For anyone who reads my sporadic articles, you’ll know that I’m well acquainted with the Imposter Syndrome and the impact it can have. Well, actually, today I am fed up of it. I am going to out it and I’m going to sack it. I’ve suddenly had an appreciation of the real damage it can do. Something has clicked.
I recently had a conversation with a senior woman leader who I both like and admire. She’s someone you instantly connect with. She’s the sort of person I’d like to pick apart the world with over a glass of wine, and equally have the opportunity to learn from. She is, I think, formidable, focused and fantastic. She is not so sure. Her organisation is at serious risk of losing her, and largely due to the culture in which she works which feels so at odds to her values and spirit.
I left the conversation with a strong sense of needing to do something…I’m just not sure what. I’ve been mulling it over since then, and I’m starting to shape things in my head. It’s still a bit ‘elusive mouse’ but it’s getting there. I’m going to be reaching out to a couple of people soon to start the ball rolling. I’m so lucky to work in a job, (and be exposed to other opportunities), where I am constantly connected to amazing women leaders who are driven to make a difference, and yet who are constantly doubting themselves, their ability or their absolute right to be where they are.
I am so over having conversations with women who feel they have to apologise for themselves, for having children, for not having children, for earning too much, for working too hard, for asking for what they are worth, for occupying a role of power, for contributing in meetings, for challenging observations, for being at the table, for being who and what and where they are. Enough.
Today I am acutely aware of my need to role model for other women; to support and encourage them, and to take risks to make it easier for others. I am driven to value myself and my contribution, to give others permission to do the same. To not apologise, and to own my space. To be an inspiring and inspirational leader. (and here I give an unashamedly large, 8.3 shout out to my super-amazing RADA Executive Presence clan – it’s a great course – do it!).
I’ve just re-read a chapter on ‘calling’ in my latest go-to book ‘Playing Big’ by Tara Mohr. This book has had a huge impact on me (the communication chapter is one I keep going back to) – you can find out more about Tara and her book here . This little mouse has something of ‘the calling’ about it. Tara identifies some of the ways to recognise a calling…
“1) You feel an unusually vivid pain or frustration around the status quo of a particular issue.
2) You see a powerful vision – vague or clear – about what could be around some aspect of the status quo.That vision keeps coming back into your mind and tugging at your heart.
3) You feel a sense of ‘this work is mind to do’…”
There is a calling in me. I feel it growing, and shifting, and taking shape. It’s mouse now, but I have a feeling it will morph into a lioness.