How To Build Your Confidence As A Leader


Have you heard of “Imposter Syndrome”? Merriam-Webster defines Imposter Syndrome as “persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success”.

Leaders with Imposter Syndrome can experience fears of being exposed as inexperienced, without talent, or undeserving of success. It can cause leaders to second-guess their decisions, downplay their own accomplishments, avoid receiving feedback for fear of criticism, overwork themselves to prove they are good enough, and decline opportunities due to fear of failure.

As a leader becomes more successful, Imposter Syndrome and the feelings of low self-regard that come along with it, can worsen. Leaders need to appear confident, capable, and decisive which can be challenging when there is an internal struggle to recognize their own self-worth and confidence.

What can you do to combat Imposter Syndrome and build your confidence as a leader? Try these tips.

  1. Take care of #1. The first step to combating Imposter Syndrome and building your self-confidence as a leader is by enhancing your own well-being, health, and wellness. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
    • Mindfulness. Discover 4 ways to become a more mindful leader.
    • Self-Care. Take the time to care for yourself. It’s so important.
    • Emotional Intelligence. Developing your emotional intelligence can make you a better and stronger leader.
  2. Remember that you are only human. All of us have doubts and fears. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Don’t hold yourself to unrealistic standards. Give yourself a break.
  3. Practice pep talks. Try to replace that harsh inner critic with a kinder, gentler cheerleader. When you hear your inner voice become critical, replace that negativity with positive affirmations. Celebrate your small wins. Pat yourself on the back. Learn to accept compliments. With a little practice, the negative self-talk can turn into self-encouragement which can improve your overall self-confidence.
  4. Find a mentor or coach. A mentor in a similar leadership role or a leadership coach can be a great source of inspiration and support. They have been in your shoes. They can understand what you are going through and can provide helpful insights. They can be a shoulder to lean on and someone to whom you can unburden your fears and frustrations. A great coach or mentor can motivate you forward so self-doubt doesn’t cause you to fall back.
  5. Rely on your team. Just as your team relies on you for your leadership, you should rely on your team for support. Do your best to encourage connection with your team members. You and your team have a greater chance to thrive when all members feel understood, respected, validated, and connected to each another.
  6. Collaborate. Ask for help or advice when you need it. Recognize that you don’t have all the answers and accept that’s okay. Keep yourself open to learning from others. Remind yourself that you are not alone. There are people around you who can and want to help. Collaborating with others can help you define and solve problems more efficiently, creatively, and collaboratively.

Practicing these steps over time can help you to conquer Imposter Syndrome and help you to have more faith and confidence in yourself and your leadership abilities. If you need help, we are here for you. Contact Catapult today.

Additional Resources:

Podcast: Imposter Syndrome with Eyal Pavell, Meyler Campbell Podcast

Podcast: Conquer Imposter Syndrome with Author Ayana Gray | The (Definitive) Mental Health Toolkit

Harvard Business Review: Build Your Self Confidence Like a Leader

Harvard Business Review: You’re Not an Imposter. You’re Actually Pretty Amazing.

Book: Confidence Code 2.0: A Holistic Approach to Mastering Self-Confidence by Patricia Harmon

Book: Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith

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