Have you ever listened to someone speaking and thought – “That is complete nonsense!” Did you ever find yourself wanting to say something but felt awkward speaking up?
It happened to me. A few years ago, in a meeting, a colleague made a comment that I thought was complete rubbish. Most of the others in the room nodded in agreement. What did I do? I didn’t know the person well. It was the first time at the meeting, and I wasn’t expecting the comments. I’m afraid that I said nothing, and I let the moment pass.
Does that sound familiar to you? Have you ever been in that situation where you want to call someone out but don’t speak up? Was it a lack of confidence, fear of confrontation, or of being seen to make a fuss about nothing?
Sometimes we can find it difficult to speak out because we make ourselves be noticed when we do. Unless we feel confident in our knowledge, perhaps seen as an expert or comfortable with the people we are with, it can be uncomfortable to stand up and be counted. You might worry that if it goes badly, you may be marked out as not knowing what you are doing or what you are saying.
Cue your Imposter Syndrome.
Our fiendish friend stops us from being brave and bold and stepping out of our comfort zone and into the stretch zone, where exciting things happen in our business and our lives.
Our Imposter Syndrome can be the voice that persuades us that it is better to remain quiet, stay seated, be stationery and resist change. Sure, doing new things is scary and stressful. But stressful and scary are like honey to a bee. Your Imposter Syndrome will try any way it can find to tap into that fear and stress. And when it does, it amplifies your inner voice making it harder and harder to step up or speak up.
Your Imposter Syndrome needs a firm hand and a tight rein so that you are the decision maker. We all want to think for ourselves and be free to choose what we do and don’t do.
Here are my top tips for you to use if it happens again.
If you found this useful, listen in to my Imposter Syndrome Q & A’s on Wednesdays at 12.30 pm UK Time on both Linked In and Facebook or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org