The Great Pretender


OGreatPretenderne of the great fears holding back many high-potential women leaders is the fear that their greatest efforts are not enough, that they are the ‘Empress with no clothes’ and would be caught in faking competence. This fear holds back many from even making an effort, and the result is, of course, failure-through-lack-of-signing-up. In case you or someone you know may feel like one of the ‘Great Pretenders’, here are some tips to try, if you’re interested in overcoming this limitation.

  1. Fear not the fear, for that fear is what’s holding you back from succeeding.
  2. This is of course more easily said than done, so surround yourself with positive and supportive, good-energy people, and limit your time with people who are draining and questioning you (even if they think they are doing it for your own good).
  3. Assume that there will be failures small and big along the way, and embrace the learnings with every failure.
  4. Aim above your comfort zone, at least once in a while! Ask yourself ‘what’s the worse that could happen?’
  5. Let your logical, rational left-brain decide what’s good enough and tell the right-brain emotional side you *can* be good enough.
  6. Model your actions and behaviors based on those who have succeeded in what you’d like to do, and be unemotionally critical of who you’re measuring up.
  7. Secure mentors and supporters who see the promise in you, and would provide you with the feedback, contacts, resources and information you may need to succeed.
  8. There’s nothing wrong with the fake-it-until-you-make-it mindset. As long as you keep trying new things, learning new things, and delivering results.
  9. With that said, never inflate your abilities or experience but do communicate your track record, passion, and willingness to learn, while delivering incrementally positive results.
  10. Pay it forward – the more who succeed, the better for all!

The bottom line is that you should not see yourself as ‘A Great Pretender’, a hollow mask. See yourself for who you are, as it will help you be all that you can be!

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