Impostor Syndrome, doubting your skills and being fearful of being exposed, is much more prevalent than you might think.
I remember some years ago, speaking with a senior executive who would hide in his office and constantly check his phone to see if some imagined mistake had been discovered.
This was an extreme case but I think we all question how good we are, and it feels great when we are validated for doing a good job.
"BE CAREFUL that being validated doesn't turn into a NEED"
When we are born, we can do nothing useful but are loved by our parents for just being. Just being human in itself has value, and how much we appreciate that value is the measure of our Self-esteem. But, here's the rub, when we go out into the world, to school, to college, to work, we are not appreciated for just being, we are measured for our doing.
We have been conditioned to perform. From the encouragement to take our first faltering steps, and successful potty efforts, to school artwork and a good math grade. When we got a sticker, a "well done", or an 'A' on a test we felt the warm experience of validation.
Early childhood experiences set us up to look for validation as adults, however, this can lead to problems if:
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
1 Corinthians 13:11
Growing up, leading yourself, and effectively leading others entails developing intrinsic motivation and the ability to know when you have done work. When you have achieved this level of self-leadership you are freed from the manipulations of others and can become an influencer yourself.
The definition of self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and actions, toward your objectives (Bryant & Kazan 2012)
Working with a mentor or a coach can accelerate this process, as they can challenge you to identify your core values and to live and work intentionally. When you can clearly and confidently say,
"I am enough"
you will experience a liberation that will allow you to achieve so much more.
A mantra that I like to share with my coaching clients is,
"I have nothing to prove, only things to improve".
The power of this mantra is that it negates the need for validation whilst keeping you humble and looking for ways to develop.
The Self Leadership Accelerator is an on-demand, online coaching program that can help you overcome impostor syndrome and step into confidence.
BEING HUMAN WHILST DELIVERING ACCELERATED RESULTS