The Vicious Cycle of Self-Doubt
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
|Feb 28, 2020||4|
“There were moments when I realized I was holding myself back. I wasn’t speaking up. I saw other people who put ideas out, and they were moving ahead, and I wasn’t! And finally I just had enough. I said, ‘Okay, I’ve got to do something.’” - Beth Comstock, former GE CMO and first ever Vice Chair and author of Imagine It Forward
Lack of Enoughness is something I’ve struggled with for the majority of my life, I achieved and achieved, striving for everything society told me I needed to be successful - good grades, gold medals, Ivy league degree, Wall Street job, my own startup, venture capital… none of that actually mattered as it related to how I felt about myself.
I became especially skilled at learning how to please others, and completely useless at knowing how to please myself.
That was an entirely different beast I had to learn how to tackle. Part of that learning journey was through my Enoughness Podcast, which I created a couple years ago to interview people who had achieved (external) success, to ask them the question “When is it ever enough?” and really to find kindred spirits so I could feel less alone.
Guess what? It turns out… EVERYONE feels some degree of imposter syndrome (with the exception of the truly egomaniacal). In fact, feelings of inadequacy can arise at every stage in your career.
One day you feel great, and the next day *boom* you’re back in the vicious cycle of self-doubt
… And that’s normal.
I originally shared this week’s podcast episode on the Enoughness Podcast, but I thought it was especially important to resurface it on The GLOW Podcast, especially during this time of year, when spirits tend to dip a bit.
Despite her decades of success, Beth Comstock, Former CMO and Vice Chair of GE, admits to a lifelong struggle with painful shyness and lack of confidence. She doesn’t shy away from sharing her biggest hardships (like single motherhood) and mistakes (that nearly cost her huge promotions) either. She discusses what it means to have courage and how you can build it into your daily habits to improve your life and career.
I found this interview remarkably relatable, and I hope it also helps you feel less alone.
xo ~ Lisa Carmen Wang
P.S. I will be headed to SF this coming week (March 1-7). I’ll be keynoting at Plug & Play Ventures for International Women’s Day & would love to see you there! RSVP.
Then to LA (March 8-14). If you’re around, please feel free to reply to this message.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
How to grow from failure, and turn it into fuel for your next goal
Personal confidence exercises & the importance of saying "I don't know."
How to listen to your intuition (instead of your ego) when taking career leaps
Why it’s so important for business leaders to become better storytellers
🔥 Voices That Inspire 🔥
Reading: Letters to My Daughter, Maya Angelou
“Let's tell the truth to people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”
Watching: Be a Lady They Said, Cynthia Nixon
Be a lady they said. Don't talk too loud. Don't talk too much. Don't take up space. Don't sit like that. Don't stand like that. Don't be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don't be a bitch. Don't be so bossy. Don't be assertive. Don't overact. Don't be so emotional. Don't cry. Don't yell. Don't swear.
Playing: Money, Foxes
Money, money, money can't love you
Money can't hold you
Money can't love you
You got your gold, but when it all falls down
It's just you and your crown
🔥 Women We Admire 🔥
Meredith Levien is poised to be named as the next CEO of The New York Times. Meredith joined the newspaper publisher in 2013 and is currently the Chief Operating Officer.
Erika James was named the Dean of Wharton becoming the first first woman and African-American to lead the 139-year-old business school
Audrey Gelman for sharing a behind-the-scenes look and mea culpa on previously focusing on business growth compared to culture growth as CEO of The Wing
Sheryl O’Loughlin and Cassie Nielsen for launching the new Women on Boards project. In conjunction, Women on Boards Project is partnering with top private equity firms and an inaugural group of 20 consumer private companies to increase gender diversity and inclusion on their boards.
Adele Hanel, the Portrait of a Lady on Fire movie star, for speaking publicly this week for the first time about the lack of action following previously sharing her #MeToo experiences. She denounced the César Awards’ decision to nominate Roman Polanski’s latest film for 12 awards saying that the French equivalent to the Oscars was “spitting in the face of all victims.”
Thanks for reading,
As always, reply back with what resonates or anything else on your mind.