Have you ever been working with a client, giving a presentation or leading a team and thought, even for just a moment, “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not qualified for this,” or “Why should they listen to me?”
Have you ever been working one-on-one with someone or speaking to a group, and right in the middle of you sentence a voice in the back of your head chimed in with, “You aren’t good enough to do this”?
This is the Imposter Syndrome and, if we aren’t careful, it can be debilitating. But the good news is that we can beat it. Everyone experiences this at one point in time, so know that you are not alone. If we are not equipped with strategies to break through the Imposter Syndrome, it can paralyze us and cause us to pull back from providing our expertise, insight, knowledge and experience. Don’t let that happen.
Here are 5 ways to boost confidence with clients or at work and break through the Imposter Syndrome:
1. Release the pressure to find solutions. Instead, stay present.
When the Imposter Syndrome creeps in, it’s usually because we have two different voices battling inside our head. The first voice is the true you. It’s the one that is speaking to the client, co-worker or team and engaged in the conversation. But then there is the second voice. This voice is the inner critic, the judge or jury. The second voice asks questions that pull us out of the discussion, such as, “What if you don’t know the answer?” or “What if they have a problem that you can’t fix?” or “Why should they listen to you?” This voice builds if we let it. The chatter starts as a whisper, but quickly turns into a shout if we don’t quiet it. Before we know it, we are tuned out of the conversation and tuned into our fears and doubts.
The key to quieting the second voice is identifying what it is and then tuning it out. We must bring our attention back to the conversation we are engaged in and focus entirely on staying present. When we let go of the need to find immediate solutions or reach the outcome, we stay in the moment and remain connected. This is an important piece to maintain our confidence and beat the Imposter Syndrome.
2. Be comfortable with not knowing
We are afraid of not knowing. We live in a culture that expects immediate answers and demands certainty. But the result can be panicked, poorly thought out answers. What if, instead, we respond confidently with, “I’m not sure about that. Let me get back to you.” In many cases, allowing ourselves time to think things through will return a much more contemplative, thoughtful answer than a hasty reply would. (Know the Levels of Authentic Confidence and where you’re at)
3. Ask quality questions.
The best answer to a problem or question is not always to offer the solution, even if you think you know it. Sometimes the best answer is another question, a quality question. Asking good questions allows us to dig deeper, to uncover more and to see the full scope of the situation. It can be easy to see a problem and immediately think, “Oh, I know that answer!” When you find yourself in this scenario, pause. Allow yourself the opportunity to go a little deeper, to ask a few great questions that may uncover more than you initially imagined.
4. Remember that you are attracting vibrational matches.
When you begin to feel your confidence faltering and the Imposter Syndrome creeping in, remember that you cannot attract things that are not the same vibration as you. If a client is coming to you for a session, or someone has asked you to lead a team or give a presentation, then it must be a vibrational match, otherwise, you wouldn’t be there. There is something they need from you, and it is your responsibility to be present and trust that this is the right place for you. This is a universal law and we gain so much peace from tapping into this truth and connecting to it fully.
5. Create a Mind Map to connect fully to your brilliance.
This is a great exercise to do well before the Imposter Syndrome has shown up. If you do this when your confidence is at a solid state, it will give you a tangible thing to reflect on when you feel that confidence waver. Get a piece of paper and put yourself at the center of it. Then map out all of the things that have brought you to where you are today. Write down your experiences, education, past trainings, former jobs, natural talents, life events, anything that has been a part of your journey to this point. This will be an exceptional tool for you to reflect on when you need to remind yourself of who you are and what you are.
To learn more about the tools and strategies that bypass the logical brain and create a deeper and longer lasting change in both thinking and behaviour, check out the Zenful Business Workshops