Self-limiting beliefs are just that – beliefs that you hold about yourself which stop you from making progress in some way. They often start with ‘I can’t…’
Imposter syndrome is the persistent fear that you will be exposed as a fraud. It is the fear that of exposure and the self-doubt that your success is partly a result of your skills and work. Sometimes it’s the fear of being ‘found out’ that you don’t have some master plan with step by step instructions, but are ‘making it up as you go along’. A fear of judgement by others that you lack something critical which means you shouldn’t be doing what you already are.
When the two are combined, we make a deadly cocktail of self-destruction. And this cocktail is one that change makers need to consistently be on the look out for – in themselves and in the teams they are working with. Change requires us to do new things. To turn ‘I can’ts’ into ‘I cans’. To move from ‘that’s not how things are done around here’ to ‘this is who we are’. However, to change the self-limiting beliefs requires us to be uncomfortable for a while, to feel akward and like a fraud.
To change we need to ignore our self-limiting belief and learn something new. The journey is often through feeling like an imposter – sometimes this feeling is fleeting and other times it lasts a long time. The other side is confidence in a new skill, behaviour, process, or culture.
This week pay attention to the your own and your team’s self-limiting language. Check in with them on their imposter levels. Talk about it together – it is often the best remedy.
Photo by Oscar Keys