Me, My Gurls, and Imposter Syndrome!

 

Ever had that nagging voice in your head whispering, “Are you sure you’re cut out for this?” right before you dive into something new or exciting? Oh, the joys of being a woman!  From the classic “Am I ready for this?” to the anxiety-ridden “Do I really belong here?”, Or if you do something wonderful and you receive a compliment on it you respond with “It is nothing”, we’ve all dealt with doubt at some point.’ And let me tell you, this dance can often feel more like a battle with what’s known as imposter syndrome. Yes, that sneaky feeling of being a total fraud, fearing that at any moment, someone will pull back the curtain and reveal our so-called “inadequacies”.

I’ve been right there with you, navigating the waters of imposter syndrome, both personally and through the stories of the incredible women in my circle. The ambitious, dream-chasing, powerhouse women I surround myself with (because, let’s face it, we’re the company we keep, right?) often share experiences that shine a light on the everyday reality of imposter syndrome.

Take a recent lunch with a friend, for example, she casually mentioned her company’s search for a new country director — a position she felt she wasn’t “qualified” for. Despite her doubts, a nudge from her partner led her to throw her hat in the ring. Fast forward through minimal extra effort (just her usual magic) and a series of interviews, she landed the role!!!  And she’s not alone. Another friend, doubting her worth right before a high-profile panel, soon realized she was more than capable with just a bit of prep. And, unfortunately, I can keep sharing these stories……

And here’s the thing — I see myself in these stories. I mean, I’ve been dodging imposter syndrome since I was a kid, too shy to join in games because I didn’t believe I had what it took. My journey into motherhood was riddled with doubt & questions like, “Am I even meant to be a mom?” But spoiler alert: there is no opt-out button from motherhood, so I had to do the thing and figure it out. My parenting journey had become my imposter syndrome boot camp, and this is what ii have learnt: 

  1. Just say YES: Dive in headfirst, if you have an inkling of wanting something. You’re more capable than you think.
  2. Acknowledge the Doubt: Recognize where those feelings come from. Is it the societal blueprint of a “perfect woman/mother/leader” messing with your head? Identify it, then squash it.
  3. Put in the Work: How would I raise a confident girl, if I am not a confident woman? Realize some doubts have some truth? That’s your cue to grow. I dove into doing the work and continue to, and trust me, it’s a game-changer.
  4. Do it your way- Be authentic: You are a unique person, and that is your superpower! Intentionally make decisions on how you want to live your life or address this scary thing you are facing.
  5. Be Kind to yourself: Cut yourself some slack. New challenges are just that — new. And who nails something on their first try? 
  6. Intentionally reflect: Take a moment to look back at how far you’ve come. Then, allow yourself to feel pride for what you have done. You’ve earned it.

This journey of motherhood led me to build this wonderful organization that seeks to do the most important work in the world, empowering women- I mean we are and will change this world!

Imposter syndrome is more common than you’d think. Statistics even suggest that around 70% of people will experience these feelings at some point. And for us women, thanks to societal norms and gender roles and the high expectations that come with these, the stakes feel even higher. 

But, when I see women achieving greatness against all odds, it’s a powerful reminder: “If they can, why can’t I?”

As we navigate family, careers, and personal goals, let’s remember to challenge those biases and stereotypes. Let’s be the women who not only dream big but also embrace the journey, imposter syndrome, and all.

Because at the end of the day, we’re all capable, deserving, and yes, absolutely ready to take on whatever comes our way. Here’s to conquering those doubts, one empowering step at a time.

So, to every woman reading this and facing the shadow of doubt, remember you are not alone. I invite you to share your stories, your battles, your hacks and your victories over imposter syndrome. 

Let us uplift a sister here!

With all my love and a hefty dose of encouragement (I hope!),

Ciiru.

 

1 Comment
March 14, 2024

Glad to know that I am not alone. This is inspirational

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