Whenever I hear about a woman playing down her accomplishments, I immediately think of how pervasive the ‘Impostor Syndrome’ is. Even prizewinning author, Maya Angelou, after publishing her 11th book, said that every time she writes another book, she thinks to herself, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody.”
All of us have had ‘Imposter Syndrome,’ at some point. It is common among high achievers, creative people, and anyone blazing a new, uncharted path. It persists through schools to careers, where women tend to dismiss their performance and success as ‘luck’ or ‘hard work,’ rather than it coming from their persistence or innate ability, as men usually cite.
Know that this feeling of not being good enough has very little to do with your actual expertise or talent. Usually, it has to do with a fear over failing in something – for instance, being given an opportunity to step into a higher playing role, and feeling like you may make a mistake or disappoint everyone.
The interesting thing about failure, however, is that it’s really just an interpretation. A loss or a setback is just part of the journey towards success. Success doesn’t happen without trial and error. Failure, in other words, is simply a single way that didn’t work. Everyone, from CEOs to professional athletes, make ‘mistakes,’ and no one is immune to ‘failure.’
In order to release concerns about failure, you just have to give it your best, and keep going. Perseverance and tenacity are the keys to success.
Successful people take personal responsibility for their success. They’re willing to set high goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them. Successful people know that they will likely encounter problems and setbacks, but they choose to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward their goals.
Further, achievements are worthy goals, regardless of how easy or how difficult it came to you. In other words, just because something comes easy to you, does not mean that you didn’t earn it – it simply shows that you had a natural or innate ability in that particular area. Your accomplishments are your results, whether they were realized through struggle or ease.
Tell yourself, “I’m proud of [insert your name]’s many accomplishments.”
(Yes, use your name in third person – LeBron James does it, and it works!)
If you ever feel undeserving of the advantages you have, remind yourself of all those blessings through gratitude – that’s all you need to do to appreciate them.
Whenever we feel like we have to compare ourselves to others’ successes, remind yourself that everyone is unique and has unique gifts and struggles. Whatever someone else found easy, it is likely different to what you find easy. And if I were to guess, your competitors likely have imposter syndrome, too.
Send a little blessing her way. ♥️