Acting As If and Imposter Syndrome
At some point in our career, each of us feels like we’re going to get the tap on the shoulder to tell us that the game is up.
They’re finally onto us…nice try but we’ll take it from here. Imposter Syndrome.
But where does Acting “As if” fit into this, and is it the same as “Fake it til you make it”?
For me, Imposter Syndrome happens when our view of our capability is less than our actual capability or that which is required of us to do a good job in a role. If we’re accurate about our actual lack of capability that causes us to be less than is required of us in a role, it’s not Imposter Syndrome, it’s that we’re in over our heads and unless support is provided, we’re not going to be able to fulfill the role to the degree it needs to be and our results will speak for themselves.
I wanted to talk through the art of becoming more you, rather than becoming someone else. By this I mean becoming a more enlightened, wiser, more skilled and experienced you, over trying to be someone else entirely. An improved version of you.
This is where goals can help us, and we need to have a clear vision of the person who has achieved that goal: what does that version of us look like/act like/sound like/think like who has achieved that goal? And we work backwards from that with daily habits that enable us to embody that better version and in the process, achieve our goal. This is what I mean when I talk about Acting As If. I don’t propose faking anything. Mean everything you do. Be deliberate and real. Struggle but continue. Move beyond the struggle but be real about it rather than pretend it isn’t there. What action can get you to the other side of the struggle?
Before I show you how this applies to sales, let’s take an example we see on the TV a lot: weight loss programs where you see people that have lost the equivalent of small children in weight and size.
They set themselves the challenge of a weight target to achieve but if losing weight was their entire focus, we may see them unable to sustain their new weight once it has been achieved because it’s not just the outcome. It’s what it makes them in the process of reaching that target as a result of overcoming the challenges that have held them back before. And in the journey, they get to know themselves in a way they were unable to previously.
These people have undergone a significant transformation in the way they ARE on a DAILY basis. Each day, it’s the little things they began to make a part of their routine that enabled them to continue to lose the weight. It’s a process of becoming that person who is 37kg lighter. How does that person view themselves? What food does that person like to eat? What does that person say to themselves and others? How does that person dress? What does that person do for exercise and what attitude do they have toward it? What is the first thing that person does on waking? What about before bed each night? Now, it’s incremental improvements/shifts that consistently applied on a daily basis that brings us that new reality: while the 37kg lighter person may end their day with a 5km run, on day one of the new way forward it might be 100 metres, but it’s a run every day. The 37kg lighter person may wear figure hugging shirts but day one might just mean wearing something that makes you feel attractive. Small actions applied daily, consistently.
Think for a moment of a time when you went after something you really wanted but there was still a part of you that was unsure if you’d actually attain it. Now, look back on the person you were at the start of that journey and the person you became as a result. What behaviours did you employ? What new disciplines did you undertake? How did it impact your belief about yourself and what is possible for you?
Goals requires us to develop, to discover about our characters and limitations. Their benefit is as much in the process as it is in the attainment. Every time we go through the process of goal/achievement/goal/achievement we learn something about ourselves that we didn’t know before. Self knowledge is endless but it changes how we show up in the world.
So to sales. Think about the goal you’ve set for yourself beyond the one set for you by your leader or company. What does the person who’s already achieved it do every single day? What does their morning look like? How do they speak with clients? What do they do well and consistently with clients, their networks their internal clients? What do they seek to know? What do they make sure they achieve each day that lets them know they’re making progress?
I’d love to see your experiences. Indeed, it would make my year to be able to share them. Please email me your own transformation experiences here (sales or non sales) and let me know if you’re happy for me to share them with TSD community.