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3 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome



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Imagine you’re the head of a $250 million company. Sounds great, right? Except you’re challenged with your level of success. In fact, your anxiety is so overwhelming that you walk out of an exclusive CEO event to talk to your executive coach. Without that support, you wouldn’t be able to return to a room filled with other leaders — most of whom aren’t running businesses worth nearly as much as yours.

This is one of many examples of impostor syndrome. It’s also a true story shared by a dear friend of mine. Today, the company she led is valued at more than $1 billion. But she’s still working on overcoming the impostor syndrome she felt at that event.

Impostor syndrome is a never-ending conversation affecting up to 82% of professionals, according to research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. But we can learn to appreciate that inner voice that says we don’t know what we’re doing without being defined by it.

How to Live With Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome attempts to convince us that we’re not capable of meeting the next moments — despite our training or experience that proves otherwise. Often, it comes from something negative we were told or heard about ourselves from a parent, bully, teacher, frenemy, partner, or boss. Our minds hold onto the words that we perceive to be judgment levied against us, and we repeat those words over and over, particularly when we’re in challenging situations.

Impostor syndrome is common. But most of us hear this toxic, demanding voice louder than other more rational voices. I’ve had to work hard to live with my own impostor syndrome. And what I’ve come to realize is that there are upsides to that voice because it tells me exactly what I care about most.

Before you can discover the meaning behind your impostor syndrome, you have to learn to live with and listen to it. Here are three ways to leverage your impostor syndrome and turn it into a secret weapon:

1. Pinpoint the origin of your impostor syndrome.

Zero in on the voice of your impostor syndrome to determine who’s speaking. Often, your impostor syndrome is not your voice, but that of someone more critical when you were younger.

Next, consider the motivation behind the voice. What does it want to divert you from? If you understand its motivation, you can step back and question the voice. When you feel your impostor syndrome kicking in, recognize it for what it is — the voice of your fear — rather than allowing it to step into the driver’s seat, where it can run you off the road.

One of my favorite executive coaches, Bert Parlee, once described framing impostor syndrome voices as a “board of directors,” but to remember that you make the final call as chairperson. In other words, you get to listen to the voices around the table and then decide whose voice will influence your decision and whose concerns you’ll set aside.

Yes, it can be tough to push back against intense voices in your mind that want to hold your attention. Plus, it can be easy to confuse your impostor syndrome with “gut instinct.” However, the more you get to know your inner voices, the less power they have over you.

“The greatest obstacle for me has been the voice in my head that I call my obnoxious roommate. I wish someone would invent a tape recorder that we could attach to our brains to record everything we tell ourselves. We would realize how important it is to stop this negative self-talk. It means pushing back against our obnoxious roommate with a dose of wisdom.” – Arianna huffington

2. Identify situations that trigger your impostor syndrome.

Everyone has situations that wake their impostor syndrome. For some, it’s public speaking. For others, it’s meeting with a certain supervisor or client. For others, it’s a new opportunity. As you start to analyze the triggers of your impostor syndrome, you’ll uncover patterns that will help you predict when it might arise so you aren’t caught off guard when it does.

Anticipating the arrival of your impostor syndrome allows you to bypass the psychological blow of your sometimes cynical board of directors. That doesn’t mean you need to afford them too much of your time, though. Nevertheless, when you know your triggers, you can keep impostor syndrome from burrowing under your skin.

How important is it to learn to live with impostor syndrome rather than expending tons of energy resisting it? I’ve seen the resistance to impostor syndrome blow up partnerships, cause significant corporate revenue loss, and even destroy marriages — often without people ever realizing that impostor syndrome was the culprit of their downfall. So use discernment moving forward. You decide who and what is driving you to make decisions. When you have that awareness of your impostor syndrome, you’re less at the mercy of your own self-sabotage.

3. Reframe the story you tell yourself.

A huge reason impostor syndrome is so effective in bringing people down is that we don’t intuitively balance negative voices with positive, rational ones. We might understand where the voice comes from and argue with it, but we want to take the next step of adding positive “voices” to our board of directors. Those new voices can remind us of our talents, superpowers, and achievements.

Spend time listing the three most painful experiences of your early life. These might range from abuse you endured at home to the loss of someone close to you or missing out on an opportunity.

Next, consider each experience and zero in on the ways you helped yourself feel safe. I guarantee you did something creative to gain back some control over the situation. For example, if you had an abusive parent, you might have learned to become invisible to make yourself less of a target. Your early creative solutions became your superpowers. Consider how you adapted to each painful situation and what superpower you developed to feel safe again. Write down as much as you can about your creative approaches.

Lastly, list how you still use each superpower today. If you developed the power of invisibility, for example, you might have found it’s powerful to remain unnoticed in certain situations. Everyone’s faced adversity and leaned into some form of creativity to survive. By taking the time to connect the dots between your painful moments and resulting superpowers, you’ll be able to share the origin story of the work you do today in the world and why you were destined to do it. When you understand the root of your gifts, the voice of your impostor syndrome cannot help but quiet down.

You might be surprised at how this exercise both frees you and makes you a better resource for others. If you take the time to reroute your impostor syndrome voice, you’ll become better able to manage challenging situations. As a result, people will experience you as responsible, trustful, and graceful — and that will only help your professional relationships flourish.

You can live with and overcome impostor syndrome. No matter how many times it has thwarted your contentment and success, you can tame it for good. Like so many monsters and bullies, when you confront impostor syndrome face to face, it starts to lose its force — and you start to gain yours.

Corey Blake is the founder and CEO of Round Table Companies, the publisher of Conscious Capitalism Press, and a speaker, artist, and storyteller. He has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, and his work in storytelling has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Inc., Forbes, and Wired magazines. Corey has spent more than 15 years guiding CEOs, founders, and thought leaders to build storytelling ecosystems around their brands. He is also the creator of the Vulnerability Wall and the “Vulnerability is Sexy” card game. His documentary of the same name won 2017 ADDY and HERMES awards for branded content, and his recently released animated short film “We Heard You,” has generated more than 2 million views. Corey delivers keynotes and facilitates storytelling workshops and vulnerability sessions for conferences, leadership groups, and organizations of all sizes.

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Change Your Mindset

5 Ways To Achieve Your Goals (With Examples)



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Setting goals is a crucial first step, whether you’re striving to reach personal or professional milestones. However, achieving those goals requires planning, determination, and focus. In this post, we’ll discuss five actionable strategies that can help you achieve your goals in 2023, and we’ll provide real-life examples to inspire and motivate you. By implementing these tips, you can train your brain to achieve your goals and make meaningful progress toward your aspirations.

1. Write Down Your Goals

The first thing needed to achieve a goal is to have one. A goal becomes very clear and precise once you have written it down most simply and easily to remember.

Here are some examples:

  • I am the world’s best dancer!
  • I am the greatest athlete!
  • I have created the world’s most innovative tech company!

They are all written with the belief that these things have already happened. Once you start believing it has already happened, other people too can sense your confidence and things start happening.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

2. The One Page Plan

A simple one-page plan to accompany your goal is much more powerful than a detailed 30-page plan. After you have written your clear goal – write down all the things you will have to do to achieve it. Make it as simple and direct as possible so that you can refer to it every day and take action. A simple plan is easier to follow and keep up with.

3. Get The Right Skills

Once you have a clear goal that has been inked into your mind, and a clear plan in place, it is very important to invest in the skills you need to achieve your goal.

So for example, if you want to become a movie star, you should immediately start developing your acting skills. Observe how other actors perform, join an acting class, read about acting, and most importantly, start honing your craft by joining a local theatre group and going for as many auditions as you can. Practice is very important for mastering any skill.

Struggling To Achieve Your Goals? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why! 

4. Surround Yourself With The Best People

The best way to achieve our goals is to make sure we have the best people supporting us. People who succeed are always those who understand the power of people.

So let’s say your goal is to be an entrepreneur and you have developed your entrepreneurial skills, the next step would be to get the best people to join your team to help you achieve your goal. These would be people who you consider to be the best marketers capable of getting you the best customers and investors.

Once you have the best people supporting you, it becomes much easier and faster to achieve your goals.

“It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.” – Clint Eastwood

5. Power of Faith

Nothing beats the power of faith and belief. Sometimes you might face challenges, sometimes things might not be going your way, and you might feel like giving up – these are the times when faith and belief will keep you going.

So many people give up, just a few inches away from victory. I am sure you are not one of them since you are investing time into self-development which gives the highest returns! Now go out there and start achieving your goals!

Need more motivation? Read our blogs on motivation and become your best self now!

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Change Your Mindset

This Concept Will Make You Happier and More Productive

While humans can’t expect to describe themselves as “always” happy, we sure as heck shouldn’t settle for “never” happy or even “seldom” happy



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It’s always tempting to answer one more email before bed or to reply to one more text from a friend during work. Nonetheless, numerous studies have shown that multitasking, which is actually just constant task-switching, is exhausting. As the American Psychological Association states in an article about multitasking: “Psychologists who study what happens to cognition (mental processes) when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking.” (more…)

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Change Your Mindset

Debunking 21 of the Most Common Leadership Myths

It has been proved beyond doubt that leaders are made rather than born



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Do you think leaders should be tall and handsome?  Do you opine leaders must know everything? Do you think leaders must have a magic wand? Do you think women cannot make good leaders? Do you think leaders should be intelligent with a strong academic background? (more…)

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Change Your Mindset

There’s Only One Thing You Need for Success

The willingness to ask and live and love and overcome and learn and grow and so many other things all stem from one thing. 



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I know, the catchy title has you rolling your eyes and saying to yourself obviously there’s not only one thing that leads to success, but hear me out. (more…)

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