Imposter Syndrome – Transforming from Expert to Leader

Imposter Syndrome – Transforming from Expert to Leader
October 7, 2019 Linda Murray
imposter syndrome

Having the right mindset helps us become the person we want to be and achieve the level of success we desire. As we transition through the various roles in our careers, there are several hazards that can affect our mindset and derail our progress. One of the most common stumbling blocks is a sudden loss of self-esteem and confidence.

When Fear and Worry Hold Us Back

When this happens, we begin to doubt our worth and value and worry that we really aren’t competent. That we aren’t quite good enough, and the “real” reason we’ve advanced to the next level is that we just got lucky or worked harder than anyone else. Deep down, we start to believe we don’t deserve our success. We worry someone will notice, that we’ll be “found out” and we will then lose everything.

This is known as Imposter Syndrome and it can strike at any time. It tends to occur most often when we’ve just secured a new promotion or taken on a new role at home or in our workplace.

Moving from Perfectionism to Confidence

When we feel like a fraud, it makes us hold back. We don’t want to be noticed because we might be exposed. We retreat into our inner selves and withhold information or other resources from our team. We become isolated silos which slow performance rather than connectors who facilitate trust and cooperation.

This is especially true when we are working in fields and roles where we’ve become known as the go-to expert that everyone can depend upon. Suddenly, we’ve been promoted, and our role has changed where we are less hands-on with a product or process and we need to act more as a facilitator in our new role. We can no longer do everything ourselves, and the pressure that comes from changing our routine and stepping out of our comfort zone inflames us with fear and doubt.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

The good news is that with a little effort and practice, you can change your mindset and make the transition from expert to a leader and successfully embrace your new role.

We are all creatures of habit. We are comfortable with our routines because they are familiar to us. To change your mindset, you need to learn how to become comfortable with change itself. Don’t wait, but mentally start shifting your gears now.

Seek out new projects and look for ways to work with new people, with new ideas, at every level of your career. Keep a lookout for opportunities where you won’t be able to rely on your past experiences and skillset to accomplish your goals. The more that you are exposed to new experiences, and can try out new roles, the easier it will become to take on new challenges.

When you find yourself confronted with feelings of self-doubt, don’t focus on your perceived flaws. Talk to a trusted peer or seek feedback from a coach or mentor outside to help you see yourself with “new eyes.” Talking with others who you recognise as experts in their own roles can give you the insight you need to see just how capable, talented and competent you already are.

You were chosen for this leadership role because your abilities have been recognised. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Executive coaching is designed for people just like you – people who are afraid others will realise that feel like you don’t actually know what you’re doing. Don’t let fear stop you. Call or email me today and let me help you see in you what others do.

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