Imposter Syndrome & Communicating Your Value
Imposter syndrome has come up a ton in recent conversations and got me thinking about my own experience with it.
Over the years, I somehow became an “expert” in communication skills and ended up coaching leaders on everything from how to tell a better story to how to run a meeting to facilitating their team building programs.
Over and over again I’d ask, “How did I get here?” Because that path never felt right, resulting in self-doubt overload and an inability to promote myself and the value of my work in confident and productive ways.
When the pandemic hit and all my business got cancelled, I missed the money NOT the work.
So, I hired a branding copywriter to help gain clarity on how to emerge.
Turns out I’d been looking at my expertise ALL WRONG. My expertise is NOT in communication. My gift is the ability to make people feel comfortable in uncomfortable settings. Where they can “shed the formalities” stifling their personality and ideas, speak up about what’s important to them, make meaningful connections and learn skills to elevate themselves, others and their impact.
Making the Confidence Connection
At that realization, my entire professional career flashed before me because I’ve done this forever – as a yoga teacher, hiking guide, speaker, event organizer, community leader, podcast host, etc.
So, it’s not the topic that makes me the expert it’s the skillset. And that shift has made a huge difference in how I see myself and promote my work to others. It feels grounded.
Get Curious and Look Through a Different Lens
Today I ask you – what belief or behavior is holding you back from stepping into the powerful business person you are? From taking action on your ideas. Or that makes you think you need yet another credential before you’re good to go?
Imposter syndrome is one way we hide. And hiding is exhausting. But maybe what we need is to look at expertise from a different lens. Like…
- What skills do you have that you take for granted? You simply do them naturally.
- When others interact with you, what do they experience or say about the interaction?
- What skills do you have that you second guess as being valuable? (i.e., maybe you compare yourself to others and think you’re supposed to act some other way. Hint: You’re not.)
The answers to the above questions might be your gold. Your firm ground to stand on. The one that is unwavering, no matter what others might say.
Communicate Your Real Value
These days I can honestly say I host damn good events and stand firmly in that because making people comfortable in uncomfortable situations (networking, speaking, self-promoting) is the value I bring to the table.
What does that look like for you? It might not be what you think.
Your Turn to Talk to Me
What’s your experience with imposter syndrome? How have you dealt with or overcome it? How would you communicate your value? Leave a comment or send me an email. I’d love to have this conversation with you!
Oh and if you want more on this topic, I recently had the opportunity to share my story and insights on the Imposter Syndrome Files podcast, hosted by Kim Meninger. Tune in to the interview online.
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About the blog
Insights & inspiration to make human interactions like speaking, networking, facilitating less awkward & boring and more natural & engaging.
Topics include presence, getting your message across, relationship building, staying poised under pressure, running a meeting, dealing with burnout and more.
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