Dare to be great and own your success

By Joanne Turley · 8 March 2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to reflect on how many women feel like they don’t deserve their own success like they’re a fraud or imposter in the board room?

Many of us experience the constant, nagging feeling that we are going to be unmasked as a fraud at any minute, despite overwhelming evidence from our peers, superiors and achievements saying otherwise – it’s called Impostor Syndrome. This is a key topic of conversation with many of our coaching clients.

Lots of people experience Impostor Syndrome however, many experts have shared women are more likely to suffer from it more intensely. Dr Valerie Young, author of the award-winning book “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”, found through her research that women and girls are more likely to internalise failure, mistakes, and criticism, and boys and men are more apt to externalise these things.

I was doing some reading around the subject and found out that despite being nominated for more Academy Awards than any other actor, Meryl Streep once shared in an interview how she feels the same. She said, “You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie?’ And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

30 Golden Globe nominations still didn’t convince her of the feeling of being a fraud or banish the feeling that she wasn’t actually any good. Sound familiar? She is in great company, Kate Winslet. JLo, Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman all shared comments throughout their careers about ‘feeling like a fraud’ or ‘getting found out’ or just not being ‘worthy’. Closer to home, so do some of our CEOs and colleagues. If you have ever felt like this, know that you are not alone, many people experienced feelings of fraudulence.

Remember just because you have these feeling it doesn’t mean you are any less capable. The only difference between you and your peers is how you think about your success and failure.

When your impostor voice creeps in when you’re about to apply for a new role, or present to your superiors “I have no idea what I’m doing”, take a minute to recall other times you have felt this way, when you have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and nothing bad happened. Reframe the experience as a learning opportunity what positive can come out of this think about what can I learn from it?

Become your own cheerleader, ok maybe you won’t ever run around the office shouting “give me a…G, R, E, A, T” but you can celebrate your achievements and appreciate your strengths. Writing down your achievements can be a really positive action, for example, focus on 3 positive outcomes of an event, a presentation or a job interview you achieved. To give you some ammunition next time the same situation arises and those negative thoughts creep in.

What tools work for you? I would love to hear what helps you overcome the fear of failure?.

If you feel like the above resonates with you and you want to learn more about Imposter syndrome join us on the 21st of April for our online session. Click here for more details.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are giving away a free resilience psychometric assessment to anyone booking a place for this session during week commencing the 8th March 2021.

If you prefer a more personalised approach, talk to us about coaching and mentoring support. Request a callback.

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