When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, “Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep." - Jodie Foster
Are you an accomplished female yet you doubt yourself? Would others around you be shocked to know that you feel inadequate? Do you worry that one day you will be 'found out', that you are not as talented as everyone believes?
If you said yes to these questions, then you suffer from 'Impostor Syndrome'. Impostor Syndrome is an internal belief that you do not measure up to your accomplishments. There are many high-achieving women that suffer from this mindset. The world around them offers proof that they are accomplished and worthy of their status and yet they have a deep feeling that it is not true.
There are ways to change your mindset so that you realize that you do deserve your success.
1. Write down all your accomplishments.
Most likely, you will begin to see that 'you' are the common denominator. Determine what traits enabled the achievement, such as tenacity, detailed-oriented, focused, great communicator, innovative. This will disrupt your feelings and provide a more realistic view.
2. Know your strengths.
Take an online assessment (e.g., Clifton Strengths) and receive objective feedback. This type of feedback will provide you with an impartial viewpoint and will make it harder for you to dispel your positive qualities.
3. Disrupt your negative stream of thoughts.
When others compliment you, you receive a raise or promotion, or you win an award, practice stopping the negative tape in your head by saying to yourself the specific attributes that contributed to the achievement. The idea here is stop the impulse to think the negative thoughts. The more often you do this, the more readily available these thoughts will be to you.
When you shift how you see your accomplishments, you will begin experiencing more positive feeling about yourself. When you start feeling more positive about yourself, you will allow a new perspective of yourself to take shape.
Phyllis Reagin, High Performance Strategist and Executive Coach with CSRH Consulting, guides senior leaders and high-potentials with mastering their leadership. To receive bi-monthly blogs that examine leadership lessons from the entertainment, business, and political worlds, join At The Coach's Table blog.
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