Too many people think that creating a personal brand is all about wardrobe. While what you wear is essential, it’s just as important to take stock of what’s happening internally. If you don’t know who you are or what you stand for, then your personal brand identity quickly becomes a false persona.
What Is Imposter Syndrome?
We’ve all had the experience of feeling like an imposter in our own skin at one point or another. The International Journal of Behavioral Science reports that 70% of people worry that they’ll be called out as a fraud or accused of not earning their accomplishments.
These feelings are pervasive, especially among hard-working, high-achieving people. But if you’re walking around perpetually concerned that other people see you as an imposter, there might be something else going on
Imposter Syndrome Can be a Sign Of Something Deeper
When I was early in my career, I got involved with a company and started working for a woman who, on the surface, had it all. Lots of money, a great car, a flashy title, and a large, productive team. She told me that if I wanted her career, all I had to do was say yes to just about anything she asked of me. I was young and impressionable, so I went for it.
Over time, I built my own team, and I let this woman tell me how to manage them. I was always doing, doing, doing; making every possible move to go after my goals. For some reason, however, my team wouldn’t follow me. When it came time for them to interact with my mentor, they saw someone very different from the person I believed she was. Where I saw a leader, they saw a fraud.
And it turned out that they were right. As soon as we hit the goals this woman had set for us, she dropped everyone on the team, went back on every promise she’d made, and revealed herself for who she truly was. I’ll never forget the day that one of my team members took me aside and told me she thought that I was becoming this woman. That was a huge wake-up call for me.
When we try to be someone we’re not, we act in ways that are out of alignment with our authentic desires. And other people take note. I couldn’t understand why my team wouldn’t follow me. The problem was that I’d been so wrapped up in achieving someone else’s goals, I’d completely disconnected from my own. My team could feel that.
Why We Pretend to Be Someone We’re Not
Many people fall into the imposter trap because they don’t know any better.
They think they have to pretend to be smarter or more accomplished to get ahead. They fail to see their authentic skills as assets.
Some of us are driven by the need to achieve. We set our sights on a particular goal and then do whatever it takes to get it, regardless of whose toes we have to step on or how arrogant we have to be in the process.
Remember, your personal brand identity is just that: yours. Don’t step into someone else’s shoes, wear your own.
If you’re ready to stop feeling like an imposter and start feeling confident about your personal brand, I can help. Contact me today.