It was pretty early in my career. I was working in a demanding corporate position. I vividly remember my boss, the CEO of the company, lecturing me over and over again: “You are as good as your last success”
And these words haunted me for years.
They were so very poisonous on so many levels.
I started my career at a young age in an environment where I had to prove myself. I was -and still am I guess- a natural high-achiever. I am really driven, have high expectations of myself, and am competitive (mainly with myself though). At that time, I was also quite insecure and lacked self-confidence. I felt pretty small and looked up to my seniors.
So when my boss ‘taught’ me I was only as good as my last success, I took it as the truth and started to believe and live this. And it set fire, or better a whole inferno, to my imposter syndrome.
I started to believe that my success was just temporarily. That it could go away in the blink of an eye. That my success was actually not the sum total of all my accomplishments, my personality and my passion, but that it all was depending on just one lucky (or unlucky) event. That everything I worked so hard for could be burned down like that, and I would be left empty-handed, alone and unloved.
So what do most women do when they face imposter syndrome? When they fear they soon will be exposed as fake, not good enough, and not worthy?
They either start to lower their bar, downgrade themselves, not take up any challenges, and start to underperform so it won’t hurt too much when they fail.
Or they will do what I did, and fall into the Imposter syndrome spiral.
This spiral starts with a challenging task. You work very hard and you succeed. But then you don’t own this success, and you think you were just lucky. That external forces allowed you to succeed, or that only hard work was the reason for your accomplishment. So not because of your own skills and competencies.
When facing the next challenge, you don’t trust yourself, your skills and your competencies. You believe that you, and your results, are dependent on external factors, like other people, the universe, star constellations or your lucky socks. This will take away your power and control, and increases the fear that it won’t happen again. To avoid failure, you start to work even harder. And before you know it you’re in a negative spiral…
So that throwaway comment of my boss gave him an employee who started to work even harder and started to strive for even more success. Who started to become a perfectionist and control freak, and a complete over-achiever. And it gave him an unhappy, anxious employee on the verge of break-down.
Looking back at this as the person I am today, I can say a lot about his management style. But that’s not how to heal. I could play the blame game, but it’s better to take my responsibility and own my sh!t. As it was me who took on his belief as my truth.
So the moment I became aware of this belief haunting me, I took care of it and I Creatrix®-ed it.
But you can only let go of the things that you acknowledge and want to get rid of.
So if there is one belief, one thought, at this moment that makes you feel small, insecure, anxious or unhappy, what belief would that be?…
(Yes, this is a question for you, so take time to answer it now. Not later, but now 😉…)
I guess you want to quickly get rid of this inner glass ceiling, right?
Yes? Let’s talk then!
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