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Squash the Impostor in You

Squash the Impostor in You

Imposter syndrome is something I've seen plague most women at one time or another, even the most confident ones. I know this firsthand.

Mine creeps in when I'm asked to speak publicly. I've always gotten nervous public speaking, so fear is part of it. But sometimes, I hear the voice in the back of my head asking, "Do you really know enough to speak on this topic or be on a panel with these other experts?"

[Related: It's Time to Step Up and Own Your Expertise]

Rationally, I know this doubt is silly. The person who asked me to speak already thinks I'm qualified - that's why they want me there. But imposter syndrome isn't rational. And sometimes we don't even realize we have it.

Here are some indicators that imposter syndrome may be lurking inside of you:

  • You work hard, REALLY hard. You may think you have to work that hard, but I'm willing to bet you work so hard because of some insecurity - that you aren't good enough, don't know enough, or aren't talented enough.
  • You don't ask for the salary you deserve. Since no one has offered you more money, you must not be worth it, right? WRONG. Most organizations and businesses aren't going to proactively pay you more than they have to. It's up to you to be confident enough to know your worth and ask for it.
  • You shy away from opportunities to stand out and increase your visibility. You tell yourself you aren't qualified enough to do something that may be out of your comfort zone. Or you're worried that you'll be exposed as a fraud and everyone will realize you actually don't know that much or aren't that good at your job. But is that really true?
  • You feel weird accepting praise. When someone praises you, your instinct is to downplay your accomplishment, say you "got lucky," or give the credit to your team or someone else. You don't think you're special or exceptionally talented; anyone who tells you otherwise must just be being nice.

It's easy to see how imposter syndrome can you hold back and seriously limit your career opportunities. If you need help squashing the imposter syndrome in you, reach out to me and I can help you on your way.

[Related: Three Ways Women Can Turn Fear of Failure Into Fearless Action]


Elena Lipson is the Principal and Founder of Mosaic Growth Partners, a consulting and coaching firm based in Washington, D.C. In her digital coaching program, The Badass Professional Woman's Code, she gets to the root of the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from being your most confident, badass professional woman. Check out her Context Buster to start breaking up the limiting beliefs and stories that are holding you back.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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