can with a broad base of business relationships.
3. Seek Mentors. You’re never too old or too young to be a mentor or find one! When you engage relationships you admire, trust, and respect, who have been in your shoes, the reality of what almost everyone else goes through tends to purge the imposter from your thoughts! This is also a good opportunity to open your eyes and observe how others prepare, show up, and follow-through in their relationship interactions.
4. Visualize Your Now to Next Journey. You’ve heard or read my work on this – if you visualize your growth path forward, you’ll gain the mental momentum necessary to become that best version of yourself! Every journey is often more fun with a relationship passenger! Find your fun road trip peeps; ideal if you don’t feel like you have to impress them!
5. Ask Better Questions. We’re practicing this with the Salon Learning + Coaching Membership Group. It’s human nature to fill the void with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) when there is a lack of information. So, practice saying to yourself: “I’ve seen this movie before,” or “I can anticipate where this is going!” You’ll soon discover that you’ve got this! Your relationships will notice it too!
When you choose to lead, you can’t afford anything, including your own FUD to hold you back! You really do have this! Go get’em! David Nour