I’m excited to share a very powerful weapon we all have available to beat imposter syndrome.
If you’re new here, Hi. 🙂 I’m LB. We try to do regular installments on beating the widespread disease I define as an ugly underlying and persistent belief that I don’t own nor deserve my own success.
Screw ups? You BET I own those, but the good stuff was probably luck…
Were you raised to believe that selfishness was essentially the worst character trait you could have? In my household, I was taught that selfishness meant that you do not care for others. It was negative – if I was told that I was “selfish,” I knew that I had failed to show that I was kind. I knew I was a kind person and yet, I internalized this definition of selfishness. Sure, I probably was selfish at times – but what kid is kind or caring 100% of the time?
Imposter syndrome is not an actual diagnosis (apparently). It’s a behavior pattern that is so common (and equally common among men and women, by the way) that in 1978 Suzanne Imes and Pauline Clance coined the term. Imposter syndrome is defined as “a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”
My upbringing was the perfect training for me and my challenging sales career to rise up and speak up. The qualifier is to do so in a pleasant tone. Anger never solves anything, whereas a natural smile will catch the bullies off-guard. As they allow ego to take over, we are then perfectly positioned to pose a question that they cannot answer. Accordingly, we free ourselves to proceed as we desire. The worst-case scenario is to walk away and continue doing what we believe to be right. So how does this work?
Silence isn’t easy for most salespeople. In fact, most of us have been told, “You can talk to anyone! You should be in sales!” They are correct with their intent, but not in execution. On the surface, this means you are not shy and will not be uncomfortable talking with strangers. It means, people like you and will talk to you. Take it for the compliment it is…then leave it there.
There are a lot of negative “isms” out there – Skepticism, Narcissism, and the target for today’s article: Perfectionism. In fact, I believe perfectionism to be just as dangerous an “ism” to a life well lived as any of the other inflictions. Further, I think it is a dirty little secret most women are hiding.