When I was a child I had a recurring dream that woke me up in a sweat. I called it my white dream. I was in an endless tunnel of white sheets or walls that seemed to close in on me, not allowing me to be found by anyone.
Horror stories capitalize on the scariness of the protagonist being found.
Then there is the corporate leaders’ fear of being found out.
All these fears are irrational; we know this. We also know, in the context of dreams and suspense dramas, that eventually, being found leads to relief. Not so with being found out.
Leaders sometimes live with this fear of being an imposter, not qualified for the position they hold and somehow “getting away with it” for so long causes the doubt and dread to build. It is unnecessary and false, but is very real.
I have had several very accomplished leaders tell me that they do not really believe that they are successful. These are people who have reached the top in their fields and have attained the status in their companies that others admire. Yet they feel that they might have missed something important, left something to chance. They believe they will wake up to the reality that others see that they shouldn’t be where they are in the company. Leaders, who are seen as successful by all accounts, often are kept awake at night by these doubts, not their businesses.
Positive language is a struggle in our own heads. There is so much negative going on in there. Leaders can have an inner voice of doubt screaming at them.
Learning to quiet this inner critic takes practice and discipline. It is a new habit that leaders can learn through consistently hearing their own voice reminding themselves of their intentions and purpose as a leader. It sounds simple, but deceivingly hard to practice consistently. Give it a try: tell yourself three things you believe you can bring to the world today. Repeat the same three statements tomorrow and very day.
I help leaders reduce their inner stresses and doubts so that they can celebrate the successes they have accomplished fearlessly.
You can start doing that by contacting me today.