- President’s Message
Writing this blog post has been on my to do list for longer than I care to admit. But every time I sat down to write a draft, I would start to over analyze the situation. “Do I have anything worth saying” kept rolling around in my brain, and I would push it off to another day. As I continued to struggle with these feelings of inadequacy which then morphed into procrastination, the blog post hit me. My dear old friend Imposter Syndrome was creeping in, and I thought I would lean into this topic. Perhaps many of you have heard of this phenomenon before or maybe this is new to you, but in reading this post, I hope the take way is that we all learn to be a little kinder to ourselves, learn to advocate for ourselves, and to recognize our true self-worth.
Imposter Syndrome refers to an internalized feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy, despite evidence of one's achievements and capabilities. It is the persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, the belief that any success is merely a result of luck or deception - this concept of failing upwards. People experiencing Imposter Syndrome constantly doubt their abilities and downplay their accomplishments, attributing their accomplishments to external factors rather than acknowledging their own competence. The strive towards perfectionism can lead to two procrastination and over-preparation. You may procrastinate out of fear you will not be able to complete the task to the necessary high standards, or you may over-prepare by spending more time on a task than is necessary. So called imposters think every task they tackle must be done perfectly which can cause burnout, because it causes people to over produce to prove that they are capable. It can cause people to miss opportunities because they do not feel worthy or capable, despite being quite competent. This is of course a brief and simplistic explanation of Imposter Syndrome, but the more important question is once we know what Imposter Syndrome is, how do we overcome it and what are some of the tools we can utilize to change this feeling?
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome requires a shift in mindset and the adoption of healthy coping strategies to become your true authentic self. It is important to recognize that Imposter Syndrome is not based on reality. The accomplishments we achieve, the skills we possess, and the knowledge we have acquired are all valid. First, we must learn to acknowledge our achievements and give credit where it is due. Celebrate your successes, both big and small. Recognize that your accomplishments are a result of your hard work, dedication, and unique abilities. They are not the result of a fluke. Embrace your strengths and believe in your capabilities. Secondly, it is crucial to accept that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and experience setbacks. It is through these challenges that we learn and grow. Embrace failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a confirmation of your inadequacy. Third, cultivate a support system. Surround yourself with positive and trusted friends who can provide guidance and reassurance during moments of self-doubt. It’s in important to see yourself in someone else’s successes particularly in the energy industry where women have less representation. Or on the flip side, proactively become someone’s mentor. One of the things that I love about WEN is that we offer leadership and mentoring to women if their companies don’t have that capability, and we lift each other up and celebrate one another’s success. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are struggling, because most of the time, you are not the only one experiencing feelings of self-doubt. Remember that you are not alone in this experience; many others have faced or are currently facing Imposter Syndrome. Practicing self-compassion is essential. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Recognize that you are deserving of success and happiness, just like anyone else. Challenge the negative thoughts that feed Imposter Syndrome and replace them with self-affirming beliefs. Finally, embrace the concept of embracing the unknown and taking risks. Imposter Syndrome often thrives on the fear of failure. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you not only expand your horizons but also challenge the limiting beliefs that contribute to Imposter Syndrome. Growth and success require taking calculated risks and being open to new opportunities. Show up scared but do it anyway! The battle against Imposter Syndrome is a battle against self-doubt, insecurity, and the fear of being exposed as a fraud. However, it is a battle that can be won. Be recognizing our achievements, shifting our mindset, seeking support, and practicing self-compassion, we can overcome imposter syndrome and embrace our true worth. So, I urge you to believe in yourself, trust in your abilities, and live your authentic self. Embrace your talents, passions, and imperfections, for they are what make you truly remarkable. Don't let Imposter Syndrome hold you back from realizing your dreams and making a positive impact on the world. Remember, you are worthy, and your voice matters.
WEN Global President