Why Do Successful Leaders Still Feel Like Imposters?

Many high-achieving business professionals feel anxious and uncertain about their abilities, even though they have worked hard and have achieved success in their careers. They may feel like imposters, as if they don’t truly deserve their accomplishments and are just lucky to be where they are. This phenomenon is known as imposter syndrome.

“Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing imposter syndrome remain convinced that they are not as competent as others perceive them to be.”

Many leaders experience it and feel its a barrier to their success, as an executive leadership coach, I believe these seven strategies will be a good start for overcoming the imposter syndrome:

Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses: Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do or what you’re not good at, focus on your strengths and the skills and abilities that have helped you achieve success. This will help to build confidence and self-esteem.

Learn to validate your accomplishments: It’s important to recognize and acknowledge your own accomplishments, rather than downplaying or dismissing them. Take the time to reflect on your successes and the hard work and effort that went into achieving them.

Let go of perfectionism: Perfectionism can be a major source of stress and self-doubt. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on doing your best and accepting that mistakes are a natural part of the learning and growth process.

Cultivate self-compassion: Be kind and understanding towards yourself, and remember that everyone makes mistakes and has moments of self-doubt. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your own humanity and treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a good friend.

Overcome the fear of failure: Fear of failure can be a major barrier to success. Instead of letting fear hold you back, embrace the possibility of failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember that failure is a natural part of the learning and growth process, and that it can often lead to eventual success.

Start owning your successes: Instead of downplaying or dismissing your accomplishments, embrace them and take pride in your achievements. Remember that you deserve credit for your hard work and efforts, and start sharing your successes with others.

Hire a coach or become coachable: If you find that you cannot do the work yourself, it is best to ask for help. A coach can help you to identify and overcome the underlying causes of imposter syndrome, and provide support and guidance as you work to build confidence and self-esteem. Alternatively, you can become coachable by actively seeking out feedback and learning opportunities, and being open to learning from others.

Imposter syndrome can be a major barrier to success and fulfillment, but it is possible to overcome it. By acknowledging how you feel, you can take the first steps towards owning your identity as a successful leader.

Lead From Within: As successful leaders, we have to remember that the imposter in you is afraid of being exposed as a fraud, despite evidence that you are more than competent.

#1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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