Always seek out the seed of triumph

When you regularly entertain thoughts along the following lines ..

I can’t believe they haven’t caught on yet,
I don’t know what I’m talking about

Somebody in HR must have made a mistake when they hired me

… you may suffer from something that is known as the Impostor Phenomenon. It is better known under the more popular names “Impostor Syndrome” (IS) or “Fraud Syndrome”. It doesn’t really matter what label is used; all of them cover this phenomenon by which people who in truth are (very) intelligent and successful, harbour the strong belief they are none of these things. In fact “they are convinced they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise” (Clancy, Imes, 1978).

When suffering from IS running into adversity, especially failure, is hard because you have a difficult time putting that adversity into perspective.

You have been working really hard at not being found out as the impostor you are convinced you are. A lot of your energy is going into delivering top quality results, because you are convinced that is the only way people won’t figure out you don’t know what you’re doing.

So when you find yourself failing to do something (meet a deadline, solve a problem, understand what is being talked about in the meeting you’re in, etc.), you feel you are failing to deliver the quality everybody has come to expect of you.

That’s when the negative self-talk starts!

How could I’ve been so stupid!
Now they know that I can’t solve a simple problem, there will be nothing left for them to do but fire me

When I raise my hand to ask to explain what they are talking about, everybody will know how dumb I really am

Having suffered from IS for what likely is a long time, these thought patterns have become so ingrained in you no longer notices them. Much like riding a bicycle where after a while maintaining balance has become an entirely unconscious act, so has negative self-talk in response to adversity and failure become an unconscious act.

How to find the seed of triumph in adversity

Have you ever been in a meeting, where you didn’t understand what everyone was talking about, only to be relieved when someone else raised their hand and asked to have the subject explained to them? Did you think that person was dumb or stupid? Of course not! You may even have admired them for their courage.

You learned something important too. First, you came to understand the subject at hand. Second, you learned asking questions doesn’t make you seem dumb; rather it has you gain knowledge.

To find the seed of triumph in adversity, you can at the very least do two things:

  1. Reframe failure
  2. Keep asking questions

Reframe failure

Thomas Edison is famous for saying about the many attempts to produce a viable electric light bulb:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work

Where others saw only failure, he saw 10,000 learning experiences.

When something goes wrong or you don’t manage to hit the target you set yourself, reframe that experience and focus on what you can learn from it, on how you can grow through it. The next time you at the very least will know what not to do.

Keep asking questions

The only way to keep learning and developing yourself is to keep asking questions and gather new experiences.

So keep asking those questions! It is the best way to gain new knowledge and understanding!

#liveyourownlife #BeAMountainSeeker

Do you want to start finding those seeds of triumph, reframe failure and find out what it is others see in you? Let’s have a chat about how I can help you!

Share your thoughts below and let me know what you think. Be as specific as you can when you share your thoughts. Other people, Mountain Seekers like you, will be inspired by your ideas and actions.

Thank you for reading and adding your voice to the conversation.

As always…

Go dare greatly!