A Sunday Quiz:
Do you….1) Secretly worry that others will find out that you’re not as bright and capable as they think you are? 2) Sometimes shy away from challenges because of nagging self-doubt? 3) Hate making a mistake, being less than fully prepared or not doing things perfectly? 4) Tend to feel crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your ineptness? 5) When you do succeed, do you think, “Phew, I fooled ’em this time but I may not be so lucky next time.” 6) Believe that other people are smarter and more capable than you are? 7) Live in fear of being found out or unmasked?
If your answers were “YES” then it’s more than likely you suffer from Imposter Syndrome and you’re a woman. This syndrome is something that blights so many women’s lives. And as I’ve mentioned before, it’s now being called out as the No1 reason that 150,000 women do not start a business per yr, compared to men.
I’m wondering how we start to tackle this issue differently? How do we start to move on from ‘recognising’ it, to actually progressing? What are women brilliant at? Well, we can be relied upon in a crisis – think about the war? We brilliantly deal with ‘crisis’. Let’s draw on this ability, pull on our innate default to be maternal and show empathy. What if it wasn’t a question of plucking up the courage to start a business but more – THIS COUNTRY NEEDS YOU, THE ECONOMY NEEDS YOU & OUR DAUGHTERS NEED YOU! What if it was a request from us all, to take the leap of faith for the material difference it would have on everything. That the £260 billion that would be pumped into our economy over 4 yrs could save the NHS. That we need to flood our daughters (and sons) lives with tonnes of women in business across ‘industry’, so they have so, so many more role models and in turn, helping them engage with ‘real world’. Not this picture perfect world that they live in, that’s killing their mental health. Let’s start to change this conversation from recognising we suffer from imposter syndrome to a feeling that we now have a ‘duty’ and thus shove the syndrome into your rocket pack and light the fuse anyway!