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Are You Suffering From Imposter Syndrome?
Posted by Nicky Coffin
In a recent webcast to promote our Recruitment Expo attendance, Katy shared how our mindset is the key to our performance as business leaders.
Getting your head straight should be relatively straightforward, shouldn’t it? The trouble is, it isn’t.
Our mind is a wonderful thing that wants to keep us safe and secure, though often at the expense of what is truly possible for us.
Something both Katy and I notice is that many business owners suffer from something called imposter syndrome, a nasty trick our mind plays on us in many aspects of our life.
This thought is not coming from your higher self, that is for sure! It’s coming from that place that wants to keep us separate.
It reflects a belief (which isn’t true by the way) that you’re inadequate, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful….. surprisingly this phenomenon hits many high achievers.
What Starts Imposter Syndrome?
In a similar vein to many patterns we hold onto, it tends to take root during our childhood for various reasons, from our relationship with our parents and siblings to what happens to us in school.
If it’s a belief pattern, we have good news; it can be changed. Let’s explain more.
Do You Recognise Which One You Are?
Dr Valerie Young the well-known author, TED speaker and expert on the subject has identified some groups of ‘imposter personas’ based on decades of research. These are the ones we often see in recruitment; which one fits you?
- The Natural Genius – Used to everything falling in your lap, then suddenly you must work harder. You assume success is based on your ability rather than effort. So, if you must work hard, you make this mean you aren’t good at something. Fact: Sometimes we all must work hard at something to get the result we want.
- The Rugged Individualist – I can do it…. when you obviously can’t! We all need help sometimes, and it’s OK to ask.
- The Superwoman… or man – Similar to the individualist. However, often they have the skills so think they should take on everything! However, this is a cover-up for their insecurities, and the work overload may harm them and others. Remember the burnout post we wrote a couple of months ago? You can read it here.
- …. and finally, The Perfectionist – Ummmm I am sure we can all relate to this one. We set ourselves high goals, normally unrealistic, then fail and beat ourselves and our team up. Time to relax and take things in our stride, look at the data and plan accordingly.
How To Remove The Imposter Gremlin In Your Head
If you let imposter syndrome get a firm hold, it will alter what is possible for you and your business. The challenge is many recruitment owners are high achievers, and in our experience, all high-achieving individuals suffer from some degree of imposter syndrome — that means you and I and many of the people we know all experience this at some point in our working life.
How can we handle it?
It exists. Hopefully, the clues I mentioned above will help you identify if you are a sufferer and to what degree.
Remember, it’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not that keeps you from success. Feeling like an impostor at times is, for many of us, a natural side effect of learning the ropes and gaining expertise.
Acknowledge Your Wins
In our various programmes here at Centredexcellence we share an accountability process. Not to get people to beat themselves up about what is left to do, rather to facilitate their acknowledgement about what they have achieved.
Some of our success stories have adopted this process with their teams as well.
Dan Sullivan, the famous leadership coach, refers to the gap and the gain. In other words, as high achievers, we all look at what we have yet to do, the gap, rather than what we have achieved, the gain…..does this resonate with you?
STOP! Comparing Yourself
Comparison is natural. However, the imposter gremlin can make us take it out of context.
Just because Adam who you met at a recent networking event has built his team up to 20 recruiters, and you are still on ten is irrelevant.
You have no idea what has gone on behind the scenes for Adam. He might have investment, a different sector on a huge growth curve and a hundred other positive things happening for him.
Focus on you – what can you do, where you are?
One thing that works for many recruitment owners is to be around like-minded people. Being a business owner is a lonely occupation. Sometimes even our life partners don’t understand what we are going through.
However, being part of a group of like-minded souls who understand the ups and downs of recruitment can be life-changing. If you want to know how we get recruitment business owners together to take their business forward in a supportive environment, get in touch. Book a call with one of us here and let’s talk.
Nicky and Katy
P.S. If you want to know how to up-level your recruitment business, you need to follow our 5 step plan which we share on our webinar here.