Updated: Feb 17
Overcoming Self-Doubt, Social Anxiety and Imposter Syndrome
I’m jacked-up and so are you. We are all limited in our intellect and abilities in some manner, and yet when we don’t perform at the level we believe we should, or when we fear judgement about our performance by other “limited” humans, we become anxious and at some level suffer #selfdoubt. Leadership requires #confidence. Confidence in ourselves, our faith, our strategies and our teams.
Self-doubt is bantered around like it’s a horrible disease, but it’s a reality. Yes, even as leaders we doubt our ability at times – because we are limited beings. As a kid I can remember being extremely nervous when I was “up” in sports. Afraid that I would make mistakes and/or not measure up in some fashion. This carried over to my adult years and professional life. I spent a career in sales and while somewhat successful, it was limited due to my self-doubt when it came time to close the “big” deals or engage the high-level buyer. Even as a “#successful” business owner I feared engaging with other “more successful” CEO’s fearing that I would be found out. Some call it social anxiety, some self-doubt, imposter syndrome, etc. What I have concluded it to be was a lack of trust and an inflated sense of others. A lack of trust in God’s sovereignty and a sense that everyone else knew more than I did about everything, all the time.
It’s indicated that 25 to 30 percent of high performers experience imposter syndrome. And, research suggests that around 70 percent of adults may experience impostorism during their lifetime. People who struggle with #impostersyndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. It’s often described as self-doubt or fear of being found out that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.
Nobody is good at everything, so why do we the self-doubt or fear being found out? Accepting that we are flawed and that we have limitations is a critical step to overcoming this. The second step (or maybe the first, it doesn’t matter) is understanding that a mistake or flaw doesn’t define us. Getting something wrong is an opportunity to leverage other strengths or an opportunity to learn new ones. Getting something wrong doesn’t indicate less than, nor does it mean we don’t measure up. It does; however, provide an opportunity to learn or even just accept that it’s just not your thing, remembering that there are many other things that are your thing.
To overcome or temper self-doubt and imposter syndrome, we must develop greater thought-management skills that lead to #selfconfidence, confidence in our own worth or abilities. We have to decide who and what we are going to listen to and what we will believe in. In psychology circles its suggested that self-esteem is influenced by messages that you receive about yourself. As a professional development coach, I believe this to be true – the important part is deciding which of the messages you are going to receive and accept. The right messages create self-confidence that result in a faith in one’s ability or aptitude
to engage with any situation and trust in the outcome - either succeed or learn from it. The wrong messages, negative thought patterns, others jack up opinions, etc. create self-doubt.
What messages are you listening to? Those of other limited jacked-up people who change their minds, perspectives and opinions minute by minute, or will it be the messages given you by your creator and those closest to you who know you best?
God's word says:
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.; Solomon 4:7
God loves you and has chosen you 1; Thessalonians 1:4
We are more thaquerors through Him; Romans 8:37
We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works; Ephesians 2:10
Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; Romans 15:7
I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Psalm 139:14
What do those closest to you believe and say?
Reinforce the positive thoughts that define you through God’s word. His never changing word that is truth. It can be hard at times, but through study, prayer and reflection (and maybe some professional development coaching 😊) your self-doubt and #fears will be replaced with confident acceptance, regardless of the situation because you’ll know that you are loved, accepted and created with many gifts that you can discover if you will trust in His promises and allow yourself grace, as He has.
If you would like additional resources to overcome times of self-doubt and live more confidently, drop us an email at info@DevelopInsights.com