You’re not faking it

Impostor Syndrome. The fear that people have of being found out as a fraud. Everyone seems to have it. And if you ever felt like you’re not deserving of the success you have achieved, know that you’re in the company of Academy Award winners, best-selling authors, CEOs.

Much has been written about it. Forbes wrote about it. Wall Street Journal wrote about it. Fast Company wrote about it too.

We particularly liked this article in The Shriver Report. The author, the first African American woman to become a Vice President at Avon shares 10 Ways To Overcome Impostor Syndrome.

The tip that resonated most — besides keeping your sense of humor about it all — was this one:

She suggests to do “a reality check by making a list of your special skills and the qualities you have that attract people to you and have gotten you this far.”

Why don’t you “take stock of your success. Keep a written inventory of your skills, accomplishments, and experiences to understand your success. Use logic and facts to assuage your fears. This will help you strengthen the skill of internal validation.”

We’re certainly going to give it a shot!

How to make peace with criticism

Is it just us or is the air getting a bit brisker the higher up we climb on the corporate ladder?

If you are a women, you’re more likely to receive criticism not only for your performance at work but also for your personality. A study confirms that only 2% of men get personality-related criticism at work while 76% of women hear words like “abrasive” and “judgemental.”

The author of New York Times article Learning to Love Criticism says: “Powerful women tend to receive overreactive, shaming and inappropriately personal criticism. Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s colleagues in the Senate making comments about her weight. Christiane Amanpour being blasted for expressing even a hint of anger about the deaths of children in Syria. Hillary Rodham Clinton for not looking well rested enough while circling the globe.”

This is unfair, ridiculous, but it’s also a fact.

So let’s not get dissuaded. Let’s rather find a way to embrace criticism as a surefire sign that we’re on the right path and let’s develop a teflon approach when it comes to dealing with criticism. Nothing sticks and nothing bothers. The article Learning to Love Criticism shares a number of ways to achieve that. Why don’t you give them a try — we sure will:

  • Identify another woman whose response to criticism you admire and try to emulate it
  • Learn to view criticism as information about the other person’s preferences rather than a comment on you
  • Ask yourself whether the criticism cuts so deep because it is related to a doubt you may hold about yourself
  • Don’t get blinded by praise and don’t get paralyzed by criticism

Pump up the Bass for a Power Boost

We all have our favorite feel-good songs. And like athletes warming up for a big game, we know that the right song can prime us for a better performance. But what if we told you that the way you listen to those go-to jams can make a difference as well?

Studies at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management suggest that simply boosting the bass of a song can make you feel more powerful and in control–and that those feelings persist after the song is over.

So the next time you’re getting sweaty palms over that big presentation or interview, why don’t you cue up your favorite song and boost the bass.

Let us know if it works!

Feel powerful with power poses

Feeling a bit anxious about an important meeting?

What if we told you that you can improve how people perceive and assess you simply by assuming a power pose for two minutes before a job interview, a presentation, a public speech? And what if we told you that this easy life hack not only shapes how others see you but also positively influences how you feel about yourself — down to a scientifically verifiable increase in testosterone (makes you feel more powerful) and decrease in cortisol (makes you feel less stressed).

Social scientist Amy Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School and shares research results around “power posing” and how you can use it in your professional life in this TED talk. Our verdict: 19 minutes very well spent.

Why don’t you give it a shot and let us know when you use your first Wonder Woman pose, OK?

Amy Cuddy’s TED talk was recommended in the last Leadership, Stylish interview with Kristin Luck.