Written by Kristin Harrington

Imposter syndrome is a common struggle, even among accomplished leaders. The question of whether we are “good enough” can haunt us at the start of new projects, before significant meetings, or when taking on a new challenge. Despite climbing the ladder of success, imposter syndrome can linger, often intensifying with greater responsibilities.

Recently, I’ve witnessed some of my favorite leaders grapple with these insecurities, a reminder that this feeling can affect anyone. These people have high confidence, impressive resumes, and zero reason to question their talent. Interestingly, the higher you “climb” in an organization, often the greater the imposter-like feelings. All of this is to say if you’ve been feeling a bit like an imposter as of late, you’re far from alone. Every leader I support, myself included grapples with these same insecurities. And for many reasons, their prevalence in the workplace seems to be at an all-time high.

So, what can you do when imposter syndrome gets the best of you? Here are a few of my favorite tips for transitioning from insecure to confident:

Seek support from trusted colleagues. When insecurities are running high, surround yourself with positive role models. When you surround yourself with positive people, there’s no way that you will avoid experiencing their energy. They make you feel good about yourself and allow you to be confident in who you are. Plus, they’re honest with you when you need it the most. Our most valuable role models have the courage to tell us what we need to hear, and it’s not always what we want to hear. They do it in a way that lets us understand that they have our best interests at heart.

Pay attention to the narratives you tell yourself. Are you your greatest champion, or do you quit on yourself when the going gets tough? Whatever you tell yourself impacts your confidence level. You always have to build a case for yourself, not against yourself. If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you’ll quit on yourself before you try. Our thoughts have a powerful influence over our actions.

Seek out the heat. Imposter syndrome tends to flare up in moments of challenge. When we’re going big, and the stakes feel high, we question our ability to deliver or our fitness to lead. Instead of running from heat experiences that scare you, confront them head-on. The more daunting the challenge, the greater the potential for growth and positive impact. If you’re in a leadership role that feels intimidating, odds are high that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Imposter syndrome is here to stay, lurking around our greatest accomplishments and most promising opportunities. But it’s also a testament to our ambition and drive to excel. As leaders, acknowledging and embracing our moments of doubt can be transformative, leading us to seek support, refine our narratives, and confront challenges with newfound courage. Let us not see imposter syndrome as a barrier but as a catalyst for growth and a reminder of our capacity to evolve.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.