6 Ways Successful Female Executives Turn Self-Doubt Into Their Pathway To Self-Belief


Praca, Oferty Pracy

6 Ways Successful Female Executives Turn Self-Doubt into Their Pathway to Self-Belief

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Imposter Syndrome fueled by self-doubt and the belief that the position we occupy is a position we are not fit for or deserve. When you are a leader or an individual who brings new ideas to the market, you are, by definition, doing something you haven’t done before. As women, we are convinced that we must have experience and knowledge in something in order to take on a job or lead a project. This conditioning is fueled by the belief that women should be perfect.


Self-doubt is a common experience that many women face in the workplace, especially in leadership positions. Like many, I used to think that female senior executives and board members were full of confidence and self-confidence and were in no way affected by the impostor syndrome and the self-doubt that fueled it. After years of work, study, and being one of the few women in the highest positions in business, I have found that just the opposite is true.

On the subject: 5 easy ways to turn self-doubt into success

It’s not that women leaders don’t experience impostor syndrome. We do. In fact, in a 2022 study by KPMG, 75% executive female participants in the study report experiencing feelings of impostor syndrome throughout their careers; 81% believe they put more pressure on themselves to not fail than their male counterparts. What sets us apart is how we’ve learned to deal with the impostor syndrome by turning our self-doubt into strategies that wait in the wings. Of the several strategies I have observed, there are six that women often use to manage and reduce self-doubt in senior management:


1. Recognize and accept your insecurities

It is important to recognize that self-doubt is a normal feeling and everyone experiences it at some point. Admit your doubts and accept that they are a natural part of the process of taking on new challenges. Leaders face the unknown every day. Confidence comes from doing the same things over and over again. Frustration in yourself because of your insecurities works against you. Instead, list the problems you have. For each problem, write a list of what you want (and don’t need) to know, and then make a plan of action to find the answers. This approach not only gets you out of your head, but also creates momentum to achieve your goals.

2. Replace the impostor’s “fake it till you make it” mindset

Ignore well-intentioned “fake it until you do” advice. It perpetuates the belief that you are not enough. Leaders with a growth mindset based on the belief that your abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. Adjust your values ​​to prioritize and prioritize curiosity over selfishness. Develop a mindset, seek specific feedback from trusted sources, learn from what works and what is missing in the market, and continually strive to improve your pitch and idea rather than trying to “fix” yourself. Are you all right.

3. Build a support network

Surround yourself with supportive colleagues, mentors, and friends who can encourage, provide guidance, and provide honest and productive feedback. Look for people who have experience and success in leadership positions and who can offer advice and support as you go your own way. Don’t look for cheerleaders who can’t contribute productively to your idea or career. You need positive support through pragmatic and strategic coaching that allows you to test ideas and approaches in a safe place before trying them out during prime time.

Related: 10 inspiring female entrepreneurs to overcome self-doubt and launch their dreams


4. Focus on your strengths

Recognize and embrace your unique skills, talents, and accomplishments. One of the best ways to look in the mirror to see what you’re good at is to ask friends, family, colleagues, or mentors for an honest opinion on what they think you’re good at. Often others may see qualities in us that we may not recognize in ourselves. As you listen to this feedback, think about your accomplishments and what it took to be successful, finding topics with the help of others. Finally, if you haven’t already, take an online assessment such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the StrengthsFinder to help identify your cognitive and behavioral strengths and learn how to best use them given styles and other people’s preferences.

5. Be on your side

Someone once told me that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat waiters. The people who serve us are not in their role to be treated rudely. The same goes for how you treat yourself. You’ve been through a lot and you’re going through a lot every day. You are strong and you can do it. No questions. Make the choice to fire that self-willed micro-manager inside your head. The same compassion you show for your waiters is the same compassion you deserve for yourself. Prioritize rest, exercise, healthy eating, and other activities that will help you feel energized and balanced. If you’re tired, stop what you’re doing and take a nap or take a walk. The work will be there when you return. The end of the world will not come if you close work for the night early. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would treat a good friend. Be gentle with yourself, especially when you make mistakes.

6. Challenge your negative self-talk

This is a tough nut to crack. Isn’t it crazy, as we believe our worst inner critic? We rant ourselves to prepare ourselves for what we think others are either thinking or telling us the same thing. Identify the negative self-talk that is contributing to your self-doubt and challenge those thoughts. Change your internal dialogue to separate yourself from your feelings. For example, try replacing “I can’t do this and everyone will know about it” with “I’m nervous inside. Why does this nervousness exist? When you say it this way, you can create a healthy separation between your self-styled self-talk and yourself. It is also important to intentionally fill your life with positivity and passion. Hang out with people you like and who like you. Have fun, laugh and try new things. Put yourself where you like to be in your life. Give yourself and those around you positive energy.

Overcoming impostor syndrome and self-doubt at any level takes practice. Lots of practice. Actively and purposefully build these steps into your daily life. Over time, your ego-focused inner voice with impostor syndrome will give way to a narration of curiosity about what might be in the unknown path you are forging.



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