How Managers Can Overcome Self-Doubt

How Managers Can Overcome Self-Doubt

Post Written By Expert Panel Forbes Councils Member

Even the most successful of leaders are not immune to the effects of imposter syndrome. Those lingering thoughts that your successes are short-lived or that your business is not really living up to the values you and your team have promised can wreak havoc if they are left to fester unchecked.

Rather than accepting these feelings as fact, it’s best to address them head-on. As entrepreneurs, the members of Forbes Business Council have also encountered challenges that have impacted their confidence. Below, 14 of them offer tips to help managers overcome their feelings of self-doubt.

1. Cultivate Discomfort To Drive Your Growth

Imposter syndrome is fear and anxiety in the form of self-doubt. To effectively battle imposter syndrome, I constantly remind myself that growth is always right on the other side of uncomfortable. I purposely put myself in networking events, masterminds or groups where I can trust my knowledge base, become vulnerable, learn from others and simply look to add value wherever I can. – James GoldenPavement Management Group

2. Recognize That Everyone Is Continually Learning

Understand that everyone is learning as they go—even the most successful entrepreneurs. In fact, the most successful founders are always learning and growing beyond their comfort zones. Chasing that comfort zone is a futile effort. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. No one expects you to be an expert in everything, so learn from your blind spots and collaborate with experts accordingly! – Maurice HararyThe Bid Lab

3. Hire A Top-Notch Team

We live in rapidly evolving times. If you don’t acknowledge that context and that you can’t possibly know everything, you are kidding yourself. The best thing you can do as a leader is hire a brilliant team of experts to advise you and admit when you don’t know the answer and need to listen. You were hired to steer and path-find, not to solve every problem yourself. – Andrew Dunbar

4. Focus On Building Your Confidence

Build your confidence in your abilities. Save emails that reinforce success. Change your mindset from one that is negative to a “soundtrack” that is more positive. Surround yourself with people who listen, give constructive feedback and encourage you to be you. – Jenni FieldRedefining Communications

5. Look At The Qualifications That Got You To This Point

Self-doubt typically occurs only after you are knowledgeable enough to understand precisely how much you don’t know. To get to this point, you obviously have to be qualified for the task that is harboring this imposter syndrome. If you don’t have feelings of self-doubt, perhaps you are an imposter. – Chuck LebloInteract One

6. Recognize What You Uniquely Can Offer

Each of us has something special to offer the world. When someone seeks your advice, that’s because they value your opinion. Welcome it, embrace it and provide your most confident answer with a smile. We can always learn and improve; however, that doesn’t mean the existing knowledge you have isn’t good enough. – Jodi DanielsRed Clover Advisors

7. Work Within Your SHAPE

The more you work outside your SHAPE—special gifts, heart (passion), abilities (competencies), personality and experiences—the more you work outside your areas of excellence. By doing so, you also become more vulnerable, which could fuel feelings of self-doubt. Leaders must learn to work within the center of their SHAPE to boost their productivity and have fun as they work. – Lere BaaleBusiness School Netherlands International

8. Keep It Real With Your Team

Be authentic with your team. This doesn’t mean telling them about all your insecurities, but it does mean being transparent with what and where you need their input and help. Imposter syndrome thrives in isolation. The more communication and collaboration you foster as a leader, the less room you give to your insecurities about your management skills. – Christopher WhiteEques, Inc.

9. Actively Address Your Feelings

Imposter syndrome impacts highly successful managers who have a hard time accepting their accomplishments. Feeling “like a fraud” is a common theme among my clients. I highly recommend this three-step process. First, write down the thought (acknowledge it); second, write down three facts that go against it (dispute it); third, introduce an opposing thought and share it with two people you trust (say it). – Loubna NoureddinMind Market Consultants

10. Lean On Other Leaders

Everyone experiences imposter syndrome; it’s the human way. My best advice would be to know you’re not alone. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Let leadership know. If they are a good leaders, they will help arm you with the skill sets and practice you need to start feeling more confident. – Deyman DoolittleShipSigma

11. Reflect On Past Successes

Recall a time when you last faced self-doubt and try to unpick the actions you took to overcome it. Then remember the outcome and how you felt. Reflection is the best tool for overcoming self-doubt. – Sarah GoodallTribal Impact

12. Document Any Progress

First, remind yourself that having insecurities is normal and that your role and the role of your team members is based on a completed goal or outcome, not just you. Document your progress and successes. Save these outcomes and refer back to them with your team. This will help remind you of your value while also strengthening your team’s confidence. – Benjie NunnCreditHub

13. Find Your Rhythm and Your Identity

Your rhythm is your most successful flow for the day, allowing you to become amazing at what you do and optimize your current strengths. Your identity is who people think about when they hear your name. Don’t try to become like someone else, and limit social media scrolling to become the best version of yourself. – Tim YelchaninovTrue Finance

14. Fake It

As the adage goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Seriously. I think early in the careers of leaders, many experience some self-doubt, which can be good. But with employees and clients, you have to project self-confidence. Expressing your self-assurance builds momentum and eventually creates those wins. By feigning that confidence, employees feel more comfortable and driven to succeed—becoming more self-assured themselves. – Adam PovlitzAnago Cleaning Systems

Forbes Article Link: How Managers Can Overcome Self-Doubt.