Being an Imposter with Purpose – Your Best Leadership Lesson in Africa

Are you afraid that someone will one day walk up to you and tell you that you do not deserve to be in the position or job? In Africa, we are often guided by what we feel people think of us.  Do you feel that you are an imposter?  You are not alone in this situation because there are people who are suffering the Imposter Syndrome just like you. This syndrome has nothing to do with gender because once in a while all kinds of leaders have to deal with this syndrome.

The good news is that imposter syndrome means you are not fake. However, you have to accept and acknowledge this impostorism, a feeling that you did not merit your success, It is another form of self-deprecating problem that many smart people have to fight. If you fail to deal with it, your disbelief in your talents and disabilities can project you as an insecure leader.

Negativity bias – focus on what’s wrong

Negativity bias is that negative feeling that tends to affect us when we are overwhelmed by positive feedback or achievement. Maybe, you did something that was embarrassing some years ago that still have that cringe memory changing your regular living. This bias is what explains the reason why emotional or traumatic situations stay longer in our thoughts instead of the happy moments. It is also the reason why we have to do extra work because we want to correct a bad first impression.

Embracing feeling like an imposter

The inner voice of the imposter comprises of fear and will try to stop you from doing better things for yourself.  How do you become an imposter with purpose? Try and identify those things that make you feel inferior or doubtful about you. When you discover what has affected your confidence, you need to talk to someone.  If it is your career, you can confide in a person who is outside of your workplace. The person will remind you that those fears are only irrationally and support you build back your strength.

You need to tell yourself the truth- of all the achievements you have been able to pull through over the years. Embrace yourself for earning your accomplishments instead of the imposter syndrome or negativities.

Remind yourself that there was no shortcut to your success. Do not doubt your ability to have climbed the successful leader. People believe in you and have confidence that you will do the best in your position.

Write down those things you could do if you are not scared of your present, say it out loud for others to hear and do it. Take that risk!  Mind your language. Your language should not rein in with doubts. Update what you tell yourself with the right word that will not hurt your confidence.

Mentorship can go a long way in making you feel better about yourself. A mentor will be able to help you discover who you are and reduce the risks of being affected by imposter syndrome.

We hope you can be a great imposter in an African society.