One of the gifts I get to do in my business is work with really smart courageous women who are up to a big game in life.
It totally lights me up!
But what I find is often those same women struggle with a well-known challenge known as The Imposter Syndrome. This is not to say that men don’t struggle with it, but women especially overachievers seem to be the most plagued by it.
On Thursday I had the honor of speaking to a group of the best and brightest women in engineering, clearly an industry that has come a long way with recruiting and developing smart strong women leaders but still has a long way to go. When we opened up the conversation around the Imposter Syndrome, the circuits of the chat room lit up like a Christmas tree two days before the Macy’s parade. I wasn’t surprised.
This morning I woke up thinking, “How could we use curiosity to overcome the Imposter Syndrome?” Yes, that was my first thought waking up because that’s the way I roll!
The term came up, “What if!” I lit up as well.
What would happen if when we felt stopped taking that next step because we feel squashed or deeply impacted by The Imposter Syndrome that tells us, “Don’t ask for that raise,” “Don’t ask to be included in the meeting if they wanted you they would’ve invited you,” “If they only knew that…(fill in the blank) they would (blah blah blah), instead we’d stop and ask ourselves, “What if … they (don’t like our answer, say no, blah blah blah).
“What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Usually, the answer is a big nothing, or perhaps at the very least we’ll feel a momentary experience of embarrassment or at worst some shame comes up. But we can also opt for a positive fantasy, “What if” can end up being, we’re seen as a valuable team member, we’re seen as a leader and take charge, we’re seen as someone who has boundaries and can’t be messed with.
Those simple two words, “What IF!” the voice of curiosity, whether you play out the worst-case scenario which ends up being a “no big deal,” in most cases, or in the best-case scenario, “a whole new set of opportunities happen,” and your life as you know blows open in ways you never dreamed possible.
Two words. “What if!” The voice of curiosity can change our life at any moment and can help us loosen the shackles of self-sabotage, perfectionism, and yes The Imposter Syndrome.
How will you use curiosity to go for something that you’ve been too scared to do, and that you’ve bought into your own version of The Imposter Syndrome?
I’d love to know!