by Rosemary Yeremian
Many highly successful women often talk about impostor syndrome, where they don’t feel they are worthy or deserve success. They define imposter syndrome as the inability to believe your success is deserved. It somehow seems that no matter how accomplished we are, we tend not to give ourselves the credit we deserve. As a result, we may struggle with feelings of inadequacy and low self-confidence.
I wish it were as easy as flipping a switch. It’s not. Like a muscle, we need to start small and keep exercising every day to get over our lack of self-confidence. Slowly but surely, we can develop ways to ensure that we feel valued and deserve our success.
Here are some ideas to help:
- Find your Cheerleaders– For some reason, I can tell myself I’m great at something a million times and not truly believe it. When someone else tells me the exact same thing, I gush. More importantly, I truly end up believing what they say about me. Then, I think, Wow . . . if only I could see myself the way others do. The more I reached out to others and built relationships based on trust, the more others started to point out how great my accomplishments were. Based on that, I started to gain the confidence I sorely needed. I started to believe in myself. Taking credit for my work after that came easily.
- Change Your Language – Language shapes our thoughts. If we use language that unintentionally diminishes our place in this world, we will feel diminished. The opposite is true, too. If we want to be seen and recognized as successful leaders, we have to change the way we talk to ourselves. We have to train ourselves to accept successes and compliments.
- Work Your Accomplishments into Everyday Conversations – Business is no place for wallflowers. Your colleagues may tell you about their work and their results. Instead of rolling your eyes and changing the subject, join in! Be part of the conversation and talk about your own work.
You can subtly let people know your worth through everyday conversations. For instance, someone will ask, “How’s your day going?”
You can respond with: “Great. I just completed a major project on implementing X software throughout the company, and it has already resulted in Y.” Practice letting people know about your accomplishments. The more you do, the more comfortable you will feel.