First-time leaders: Here’s how you can avoid feeling like a fraud.

-Shift your mindset to quash self-doubt and grow your leadership.

As a new leader within a company or a budding entrepreneur,  it’s common to feel self-doubt. Imposter syndrome can lead to unhelpful attitudes of perfection-seeking, rigidness and overwhelm.

Doubt in leadership can spring up for many reasons. Fear of failing, inexperience, criticism, and inability to make tough decisions or manage conflict, to name a few.

However, you can outsmart the doubt and lead more confidently with three essential mindset shifts to tap your potential and lead with self-assurance.

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From Faking Perfect To Being Authentic.
An authentic mindset helps you overcome imposter syndrome by acknowledging that you don’t have to be perfect to be a good leader. Authenticity is being true to yourself and your values. It means embracing your strengths and limitations by leaning on what you’re good at and leaning on others for what you’re not so strong in.

Being authentic is critical to effective leadership because it signals someone who can be trusted. You build credibility with your team by staying true to yourself and your values instead of trying to change to please others or meet some standard.

You develop authenticity by reflecting on your values, strengths and limitations. This self-awareness helps you define your unique leadership style and build confidence in your abilities. With authenticity, you turn self-doubt into the self-confidence to be honest with your team, which deepens their trust in you.

From Rigid to Growth-Oriented.
A growth mindset offsets self-doubt because it focuses on what you can learn to be an effective leader instead of what you don’t know. It acknowledges that abilities and intelligence can be developed over time with focus and dedication. When you adopt a growth mindset, you shift focus from worrying about whether you are good enough to how you can develop the skills and knowledge necessary to lead successfully.

To cultivate a growth mindset, allow yourself to see challenges as unique opportunities to learn and grow instead of traps to fail or reveal your inadequacy. Courageously seek feedback and constructive criticism as a leader to improve your effectiveness. Imagine your leadership abilities as a dynamic work in progress instead of a static, finished product.

From Overwhelmed To Resilient.
A resilient mindset helps you overcome the inevitable obstacles of being a new leader that can reinforce imposter syndrome. Resilience is adapting and recovering from setbacks while remaining optimistic instead of letting inexperience or mistakes overwhelm you. It keeps you focused on your goals and potential instead of adversity.

Build a resilient mindset by creating a support system of mentors, coaches and peers who can provide the positive guidance, feedback and encouragement you need as an emerging leader. You also strengthen your resilience by prioritizing self-care, getting enough rest, exercising and enjoying activities that bring you fulfillment.

As an emerging leader or someone who wants to strengthen leadership qualities in general, you’ve got to overcome the self-doubt that can stand in your way. Remember, imposter syndrome is a common experience that doesn’t define your leadership ability. Focus on cultivating authenticity, having a growth orientation and building resilience.

Embrace these proactive mindset shifts today for the confidence you need to succeed in your leadership role tomorrow!

Til next week,
Jo-Aynne Von Born, Executive Coach READYSETMORE

Work Your Authentic Genius.
Flourish using your own intelligence!

  1. What do you do well that you can lean on as a leader?
  2. How can you engage others that you lead to support you in areas you’re not so skillful?
  3. What could be your first go-to activity or technique to keep yourself optimistic when things go wrong?

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