I had just landed my first major international assignment in Shanghai. The job was a promotion for me at one of the world’s largest and most prestigious PR firms.
I was excited and nervous.
The clients were demanding and pressure from HQ to make that office profitable was intense.
As successful and I had been prior to my international assignment, I wasn’t prepared for the pressure I put on myself to perform.
I woke up every day feeling sick to my stomach. I felt out of my league even though I had saved a large client account who was ready to fire us.
I worked until nine or ten every night.
I would check and re-check my team’s work looking for mistakes. I questioned myself.
I developed digestive problems and the hair on the left side of my head was thin from habitually tugging on it.
Every day I stepped into the office I’d think, “I’m so out of my league. They are going to fire me one day when they realize I can’t cut it.”
Impostor Syndrome is a well researched, well-documented phenomenon that occurs when successful and intelligent professionals feel they do not deserve their accomplishments and that they have faked their way to success.
This syndrome can cause negative stress, fear, anxiety, loss of confidence and can eventually lead to career derailment.
Leaders who exhibit the Impostor Syndrome will often make extraordinary efforts to cover up their supposed inadequacy to avoid being found out.
At their worst, Impostors often develop negative coping behaviors to make up for their feelings of low-self esteem and self-worth.
This includes micromanaging, procrastination, perfectionism, workaholism and chronic worry and anxiety.
People with Impostor Syndrome not only experience turmoil themselves but often unknowingly inflict it on their teams.
The Impostor’s team can end up feeling overworked, demotivated and unappreciated.
Interested in learning how to turn these steps into action? Join me next Wednesday, March 18th from 1-2pm EST for a live Center for Creative Leadership Leading Effectively Webinar on the Impostor Syndrome.
I’ll discuss in detail why the Impostor Syndrome can derail careers, the impact the Impostor has on teams and most importantly, concrete action steps to get over Impostor Syndrome and start owning your success. You can find out more and register here. Please also feel free to email or DM me on twitter with your questions. I’d love to hear from you.
I hope you’ll join me!