Owning Your Success Amidst The Ultimate Success Stifling, Confidence Crushing, Fear Fueling, Influence Immobilizing Impact Of Impostor Syndrome

photo-46Years ago, when I first learned of Impostor Syndrome, I knew I too had (gulp!) experienced the lockjaw impact of its unrelenting grip.

Sound familiar?

Yes, Impostor Syndrome is real.

And yes, you are imminently capable of the Success you imagine for yourself …and yes, you deserve to own the SUCCESS YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED!

Herein lies your challenge and your opportunity:

Owning It. With Confidence.

Owning Your Success… With Confidence! 

I am writing this post to introduce you to what has become one of my favorites among many great business-and-life-influencing books I’ve read: *THE SECRET THOUGHTS OF SUCCESSFUL WOMEN: Why Capable People Suffer From The Impostor Syndrome And How To Thrive In Spite Of It.* by Valerie Young, Ed.D.

First things first: Impostor Syndrome is NOT a Women-only derailer. 

It’s an equal opportunity success crusher for Men and Women – a potentially devastating confidence destroyer – knowing no bounds related to stage of work or life. 

In fact, I’m realizing now the concepts and realities of Impostor Syndrome may in fact be a subliminal driver behind everything I’ve created in my own business since 1993, including THE BOLD! FACTOR® CONFIDENCE and in work I’ll continue to create in this now-and-next stage of my business – inspiring, encouraging, championing and guiding inspired people like you to Own Your Success… With Confidence! The heart and soul of The BOLD! Factor all along.

BOLD Truth: You can create phenomenal success when you own your success.

These qualifiers (expressions you may be unknowingly crediting your hard-earned success to!) drive my passion for helping people claim their confidence and own their success… 

Valerie Young points out in her book the fascinating way Impostor Syndrome reveals: “in denying the existence of evidence of success in your own life… the problem is your compulsion to explain your success away with qualifiers:

photo-34*It was only because they like me… I was in the right place at the right time… It was luck… I don’t deserve this… Someone made a terrible mistake… I had a lot of connections… If I can do this, anyone can… It is only a matter of time before I am found out… I am a fraud… A fake… Phew, I fooled them again!*”

In her book, Young (who refers to herself as a recovering impostor and invites you to Join The Club!) notes the co-discoverers of Impostor Syndrome, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, identified four coping and protecting mechanisms: diligence and hard work, holding back, charm, and procrastination. In her work, Valerie has observed three more: maintaining a low or ever-changing profile, never finishing, and self-sabotage.

OUCH.

Any of those ring true for you? A few sure do for me. My work is and will continue to be better for this discovery. I hope the same for you, too.

Last night I picked up the phone and called author, now friend, Valerie Young.

It was a wonderful call, as she referred to it: “meeting a kindred spirit!” Valerie had some good advice for me on how to tackle writing my book, and what worked for her. We agreed it’s the hardest work either of us have done. We talked about where we’re at and our visions of what’s next.

A few more expressions – this time from accomplished people tossing their success to the wind – with powerful feelings of impostor-induced self-doubt. Sound familiar?

Who would think Meryl Streep would ever get cold feet at the beginning of every project, telling a reporter: “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

Or Mike Myers expecting the no-talent police: “At any time I still expect that the no-talent police will come and arrest me.”

Yes, even our beloved Maya Angelou: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh-Oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'”

If you know someone who might benefit from knowing about Valerie Young’s book, I hope you will share this post with them. It’s the reason I paused my own book writing this morning, to spread the word – with, for, and through you – on how you can create massive Success & Happiness when you learn to release the grip of Impostor Syndrome… by owning your success with confidence.

Your Success is NOT about Luck. YOU earned it!

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing any Aha’s with us in the comments below… or not… as you wish. This is one uber-personal subject, that’s for sure. Till we meet again:

IMG_1621Do One BOLD Thing.

Own Your Success… With Confidence.

IT’S UP TO YOU!

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© 1993-2017 Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  MASK: David and I found this glass mask during the fun week of our daughter Natalie’s and Dan’s wedding in Playa Del Carmen. And once we pick up a fabulous leather mask like one we found in Italy, we’ll have started a new collection. Masks – as art – can be fascinating!  RAZZLE DAZZLE FORTUNE COOKIE: A favorite blingy gift I’m inspired by everyday, sharing it with you here as a reminder that your Success is not about Luck. Own Your Success With Confidence.™ YOU earned it!

3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence Inspires Contagious Excellence

photo-24Your quiet confidence and quiet leadership can be BOLDest of all. 

I was blown away the first time a smart professional told me she didn’t think of herself as a leader because she was not charismatic and not extroverted. She felt those were pre-requisites for being a great leader. Or in fact, for leading at all.

Ah, I smiled. Our conversation ended with a smile on her face too, as she saw for the first time how her inner strength, her quiet confidence *can be BOLDest of all*.  

Since that conversation years ago, when speaking or leading inspired team retreats I often include a segment I created on Valuing Others’ Expressions Of BOLDness.

In reflecting inward, and ultimately broadening our peripheral view to others, we begin to see the beauty in how we each bring BOLD differently… positively impacting our own success, as we create more success (and have more fun!)… individually and together.

3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence & Leadership Can Be BOLDest Of All, Inspiring Contagious Excellence! 

1.  When you step back to shine the spotlight on others, you inspire others forward. 

Be sure you don’t step so far back as to slip under the radar or become invisible. We need to see you. In shifting the spotlight, you’re offering others the opportunity to get known for – and remember by – their positive impact. Inspired by You. You’ve just magnified the impact of your positive leadership by inspiring another to lead, and in turn, inspiring the leader in others they lead…

2.  When you listen closely as you typically and beautifully do, people know you care.

When people know you care about them, they begin to trust that you also care about what matters to them. Imagine the possibilities! Your quiet confidence in listening to others – with genuine interest – can shift the frustration, malaise or disengagement in your team by inspiring them to start tuning in to each other, creating contagious excellence – and new success – as you build a team of people who actually care. About each other as team, customers, clients, community… translating beyond work to home, families, friends…

3.  When you speak, people want to hear what you have to say.

Your quiet confidence is shared in less words. Your select messages inspire what’s needed in this situation, meeting or conversation. The example you set can inspire and build a team of people willing to share their point of view, encouraging others to share theirs, too. Allowing people the opportunity to courageously build new confidence as they practice, develop and share their own points of view… whether quiet or not so quiet… is a gift that lasts a lifetime, contagiously rippling waves of excellence as new success. 

Do you consider yourself a Quiet leader?

Do you bring your BOLD by leading Quietly?

Here’s an important last (or first?!) step for you:

Do One BOLD Thing.

OWN YOUR SUCCESS WITH CONFIDENCE. 

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:   While keynote speaking in Taiwan, after my sincere effort yet seriously-lackluster results learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, I was rendered helpless on stage if not for the calm confidence of kind Taiwanese Translators. This is when and where I envisioned creating my speaking business, back in 1990, in their year of the Horse. If you’ve been to our condo, you may think I love horses… what I really love is the vision that was born in me in that one experience of a lifetime, in the year of the Horse. And maybe being a Taurus gave me the guts to actually make it happen.