Unleash Your Potential and Conquer Self-Doubt & Imposter Syndrome!
Welcome to the "Empowerment Series" – a transformative journey tailored specifically for mid-career professional women. In this three-part series, we will explore the power of overcoming self-doubt, conquering imposter syndrome, and propelling your career to new heights.
We’ll do this by diving into three key steps to help you in this battle:
Step 1 - Seeking Guidance
Step 2 - Embracing Your Achievements
Step 3 - Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Let’s dive into Step 1: Seeking Guidance
Many mid-career professional women face the relentless inner chatter of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. And If you’re reading this article, you may just be one of these women. Despite your accomplishments, you often reach a pivotal moment where self-doubt begins to creep in. It's at this crossroads where you wonder if you truly belong at the level you’ve attained, commonly referred to as imposter syndrome.
I want to define who I’m referring to as ‘Mid-career professional’. These are women who have accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise in their chosen fields. They have already navigated the early stages of their careers, honed their skills, and achieved significant milestones.
Understanding the Battle of Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
As mid-career professional women, you've likely achieved significant milestones in your journey, but somewhere along the way, you may have found yourself questioning your own abilities. This is typically referred to as imposter syndrome. It can cast shadows of self-doubt over even the most accomplished individuals. It's the nagging feeling that you're not as competent as others perceive you to be, and your thoughts tell you that sooner or later, you'll be exposed as a fraud.
These feelings of inadequacy can be paralyzing, holding you back from embracing new opportunities and reaching your full potential. You're not alone in this struggle; countless talented women have faced and are facing the same internal battles. However, the key to breaking free from these chains and unleashing your potential lies in empowerment.
Let’s reclaim your POWER! Here’s the first step in doing so:
Step 1: Seek Guidance from a Professional Career Strategist
Empowerment often begins with seeking guidance and support from a trained career strategist. No, this isn’t a shameless plug! Whether you work with me or not, you really will benefit from working with a professional who specializes in helping women like you navigate the complexities of their careers, set clear goals, and develop strategies to overcome challenges. Here's how a career strategist, like me, can help you:
A career strategist can assist you in defining your long-term career goals and crafting a roadmap to achieve them. This clarity is crucial for empowerment, as it gives you a clear vision to work toward. YOU sit in the driver’s seat of your career and the direction you want to take. This isn’t dictated to you by any well meaning soul. This strictly comes from you. You have the power to determine what you don’t want, which inherently leads to clarity on what you do want. This is a strategy I use with my clients who feel stuck and cannot see the bigger picture of what’s down the line for them.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
With their expertise, a career strategist can help you recognize and address imposter syndrome. They provide techniques and strategies to boost your self-esteem and confidence. Some of these techniques involve listing your skills and achievements. Taking an assessment of your journey thus far, will help you narrate your own story. You will be able to see key milestones that got you from there to here. Everyone’s story is different and we embrace and celebrate those differences and nuances. We document all the skills you have and do an inventory to help create your unique career roadmap.
Empowerment often involves building or refining essential skills. A career strategist can identify areas for improvement and create a tailored plan to develop your leadership and communication skills, making you more influential in your workplace. This goes hand in hand with overcoming imposter syndrome. A skills assessment will tell you exactly what you need for what you want. There’s no guessing. We take the guesswork out of it and comb through where you are, where you want to be, and what is needed to get there. Sometimes it’s as simple as enhancing just a few key impactful skills. This typically does not involve going back to school for more degrees or certifications. Most are surprised how short the distance is between where they want to go and where they are. This is the benefit of working with someone who can see the bigger picture.
The Toxicity of ‘Self-Doubt & Imposter Syndrome’
There is a darker side of imposter syndrome that I’d like to address here as well. There’s a feeling of unworthiness, low confidence, and the thoughts of, ‘am I really that great?’ that comes over some of us when we are embedded in toxic work environments and toxic professional relationships. I’d be remiss if I didn’t address this. I cringe to even call this imposter syndrome. Because it’s not… not based on the definition I cited above. THIS and THESE feelings are feelings that come with abusive, constant negative comments and behaviors done by co-workers, managers, bosses, and those in leadership positions. This is a different kind of self talk that happens. You’re made to feel less than so much, that you begin to question your worth and worthiness of your position and role within the organization.
A great career strategist will hold your hand and walk you through taking back the power you rightfully own and still have – it’s just hidden right now. A great career strategist will meet you where you are and help you set goals of empowerment.
And an awesome career strategist will know when it’s time to call in a professional certified mental health professional / therapist who will help you identify why staying in a toxic work relationship is something you’ve gotten comfortable with and work you through this.
Together, coaching and therapy will help you regain your power and control and help you to place healthy boundaries in both your personal and professional life.
Remember, you're not alone in this journey. The battle against self-doubt and imposter syndrome is a shared experience among many mid-career professional women. Through empowerment, you can shatter these limitations and unlock your true potential.
Skill building, confidence building, competence building exercises are just a few of the strategies we use to help you quiet the chatter of your inner self.
Stay with me through this "Empowerment Series" as I delve even further into helping you achieve your career goals.
In Part 2, we'll embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, providing practical steps to embrace your achievements and recognize the unique value you bring to your organization. By shedding the cloak of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, you'll be better equipped to propel your career forward.
Your empowered career journey begins now, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.
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