Battling Imposter Syndrome

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Not knowing something is not a weakness, it is an opportunity to get stronger. Despite the fact that creativity and innovation are intrinsically linked to exploring the unknown, embracing your own uncertainty can be terrifying. As we close the door on our series on appropriate vulnerability, we’re taking a deep dive into a very specific aspect of vulnerability: imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome affects people at every level and your experience with it might range from manageable fears that are quickly dealt with, to frequent anxiety and the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. If you’ve been applying the self-reflection we spoke about in past episodes, odds are that you’ll encounter imposter syndrome on your journey to becoming the consummate leader by attraction.

As a leader, how do you deal with imposter syndrome? How can it get in the way? How do you manage it appropriately? And it’s not just about you. Once you become more aware, you’ll be in a better position to help your team restore their confidence, unblock them, and enable new levels of productivity and efficiency.

On this episode, Mathew and I reflect on how we became aware of imposter syndrome and the fact that it is truly a universal issue. We explore the different ways it shows up in leaders, why being a second-generation leader often requires extra preparation, how to identify imposter syndrome, the importance of self-reflection and being conscious of your own insecurities and anxiety, my top two techniques you can use to manage imposter syndrome, and so much more!

Key Topics:

  • Mathew’s experience with imposter syndrome (2:11)
  • The origins of the term “imposter syndrome” (3:01)
  • Defining imposter syndrome (3:25)
  • How imposter syndrome usually shows up in leaders (4:17)
  • The connection between self-doubt and imposter syndrome (5:00)
  • The range of experiences on the imposter syndrome spectrum (6:16)
  • Why imposter syndrome sometimes feels like waiting for the other shoe to drop (7:41)
  • Differentiating between everyday worrying and imposter syndrome (8:07)
  • Why you need to be conscious that imposter syndrome is a possibility for you (9:39)
  • Why executives of closely-held businesses are more susceptible to being disconnected from their own uncertainties and anxiety (11:13)
  • The current leadership’s responsibilities to the next generation (13:33)
  • The key to developing second-generation leaders for a successful multi-generational business (13:55)
  • The challenges I experienced as the non-family member President of a family business which was under-prepared for growth (15:53)
  • How Mathew became aware that he was affected by imposter syndrome (17:53)
  • Why figuring out where your imposter syndrome stems from is the first step to managing it (19:30)
  • How your family history ties into your view of success and self-worth (20:05)
  • The impact of my family’s insecurities on my achievements and my anxieties (20:40)
  • How to do a 30-minute purge as the second step in managing your imposter syndrome (22:43)
  • Why you’ll keep getting stuck if you’re comparing yourself to others (23:58)
  • Using appropriate vulnerability to combat imposter syndrome (24:35)
  • Seeing uncertainty as an opportunity, rather than weakness (25:55)
  • And much more!

Mentioned in this Episode:

Click here for a PDF version of the transcript

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