Do you ever feel like you aren’t as capable as others think you are? Are you constantly doubting yourself and ignoring your accomplishments? Do you feel like a fraud even when there’s proof of your success?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re probably experiencing imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when you doubt your accomplishments and skillset to the point that you’re afraid of being exposed as a fraud.
Experiencing imposter syndrome as a leader is incredibly challenging because you’re the person everyone comes to for advice and guidance. Persistently doubting yourself won’t allow you to be the best leader you can be.
On the other hand, if you can overcome imposter syndrome, you can lead from an honest, genuine place. You’ll also inspire the best in your team members and support them in working on their own self-doubt and fears.
Implement the following tips to help you overcome imposter syndrome and confidently step into your leadership role.
Work on your mental health
Imposter syndrome can harm your mental health. All that self-doubt and fear can worsen conditions like anxiety and depression. It also can impact your self-esteem, diminishing your productivity and ability to lead your team.
Conversely, when your mental health is in a good place, you can develop a solid relationship with yourself. Confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth will grow. In addition, your and your team’s productivity, morale, and commitment will improve.
So, it’s essential to work on your mental health. Make time for yourself each day. Create morning and night routines that help you start and end your days positively. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Take frequent breaks. Finally, enlist the help of a mental health professional for additional support.
Overcoming imposter syndrome starts on the inside. However, taking pride in your outer appearance can help, too. Dressing and presenting yourself like an established business leader can help you feel like one internally.
Be intentional in your appearance. Wear what makes you feel most confident and inspires you to put your best foot forward as the leader of your team. Pay special attention to the colors you wear, as they can prompt certain behaviors, emotions and reactions.
For example, red and orange can help you feel more powerful and confident. Cool colors like blue and green can incite calmness, growth, and dependability. Black can present as powerful. And, white is associated with cleanliness and peace.
Put a little personality into your wardrobe, too. This will ensure that you aren’t just dressing like a typical business leader, but that you’re dressing like you as a business leader.
Often imposter syndrome is the result of how we talk to ourselves. If we’re constantly telling ourselves we aren’t good enough and aren’t supposed to be where we are—we’ll start to believe it.
On the contrary, if you’re always uplifting yourself and maintaining positive internal dialogue, you’ll believe those things, too. So, practice positive self-talk. Show yourself compassion, grace, and understanding—especially when you aren’t achieving the results you thought you would.
Whenever doubt, fear, and lack of confidence take over your self-talk, interrupt the conversation with something positive.
As common as imposter syndrome is, nobody should believe it. You and everybody else out there are more than capable and qualified. Your abilities and accomplishments are legit. You deserve to be where you are. Use the tips above to help you start believing that wholeheartedly.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.