Are you a successful leader but sometimes feel like it was a stroke of luck instead of hard work that made it happen? Do you think you give the impression of being more competent than you really are, or when you receive a promotion or an award, you struggle to accept it until you see it on paper?

You might feel like you’re the only one who has these feelings, but what you are experiencing is more common than you think. It actually has a name; Imposter Syndrome. Discovered in the 1970’s, the phenomenon described a group of high achieving women who felt they were not actually as capable as other people thought, and showed how that effected their motivation and performance.

Feeling like a fake can hamper performance and stop you from reaching your full potential as a leader. It may hold you back from applying for the next step in your career for fear of drawing attention to your so called short comings.

It can be hard to take credit for achievements or feel confident in your skills, and receive recognition of competency by way of promotion. But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.

Imposter Syndrome most often strikes when people achieve their first leadership or executive role. That’s when you might be questioning whether the interviewing panel made a mistake when they chose you, or wondering if somehow you were the default choice or just the best of a bad bunch.

If you don’t take inventory and start to recognise your skills and capabilities, it is almost impossible to own your success. Instead you dismiss your talent and achievements and assume they are due to luck or anything else, other than the fact you have worked hard and done well.

Taking stock, and documenting your strengths and achievements can take you from feeling like the fake who is only a short time away from being ‘found out,’ to a leader who feels confident and secure in your role and rewards.

Making a list of personal achievements is a good starting point, but this self-assessment may be insufficient for leaders who have doubted themselves longer than they can remember. Old habits die hard. Working with an external coach or mentor may be required to stop the feeling of fraudulence from holding back your career climb, hampering your performance and reducing your authenticity due to a lack of confidence.

A circle of people who support you, and have faith in you, in combination with coaching, can help cull the self-talk that feeds the negative feelings.

Are you a fake leader? Probably not, but if we can help you undertake a self-audit, list your strengths and recognise why you have achieved your goals to date, we can help break the invisible and sometimes unconscious barriers that are holding you back. We use a range of tools and diagnostics to help you discover what’s real and what’s not about your talents and the way you view them. It can change your whole career perspective!

Contact us at LeadershipHQ to discuss your needs and we will tailor a program to help you achieve your full potential!

Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you to keep your workmates safe!

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

1 Comment

  1. Great reading Sonia. I was unaware there was a syndrome attached to this phenomenon. I was also unaware that it was reasonably common. I have experienced this for much of my working life. After depression, divorce, and surviving the brink of corporate failure and eventually reinventing myself I did do this kind of an audit with the help of a psychologist friend. It was a significant turning point in my attitude and my enthusiasm. It certainly opened my eyes to future potential. I think this is a terrific idea this service. I hope you go well with it.

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