I recently introduced you to Everyday Brilliance—those moments when, in all our ordinary and unassuming glory, we step out of our box and into our truest selves. And you may still be thinking, “that’s nice, but I’m not brilliant”. You may or may not identify with Imposter Syndrome-the fear that you are not worthy to be where you are today and that someone will find out you are a fraud. But there may be something else at play for all of us–the silent partners to Imposter Syndrome.
Our Lives Immersed in the Mundane and Imperfect
We sit in our skin day in and day out, and experience many, many mundane moments –pumping gas, picking teeth, and wiping placemats. And then there are the imperfect moments like when we lock our keys in the car, snap at a loved one, or mistake our shampoo for conditioner.
So, it’s no wonder that when we ask a question at a meeting that changes everything, say just the right thing in someone’s moment of need, tell a story with perfect comic timing, or close a multi-million-dollar deal, we still just feel like “little old me”.
Diminishing Thoughts and Language
Now, layer on top of all your mundane day-to-day moments and screw-ups those times that you have actually played down your accomplishments.
How many times have you said something to the effect of “Oh, it was nothing, really”? Or, “Oh, gee, thanks, but all I really did was…”
Girls and women are especially prone to this behavior. We have learned to diminish our accomplishments for the presumed sake of someone else’s comfort—as if your light shining somehow dims theirs. Sounds pretty silly when we put it that way.
It’s not just a simple matter of low self-confidence or Imposter Syndrome that drives us to doubt our own brilliance. It’s a combination of elements that form our perception of reality. And that perception snuffs out the brilliance that makes each of us unique.
If we become more aware of those moments when we really shine and relish those more, we are on our way to offering more brilliance to those around us and to the world.
Three Steps to Have More Moments of Everyday Brilliance
Rather than focusing solely on fighting your Imposter Syndrome, you can have more moments of Everyday Brilliance by listening just a little longer during those times where you nailed it, and, inside, you can’t stop smiling.
- Enjoy your brilliant moment, and reflect on what it was that is uniquely yours, that made that moment special.
- Jot down the words that describe who you were in that moment. Collect those words to form a view of your Everyday Brilliance.
- Call on those qualities. Over time, you will be able to call on those qualities when you want them, rather than being pleasantly surprised with yourself when they arrive.
Imposter Syndrome can feel heavy. The idea of being “brilliant” can feel heavy. But with a little extra awareness and attention, you can discover your brilliance and begin to share more of it with the world.
Wendy Hultmark, ACC, CPC, is a coach who helps women in leadership own their story and write the next chapter. Visit www.wendyhultmark.com to learn more.