As I sit down to discuss a topic that’s both close to my heart and universally relatable, a memory floats to the surface. Today’s conversation pivots around the sneaky specter of imposter syndrome, especially pertinent for those of us in leadership roles.

Imposter syndrome. Sounds heavy, doesn’t it? For those unacquainted, it’s that gnawing doubt about your own accomplishments. A pervasive fear that perhaps you’re just masquerading, waiting to be outed as a fraud. Despite the respect and accolades you receive, there’s this insidious thought lurking: “Do I genuinely deserve this?” Such feelings aren’t limited to our professional lives; they manifest in parental roles, spousal dynamics, volunteer commitments – essentially, any sphere where you play a part.

I confess, despite evidence to the contrary that I’m a good leader, I often find myself grappling with this very syndrome. While my actions as a leader resonate with the principles I hold dear, and I relentlessly pursue work that helps business owners, self-doubt remains my unwanted companion. The nagging questions persist: “Am I worthy of the role I play? Do others view me as a genuine leader or just another talking head?”

Such self-doubt can stem from past experiences. For instance, as the youngest in my family, I often felt overshadowed, with my opinions taking a backseat. This family dynamic inadvertently shaped my self-perception, making it harder for me to see myself as a leader. Although I guide a team today, the absence of traditional employees under my wing sometimes adds to my feeling of inadequacy.

However, I’ve devised strategies to counteract these self-deprecating thoughts:

Gather Evidence:

Act like a detective. Compile tangible proof of your leadership abilities. If someone has told you that you’ve done a good job, or that they look to you for leadership – that’s evidence you’ve earned your title.

Continuous Improvement:

Recognizing and addressing your weak points can be a confidence booster. Working on self-improvement, even in small increments, can make a big difference in squashing imposter syndrome.

Engage with Fellow Leaders:

Sharing struggles, discussing challenges, and even delving into the nuances of imposter syndrome with peers helps in grounding oneself. It reinforces the idea that you, too, belong at the leadership table.

The reality is, imposter syndrome isn’t selective. Whether you’re a consultant, a parent, a partner, or even a Little League team’s coach, it can cast its shadow. But awareness is half the battle. Recognize it, call it out, and then apply strategies like those I’ve shared today to navigate through it.

Remember, battling imposter syndrome isn’t just about silencing self-doubt. It’s about evolving into resilient leaders, the kind that people genuinely wish to follow.

Listen to the full episode on imposter syndrome here.