I work in PR. Therefore, it is assumed, I am ready and able to promote myself. While this is second nature when it comes to my clients, for me personally it is not.
I am working a long time within this industry, and anyone who knows me, knows I am not shy with my opinions! But, that’s one on one, not on a virtual or actual stage in front of people I do not know. Imposter syndrome was always on my shoulder whispering, ‘who do you think you are!’ You know that little voice in your head, ready and willing to cut you down to size.
I started Springboard Communications nearly 10 years ago. Throughout the years I have advised some great clients, through brand building and thought leadership. Your stakeholders want to hear from you, understand you and know that they are in safe hands with your leadership. This is clearly achieved by highlighting your expertise.
This is where I struggled. But I am not alone, a recent study conducted by KPMG showed that 75% of female executives experience imposter syndrome.
When I started out in business, I tried many organisations to help build my confidence in networking and getting out there. I scolded myself when I went to an event and stood in the corner for the night. The only way to rid myself of doubt was to keep trying, keep pushing myself; and remembering that many others in the room are feeling the same way. There were many incredible women who helped me; from saying a simple hello, to pushing me to present at an event, to encouraging me to join a board.
I am also very fortunate to work with a team of smart vibrant women who push me forward every day. My team at Springboard Communications, make me challenge myself, make me keep learning, keep me striving forward.
To this day, before every presentation I get nervous, every time I put my opinion out there, I worry about its impact. So, I am very aware of supporting other women to share their opinion: enter that award, publish that blog, give that presentation. We all need to keep challenging ourselves, and let that little voice in our head become our biggest supporter, not the negative undercurrent.
Let’s push each other together, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.