Most leaders project a calm, confident exterior to the world, but beneath that calm public exterior lurks the fear of being found out as a fraud. We wonder, “what if they discover I’m not who I’m pretending to be?” Or “I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m just making it up as I go along.” In fact, the more successful the leader is, the louder and more persistent these voices can become. This lack of internal confidence is real, and somehow no achievement is ever quite significant enough to reassure us we’ve arrived. The bar just keeps rising. For many business owners I know, their first landmark of success is hitting $1M in revenue. After that, the goal is to get to $10M because to them, “$1M just isn’t that much.” I have heard people with multi-million-dollar businesses say “I’ve got a baby business” compared to other business owners. It gets worse the more successful we become. So, what do we do? Read below for my best practices to delete your self-doubt.
Acknowledge the Doubt
The first step to limiting self-doubt is acknowledging that you are experiencing it. This feeling is characterized as Imposter Syndrome and describes high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.
Despite external evidence, leaders experiencing Imposter Syndrome remain convinced they are frauds and don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved. No matter how big their business becomes or how many awards they may win, they still feel as if they are faking it. This feeling is more common than you may imagine, with roughly 75% of leaders having experienced Imposter Syndrome. In fact, those who do not feel this way are the real imposters. Knowledge is power and being aware of what triggers your self-doubt can help you acknowledge and manage it quickly.
Stay tuned for more practices on tomorrow’s blog!