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Is your best work, or your next career move being robbed by fear and self-doubt? Have you ever felt like you aren’t capable, or haven’t earned the right to be in the position you are in? Do you worry about whether you are good enough?
In the current business environment where supply chains are strained, inflationary pressures are present and many businesses are going through some sort of change and/or transformation, the need for new thinking and ideas is vital.
These challenges can present a fantastic opportunity to show entrepreneurial spirit to solve today’s problems and make a difference. However, the current environment may also be creating additional stress and anxiety due to uncertainty, and the prevalence of burnout and imposter syndrome.
A recent global study conducted by Asana, for the 2022 Anatomy of Work report, surveyed over 10,000 employees to learn what’s working and what’s not in organisations.
According to this research nearly two-thirds (62%) of knowledge workers worldwide reported experiencing imposter syndrome in the last year, with 42% of employees experiencing both burnout and imposter syndrome at the same time.
Imposter syndrome refers to an intense feeling of fraudulence when you doubt your abilities, accomplishments, or skills. The mind often fearing a moment when someone is going to call you out, realise you shouldn’t be there, or you’re not capable for the role.
Even the highest of achievers and most confident and intelligent people can feel this way. It’s not defined by age, gender, or experience level.
KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Report found that as many as 75% of executive women report to having personally experienced Imposter Syndrome at certain points in their career. The study also discovered that 56% have been afraid the people around them will not believe they are as capable as expected.
Why is this phenomenon so widespread?
If we look at the global external environment since 2020, we’ve spent over 2 years surviving a pandemic, isolating, and pivoting to work from home environments.
Asana’s report found that almost one quarter of workers experienced burnout four or more times in the last year, and 40% of all workers think burnout is an inevitable part of success.
Overwhelm from job uncertainty, increased workloads, and an experience of higher levels of anxiety due to the pandemic coupled with current inflation rates all impacting our daily lives.
With a lack of connection to the workplace there are less opportunities to receive face to face feedback, read body language cues, and have open conversations to discuss challenges outside the zoom room.
The mind can potentially have a field day analysing, overthinking, and rehashing every conversation and scenario of the workday.
“Did I do enough? Was it good enough? What if I wasn’t on point? What will they think of me? Why was I not invited to that meeting? What if I don’t have the capabilities anymore? Will I lose my job?”
The mind is a powerful tool but in some cases self-doubt and fear breed without external validation and connection.
“With fewer opportunities to connect and celebrate success, remote work is intensifying impostor syndrome. Organizations should ensure that work is still being recognized and championed in remote environments on a daily basis, and that new hires have support structures in place to instil confidence.” —DR. SAHAR YOUSEF, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENTIST, UC BERKELEY (Source Asana)
Imposter syndrome is not incurable; you can become fearless by learning how to cultivate a growth mindset shifting your thinking when flooded with fear-based thoughts and feelings of incompetence. Coaching and training have been found to be two positive solutions to overcoming this fear.
In a study done to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for reducing the imposter phenomenon results reveal that coaching was an effective mindset intervention for sustainably reducing imposter phenomenon scores. Coaching improved self-enhancing attributions and self-efficacy and reduced the tendency to cover up errors as well as the fear of negative evaluation. Training was superior in regard to knowledge acquisition. (Zanchetta et al. 2020).
Becoming fearless first begins with acknowledging when imposter feelings show up, then refraining from allowing the fears to hold you back or derail you from taking action.
Here are 4 steps to guide you when facing imposter syndrome:
1. Recognise when the feelings arise, awareness always proceeds change.
2. Identify the specific fear or doubt you are feeling.
“What specifically am I afraid of here?” or
“What is causing me to feel this way?”
3. Review the facts; feelings are not facts.
“When did I decide that I am not capable of (X)” or
“Where is the proof this person thinks (X) about me?”
4. Reframe the thought process, using the power of positive language.
It can be very unsettling to discover that you’re experiencing imposter syndrome. Given the stigma around this topic, many people might feel like they just have to push through and suffer in silence. You don’t, and the real story is in how you face the fear to rebuild your self-belief. Connection and opening conversations at work are also key. You might even be surprised when you share your experience and people understand exactly what you are going through.
Don’t let fear hold you back from your dreams and goals.
Schedule a free consultation with me to learn more about what I can do for you, and how mindset coaching can help you, to overcome imposter syndrome.
About the Author: Janel Briggs is a NLP and Timeline Therapy Practitioner on a mission to support women across Australia and Singapore in healing their professional anxieties, insecurities and imposter syndrome to build unwavering confidence and self-belief. The goal is to level up your life and career by learning how to to live fearless and anxiety free! Connect with Janel on social media via Linkedin or Instagram.
Click here to learn more about this life changing opportunity.
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Why is it that when we have so much to do, to run your business... that we sit and spin out wheels and do nothing at all?
To do lists a mile lone, calls to make, leads to follow up, deadlines looming like dark clouds. And we just can't get moving, zero motivation. Negative self-talk kicks in, and the anxiety.
Procrastination would have to be the most guilt producing blocker on the planet!
Why do we delay the work, when we know it’s got to be done? When we know working our business and client work is what brings in the income? Why is it so hard to jump in and tick things off the list?
Procrastination is a sign of overwhelm.
It is how our mind responds to the fact we are overloaded by the sheer volume of work and noise we have in our life.
As a business owner the to do list is never ending. We become overwhelmed by what is required of us. There is the pressure (financial and other) of running the day to day business and managing life outside of the business.
With so much going on it seems impossible to even choose what is most important, or what to do next.
So, we procrastinate.
It is easier to delay and postpone and find something else to do that takes our mind off all that we have to do. The issue with this however, is that it exacerbates the problem feeling we had in the first place.
4 SIMPLE IDEAS TO HELP YOU PUSH THROUGH THE PROCRASTINATION
1. Start Yesterday
Prep your day, the day before. Write out your to do list the night BEFORE you leave the office. Make it the last thing you do before shutting down your laptop. List 3 things you do tomorrow.
Just 3 things. Be realistic, this is not a brain dump of everything that you have circling your mind that needs doing. Sometimes your “to do list” of 50 URGENT items is the biggest trigger for procrastination. It is too overwhelming, where do you even start?! Instead, write a short list of your top 3 MUST DO’S.
Remember: You can do anything, but not everything!
2. Start Early
Studies tells us that your brain functions best an hour after you wake and is running at maximum productivity for the first 2-3 hours. Knowing this – find out when your peak productivity time is … and use it!
3. Eat the Frog
I know it sounds like a strange concept (and now you’ll probably remember it!), but when you get to the office and look at the 3 things from your list ask yourself:
What is the HARDEST thing on your list to do?
This concept shifts you forward into action, just imagine how productive you could be if you made “eat the frog” a daily habit?
4. “Chunk Down” Out of the Overwhelm
You might be thinking “Well, I don’t even know what to write on my list I am that overwhelmed with what is coming at me right now”. When the brain fog is thick from stress and E V E R Y T H I N G feels overwhelming then here is a simple tool called chunking down, that will help bring you out of the overwhelm.
Book 15mins of quiet reflection time, take a deep breath and asking yourself a couple questions to find clarity:
What specifically is causing me to feel this way?
Chunking down allows you to get into the details and specifics of what is causing the overwhelm, understand what is blocking you and allows you to break it down into steps. Then everything doesn’t feel so daunting.
Taking the first step helps you to kick start the momentum and push through that procrastination!
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One of the key reasons I was drawn to the coaching methodology of NLP was because the foundation itself is based on communication. It is all about our language. The way we speak to ourselves, speak to people, use our body language and our ability to actively listen to get to the root cause of a problem.
I have always had a fascination with communication. Creative writing was one of my favourite subjects at school, later in my 30’s I studied Public Relations which is essentially communicating a message to influence with words, still and moving imagery, and media.
Words have meaning, and often they have double meanings. It is the way we speak words that gives them emotion.
After learning how certain words have a NEGATIVE charge on our life I opted to delete a few from my vocab; here’s why:
The word “TRY” – a wishy washy word, that we all know means you won’t do it!
The word “DON’T” – I hear this one too often! “I don’t want that, or I don’t like it when he/she does this it makes me feel X”.
Now that little rant is over… let’s talk about the word of the day:
Louise Hay, author of many many personal development books explains this word the best:
“The word should is one of the most damaging words in our language. Every time we use should, we are, in effect, saying it's“WRONG”. Either we ARE wrong, or WERE wrong, or we are GOING TO BE wrong.”
I have to agree with her.
Think about it for a moment. Can you think of a situation when someone recently has said to you:
“You SHOULD do this, or you SHOULD handle it like that, or you SHOULD go this way” – How does that make you feel?
When I’ve been on the receiving end of “Should” talking - I know full well I am not taking that persons advice/suggestion. Even if its amazing advice! HA. Why? There is some sort of internal radar to the word “should” that tells me DO NOT DO IT! (especially if it’s my husband telling me, for some reason HAHA!).
How about you?
It is because we feel like the person is saying we have handled it WRONG, or we cannot handle the situation so we need to be told what to do.
Seriously, most of the time – women just want to be heard! Agree? We actually really want to communicate and connect - not be told what we should be doing.
SHOULD (replaced with) COULD
Now, imagine the same scenario where you’ve been told you “SHOULD” do something… and imagine hearing the word COULD instead?
“You COULD do this, or you COULD handle it like that, or you COULD go this way”. How does that feel? Better, right?
Why? Because when we replace our language with the word COULD – then we feel as though it gives us a CHOICE.
We don’t feel wrong, we just see it as being offered multiple options. And it puts a whole new light on the subject.
SHOULD (replaced with) WOULD
In a recent Instagram video I shared with my thrive community the power of replacing the word “SHOULD” with “WOULD” when delivering our communication wanting to help a person to come to a decision, or give direction.
I received some incredible feedback on how this simple shift in language has helped in the workplace when Managing a team, as well as in discussions with loved ones. Check it out here:
Now that I have opened up your awareness to the power of your language, and the negative charge certain words create - you may start to notice how often you use them?
And, if you want to delete these words from your vocab – then go head!
This shift in language will help to move you closer to where you really want to be.