By Connor Smith, Accountant at Hive Business
Do you ever (or often) feel like your position in work has come about by luck, or perhaps that you feel like you’re faking your way through things, and that one day someone is going to find you out? If so, you could be suffering from an all too common condition among unnatural leader – the Imposter Syndrome.
Coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, the Imposter Syndrome defines those who to an external party may appear to have achieved ample success, or perhaps attract the respect and trust of their peers and despite this, feel inadequate. Like their success is undeserved, or not really the product of their own arduous work.
I believe to a certain extent we all suffer from various degrees of this syndrome. The odd ‘fake it till you make it’ joke here and there with colleagues, downplaying achievements and hoping that the spotlight will be turned away from you.
There are moments though that this self-doubt can become crippling. We’ve spoken previously about dentists, due to their analytical inclinations, suffering from analysis paralysis. Many dental practice owners are also unnatural business owners. Perhaps you purchased the practice from the old associate, just because they were retiring, and you felt like it was the next step in your career. The additional challenges that then come with managing a team you’ve probably taken on without much experience, learning the ropes as you go.
Chances are that you’ve done a decent job keeping things at the status quo. The company is still running, a decent income stream is coming in, and your staff respect you and feel comfortable coming to you with issues and concerns. This on its own is a huge achievement – however, the Imposter will likely ensure that things just keep ticking along. There will be no big changes, no steps into new markets or disruptions to a team that has worked together for 30 years before you even got there. Because disturbing that status quo opens you up to being looked at – suddenly the spotlight is shining on what qualifies you to make that decision.
Realistically, beating the Imposter is likely to never happen. That feeling is part of our personality, but you can find ways to quiet the Imposter and amplify your belief. Perhaps it’s clarifying your values, determining what matters to you, and what you think will matter to your business in the long run. Firming up your confidence and belief in your own value is imperative to increasing the value of your business as a whole.
Communicate these values and reasons to a trusted advisor, your patients and your peers, and you may find that the spotlight doesn’t feel so intense. You’ve already earnt the respect – it’s time to utilise that position to drive your business forward.
Hive’s dedicated specialists can help you assert your position as a business leader, and make the most of your potential. Get in touch to find out more about our Diagnostic Day.