As we discussed earlier, many of us feel like imposters sometimes. We feel like we lack credibility and it holds us back from doing what we need to do.
Here’s what happens...
Because you don’t feel credible, you might not try for that opportunity staring you in the face. Instead of applying for that job or reaching out for an informational interview, you sit back, take an extra day to look at your LinkedIn profile. You wait another week, do some research and still feel inadequate... After all, there are smarter people out there who are clearly more qualified than you are. You finally get around to sending that email or picking up the phone and you’re filled with so much self-doubt that when you finally reach the person on the other side, your breath gets short, your heart rate speeds up, and your inner voice is saying, “Why do I sound so panicky?” And it’s all you can do to keep going when you feel like that person on the line is slowly hearing you crumble in real time.
So, yes. We want to help you gain some confidence so that credibility crisis never happens. Or, at least if it does, you can push those saboteurs away and tell them to heave ho, you’re busy getting sh*t accomplished!
Here are some positive reframing strategies to help you gain some confidence before you go into a job interview or some similarly stressful situation.
You’re a good candidate.
In all likelihood, the thing that you’re going after, X, is something that you’re capable of, even if you’ve never done it. And as far as you know, you might even be the most capable applicant. The challenge is that all you can see is yourself, so you’re probably imagining all the other people out there as being way more qualified or capable than you. They aren’t. Go for it.
You have experience and you can speak to that experience.
You’re not starting from scratch. Everyone has some life experience to speak to; failures, wins, and team interactions, even family dynamics are relevant. Speak to what you know and make the connection to what’s next. If you tell real stories, you’ll be able to show the person evaluating you how you’re ready for the challenge. Plus, if you stick to what’s real for you, you won’t feel like a fraud.
You’re evaluating them too.
When you feel like you’re in a position of vulnerability (being interviewed), or being measured in some way, shift the balance of power in your mind. Once you learn more about the person evaluating you, their project, or company, you might decide you don’t even like them. Remember that you’re checking them out as much as they’re checking you out, and it will help you lean into the conversation instead of stepping back.
You’re awesome and you would be amazing at [insert your goal here].
This is just a straight up positive affirmation, but it’s crazy powerful. For me, saying, “I’m awesome, I’m doing amazing,” is how I went from never jogging to happily running 5+ miles regularly. Ok… so there are more awesome runners out there in the world, and there most likely always will be. But I’ve knocked out a half and full marathon that I never would have thought possible previously. Even if you don’t quite believe it yet, affirmations like these crowd out those negative thoughts that make you weak and second guess yourself, because you choose them and choose to listen to them.
The next time you feel your imposter syndrome kicking into gear, or fear your credibility is lacking, build some confidence via these positive framings to help you get over it. In the words of Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
Where do you feel like your credibility (or perceived lack thereof) gets in the way of your confidence? How do you flip the script for yourself?
-- Kara Davidson, Cofounder, wolf & heron