You don’t have impostor syndrome.
Yep, you heard me right.
Even though I’m the ‘impostor syndrome coach’ and even if you found me through my impostor cleanse, I don’t believe you have it.
There are any number of other things that are often mixed up with impostor syndrome. And I’m going to give you the full rundown on all of them, promise, but before that…
…. Let me step right up onto my soapbox
<<pulls soapbox over>>
So, here’s the thing.
There’s a big problem with saying “I have impostor syndrome.” (even if you only say it to yourself).
The problem is that calling it a “syndrome” is disempowering.
It’s like shrugging your shoulders and giving a big ol Eyore sigh. “Ohhhh wellll… I just have impostor syndrome.”
It’s like saying, well that’s just who I am.
Which gives you the perfect excuse to not try harder.
Yes, I just said that.
Telling yourself “I have impostor syndrome” gives you an excuse to not try harder.
I know this from experience.
I’ve battled my impostor feelings over the years, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s whenever I’ve let myself sink into an “impostor syndrome” identity, I put WAY less effort into trying something that scares me.
Or I put on a false bravado and try desperately to not think about what other people think about what I’m doing.
(Spoiler alert, neither of those methods worked all that well)
When you focus your attention on what’s going “wrong” (like saying “I have impostor syndrome”), you spend less (if any) mental energy on what’s going right.
So my friends, even if you are sure you have impostor syndrome, stop saying “I have impostor syndrome.” (again…. even if you only say it to yourself)
Instead, I want you to do what I teach in the impostor cleanse.
I want you to adopt a leader’s mind.
I want you to switch your mind to growth and mastery instead of worrying about performance.
How do you do that?
It’s simple (You’re welcome!)
But not easy (I’m sorry!)
First, I want you to notice when you start having impostor thoughts.
Notice when you worry about whether you’re going to fail.
And in those moments, instead of letting all the negative chatter that threatens to overwhelm you, I want you to tell yourself something very specific.
I want you to say these words in your head:
>I'm going to try this and see what happens so that I can grow<
Because the ultimate secret of becoming a great leader is that it’s ALWAYS and for ALL TIME going to be about growth.
You can't become a better leader without going through personal growth. The best leaders, the most effective leaders, are CONSTANTLY growing and experimenting.
They live for the growth zone.
And even if it’s too hard to BELIEVE the thought, I want you to practice thinking it.
So let’s start right now.
Think of a task, activity or situation you want (or need 😉 ) to do in the next 2 months. Something that scares you. Something you’re worried might not go well. And especially something that you’ve been avoiding.
Maybe you want to...
>> advocate for yourself.
>> speak up in a meeting.
>> apply for a promotion.
But you’re hesitating, avoiding, procrastinating… Because you’re worried it won’t go well.
Let’s call this your Super Scary Impostor Goal (SSIG). Doesn’t have to be a big goal, just a scary one that makes you feel like an impostor.
Whatever it is, I want you to take 2 minutes every day to practice the thought “I'm going to try this and see what happens so that I can grow”.
And the simplest way to do this is to write it on a post-it and stick the post-it on your bathroom mirror above your toothbrush. Then every day when you brush your teeth, you can practice your new thought about the SSIG. (You need to brush for 2 minutes anyways, might as well work on your personal growth at the same time!)
Keep working on this thought until it becomes more and more natural. The first sign that it’s working is when you notice a flicker of excitement instead of sheer terror about your SSIG.
When you notice the flicker, that’s when you’ve started to turn the corner.
That’s when you can start fanning the flame of a mastery mindset. The kind of mindset where you focus on your growth, instead of worrying about your performance.
The leader’s mindset.
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