How much of your day do you spend worrying that any moment now you’re going to be found out for a fraud?
How many of you show up in meetings unable to speak up and share your knowledge and experience because you think if you do, everyone will know you’ve got no idea what you’re really talking about?
How many of you haven’t applied for the promotion in case someone realises you’ve just been winging it all along?
During my many years of supporting and guiding high achieving women, both in the corporate and entrepreneurial world, I have seen this so often and I was no different.
I spent over two decades in corporate life and most days I ran the imaginary scenario of being found out and frog-marched out the building. Humiliated I’m thrown through the doors by security and as I stand there in the pouring rain, (it’s aways raining in my humiliation), my box of personal items gets soaking wet, the bottom falls out, and there I am in the middle of the street, alone, soaked to the skin, my worldly positions scattered all around, and the voice in my head screaming, “I KNEW THEY’D FIND YOU OUT EVENTUALLY!”
Of course this nightmare would flash before my eyes every time I was asked for my opinion or given a project to run with, or even just a casual chat at the coffee station with a senior member of staff.
This my friend is called imposter syndrome.
And it’s one of the biggest hurdles as women, we must overcome to believe our voice is important and for us to reach our highest success.
If you recognise yourself in any of this, I want to assure you, you’re not alone.
A recent KPMG study found 75% of women execs,
across all industries experience imposter syndrome at work!
From Buzz Aldrin to Kate Winslet to Maya Angelou – imposter syndrome has made them all doubt their talents and accomplishments.
Buzz Aldrin, waiting for his turn to speak at a conference turns to the person next to him and says, “I don’t know what I’m doing here – all these other speakers have actually accomplished something – what have I ever done?” Kate Winslet often talks about feeling like a fraud when she’s on set and the world changer Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve written 11 books and each time I think, uh oh – they’re going to find me out now!”
So if the first man on the moon, an Oscar winning actress and the highly accomplished and extraordinary Maya Angelou can suffer from imposter syndrome, then we are in good company.
Only, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 5 strategies that will help you to overcome your fears, find your voice and step into your power?
- Accept the fact, you’ve achieved this current level of success because of your abilities and the decisions you’ve made so far.
- Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone and by speaking up about this fear, it can empower you and all the other women around you.
- Make sure you have genuine cheerleaders on your side who will be there to remind you of how great you truly are.
- Don’t make this about yourself. Focus on the people who will benefit from the success you create.
- Identify the real problem – what is the limiting belief that’s driving this thought pattern? What life experiences have taught you that limiting belief?
If you recognise yourself in today’s newsletter, then give me a call and we will talk about a bespoke plan that will guide you back to your most powerful, confident and authentic self.
Here’s to a great month .
About the author:
As founder of the women’s vitality and leadership company, Vital Leaders, Kat has lived experience of Boardroom brilliance and burnout. Couple this with her corporate insights, coaching excellence, and psychotherapy expertise and it’s easy to see why she’s recognised as one of the UK’s leading coaches. She supports ambitious women to own their genius and elevate their success.
She’s also the founder of The Vitality Club, a private members network for ambitious women who are ready to embrace their authentic power and sky-rocket their career, without burning out.
And she’s the creator of an empowerment group, Life After Cancer, which is a voluntary-led initiative dedicated to supporting men and women as they rebuild their lives after their battle with cancer.
Kat’s mission is to make a significant impact on the lives of women around the world, guiding them back to their authentic voices, to embrace their genius; powerfully, boldly and without burning out.