How to Combat Imposter Syndrome in Real Life
The need to impress at work or on a date has become so intense that many people cling to “fake it till you make it” as their mantra. In today’s video, I give you a mindset shift that will not only banish imposter syndrome but will change the way you approach future work projects and romantic dates.
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Couple of weeks ago, I was having a member’s call with the people who were part of my Love Life Membership. And one of the people who joined me live for a coaching course said this, “I’ve met a partner through your work. I’ve been with him for three years. I’m incredibly happy. But in the workplace, I still feel a lack of confidence that gives me Imposter Syndrome.” She said, when I’m around my friends or socially, I’m actually pretty good and I’m confident in my relationship, but then when I’m around clients or when I’m around my superiors, I start to get nervous and I start to play a different person. I start to be a less authentic version of myself. How do I get over my Imposter Syndrome? I think of this quite simply in terms of if we want to improve our confidence in that area, one of the keys to changing your confidence is just change the goal that you have.
See, the reason that in those situations she departs from herself is because there’s this immediate goal of impressing the people that she’s around, whether it’s impressing the people she works with or impressing the client. And now when we’re trying to impress someone, we start becoming what we think they need or want us to be. We might even start to try to feign a level of competence that we don’t have. I remember videos of mine that I can look back on a younger me and think I was trying to be something in that video instead of just being something. And instead of just being in the moment and perhaps saying what I knew, admitting what I didn’t, being comfortable with the gap, the chasm between the two, I was trying to be more competent, further along the way, more wise, more experienced than I was, and that didn’t necessarily make for a bad video, but it didn’t make for a video that was as impactful as it could have been. Because what really impacts people is when we’re truly present.
If you look at a date, a date is a time when people fall into the trap of trying too hard to impress the person in front of them. Their goal is I need to impress. And when they do that, they get nervous and they also start playing a character that they think the other person wants. If we change the goal on a date from impressing to assessing, all of a sudden, it’s a different scenario. When we’re assessing if someone could be right for us, if we could enjoy this person’s company for longer in our lives, if we could build something with someone, then it’s a very different place to be. I’m not just sitting here trying to impress. I’m looking to be curious about this situation and see where it could go. And that’s a combination now of me just asking questions to assess whether this could be right and to get to know someone and then really listening to their answers. Neither of which are as scary as impressing somebody else.
Now, if you take this woman’s scenario in the workplace, she went in with the, I need to impress mindset. What if we changed the goal? It’s no longer, I need to impress my colleagues, my superiors, this client. What if the goal was, I need to help solve their problem. But in changing a goal, what we’re really doing is listening to a different voice within ourselves. Impress is the goal of the ego voice. Our ego, when it’s screaming to be heard and fed and watered via external validation looks to impress. But there’s a more generous voice within us that isn’t focused on impressing because that’s about us. There’s a more generous voice that’s looking to help other people to contribute. And the first step of helping is listening, is genuinely understanding what’s going on in the room or in the minds of the people that you’re meeting with, what struggle or problem do they have right now that they’re trying to solve in this meeting.
And when we ask questions to genuinely understand and connect, that’s the first step to us being able to contribute to solving the problem. But when we’re in impress mode, through the ego voice, we skip over that stage of trying to understand and connect and go straight to I’m the Grandmaster of solving problems. And I’ve just heard five seconds of what you’ve said and here’s my contribution immediately. But we’ve missed the entire part that actually gives us huge value in a meeting before we’ve ever done anything to solve a problem, which is someone else looking at us and saying she gets it. And even more profoundly, she gets me.
When someone feels truly understood and seen, they’re indirectly impressed because they feel like you might actually be able to help solve the problem, because you’re starting from a place of real understanding. What I love about this is it takes all of the pressure off being this dazzling, incandescent light in the meeting that comes in and just blows everyone away. That’s what the ego wants. And it’s a trap, and it’s a trap that will make you immediately nervous. And it will have you playing someone other than yourself.
By the way, for anyone who wants to practically improve their confidence, I.E. not just theory, they want to put it into action, you’re going to be interested in this. For the last month, I have been going through a 30-day confidence challenge with thousands of people where I’ve given them 5 specific missions to improve that confidence in 30 days. The results have been amazing, the stories have been beautiful so much so that we are running it again. It’s going to be on the 21st of July, it’s completely free. And on the 21st of July, there’ll be a kickoff call where I detail the 5 missions we’re all going to do together for 30 days. To sign up, go to mhchallenge.com. You can put in your details, join completely free and just be part of a really fun, practical 30-day process to launch you into the rest of the year. I’ll see you over there.