Sheryl has always been vocal about her struggle with ‘imposter syndrome’ – the nagging fear that works up many high achieving individuals that they aren’t as good as people think them to be. This, coupled with the untimely death of her husband yesteryear (May 2015), left her with severe confidence crises.
To deal with it, she started writing down 3 things that she did well that day (a bit of a struggle initially). Soon enough, she started getting better at it and ended the day reflecting on success more than her troubles.
Carol had convinced herself of being a great supporting actor, but never the final decision maker, in spite of her past experience as a CMO @ ClearSlide. The voice in her head was so strong that it took an external voice to let her know that its time she step up her game.
Ever since, she has exercised her confidence by putting herself into uncomfortable situations. She admits that it was hard and she failed a lot. But with time, practice and lessons learnt, she is able to highly influence and drive the decision making around her.
Alison admits that she’s faced a fare share of self doubt being the only woman in the room. It was not as easy as it seemed to be.
To help her combat fears, she puts an effort to speak up early on in meetings (usually within the first 15 minutes). In doing so, she feels comfortable and confident of contributing throughout. Wagonfled also avoids using the word ‘sorry’ both in written and verbal communication. Doing so puts her out of defensive mode and a less confident state of mind. She mentions the need to ‘rephrase’ sentences to avoid such defensive words.
Now an advocate for woman in technology and former VP of Adobe Systems, Katlin knows she had a hard fight against imposter syndrome.
To counter, she does what she calls ‘myth-busting posse’ – a conversation with her husband, friends and trusted co-workers to stop the imposter syndrome in tracks. She admits to have different people to confide in and help her talk through different issues.
Having once considered dropping out of her Computer Science class @ University of Michigan for not getting a good score, to being the Leader at Windows Insider Program it was not easy ride.
Early on, she understood that the key to learning is to figure things out on your way. The measure of determination and persistence have to be higher than the fear of failure. It is ok to fail and get better.
To stimulate thinking, Sarkar also recommends being present in different situations. It gives a whole new perspective to the problem and opens up options that were never thought of before. Her advice? Try something. Fail. And do it again.