Continuing the Her Relocation series, with some of the lessons I learned working in Germany and now in the US. As I reflect, I realize that the countries I have lived and worked in have influenced my career in significant ways. My portfolio and skill set are very diverse. Which I'm now learning is one of my unique selling propositions.
Looking back, I appreciate the opportunity to have started my career in Germany and continued my journey in the US. The combination of all my experiences has helped me achieve great career success. In this blog post, I'll share some of the professional lessons I learned so far.
Lesson #1: Be culturally aware
My experience as an immigrant and working with people from diverse cultures prepared me to manage global projects. Learning from some of my negative experiences, I appreciate and respect diversity. Building inclusive teams where everyone feels valued is a priority for me.
Lesson #2: Gather knowledge and learn new skills
In Germany, I learned the value of setting a solid foundation with theoretical knowledge. Early in my career, I got a project management certification, and since then I have continued to keep my skills fresh. This has helped set me apart and prepare me for the big tasks I have worked on.
Lesson #3: Promote yourself
A valuable lesson I learned working in the US is that it is not enough to do great work - You need to talk about it. Initially, I struggled with talking about the great work I was doing. After observing my peers do an amazing job talking about their experiences, I started working on finding a way that worked for me. Honestly, I'm still learning and practicing self-promotion.
Lesson #4: Your relationship with your co-workers matters
We spend a significant amount of time with our co-workers. I learned the value of taking a proactive approach to building a relationship with my team when I moved to the US. Partly because I was a new member of the team. Spending time getting to know my team members on a more personal level helped me integrate into the team well.
Lesson #5: Move and re-invent yourself
Typically, in Germany people stay at a company for a very long time. Working in the US changed my perspective, it's ok to move around and re-invent yourself. I now see starting new jobs or changing roles as a normal part of my professional journey.
Lesson #6: Be organized and structured
Especially as a program manager, being very organized has many benefits. With everything that I juggle and manage concurrently, it is essential for me to be structured. I like to say I enjoy to bring structure to chaotic situations.
Lesson #7: Plan for flexibility
One of the most significant changes for me, when I moved to the US, was the need to adapt to changes very often. I was used to having some changes on the projects I led. However, I was not prepared for the level of flexibility I would need to accept and plan for in the US. Adaptability and agility were skills I needed to learn very quickly.
Lesson #8: Know your worth and ask for what you want
At the time when I moved to the US, I didn't feel empowered to voice my needs and ask for what I was worth. I learned valuable skills from observing others, reading books and learning how to think about myself more. The first lesson I learned was that if I don't know what I'm worth, I'll never ask for it or get what I deserve.
Lesson #9: Build your professional network/community
Since my move to the US in 2015, I have attended so many events and joined some great professional groups. Thinking back, I started questioning how I went through my career in Germany without building my network.
Lesson #10: Do good work and let your work speak for you
Doing great work is a lesson that I learned as a child. My skills were honed and refined in Germany. The quality of the work you do speaks on your behalf. I learned many valuable techniques for ensuring I did great work when I worked in Germany.
Lesson #11: Think big in your career
The concept of setting aspirational career goals was amplified in the US. Striving to do things and take steps that don't feel entirely logical was a valuable lesson I learned. Not limiting myself or being extremely logical about all of my career moves, is the only reason that I'm where I am today.
Lesson #12: Share your knowledge and expertise
Both Germany and the US have contributed to my passion for sharing my experience. I enjoy the different opportunities I have to share my knowledge and learn from others.
Call to Action
What countries have you worked in and what valuable career lessons have you learned? Please share with your community and me.
"Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room – remember that."– Chris Ducker
Personal branding has been a hot topic lately. In early 2016, I kicked off work on my personal brand. The need came from me living in a new country and having to re-introduce myself. I took a holistic approach to build my brand by covering my personal and professional brand as well. It included working on my online presence, offline activities, networking, joining groups and most importantly self-discovery.
Today, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who has tested a few personal branding strategies and is continuously learning. As a starting point, your journey will be different; these are some ideas that you could add to your list. In this blog post, I'll share top strategies I used and some tools I use to keep my brand fresh. Check out the "Great Resources" section at the end of the post for more tips to help you build your brand.
What is your personal brand/ personal branding?
Who needs to work on their personal brand?
You. Me. Everyone
Why you need a personal brand?
How to build your personal brand
Be clear on why you want to build your personal brand
As with everything we do and want to be successful at, we need to be clear on why we are working on it as well as the results we want. Building your brand takes work and requires a clear direction. When I started building my brand, my objective was to create a platform to build deeper connections, share my experiences and promote what I care about. Looking back over the three years that I've been developing my brand, I can confidently say that I have seen great results.
Tools for your Toolkit
Get to know yourself more
When I started writing this post, I reflected on the most valuable exercises I did with my life coach. Getting to know myself better was the first. Self-discovery has been a key pillar of my branding journey. For me, it all began with discovering my strengths through self-assessments. Being clear on what I'm good at, helped me frame my message when I talked about or presented myself. I also spent time getting clarity on what my values are and what I stand for. My journey to discovering myself has been very rewarding.
Tools for your Toolkit
Own your narrative and tell your story
One of the principles I heard that helped me understand the importance of my brand was "If you don't own your narrative and your story, others will own it for you." The realization that I am the best person to tell my story helped me take ownership and think about how I want to be seen or heard. Growing up in Nigeria, I was not taught the value of talking about yourself in a positive way when you present yourself to the world. After going through my learning journey, I can say that we all have unique experiences and a great story to tell.
Tools for your Toolkit
Share your knowledge and ideas that help you stand out
Your co-workers, potential teams or clients should know your expertise and what they can come to you for. Create content and showcase yourself as an expert in your field. It is very easy to start this. Be mindful of what you share as it represents you. One of the great benefits of having my blog is that I have a great way to introduce myself and what I care about. There are many ways to go about it; you can start with gathering insights on topics you care about and sharing on social media, supporting causes that you care about or sharing ideas with your community.
Tools for your Toolkit
Have a consistent message across all online and offline platforms
Does your online presence tell the same story as the one you share when you are meeting people in person? Your social media and professional platforms like LinkedIn should represent you the way you have chosen to present yourself. What you post, like, share and subscribe to, is a clear indication of where your heart is. Be intentional about what you put your name on, especially online. Imagine the great opportunity you have to associate yourself with good causes and things that help you grow.
Tools for your Toolkit
Keep learning and developing your brand
As you progress on your personal branding journey, take the opportunity to tweak and improve your presentation. Track what's working and what's not working to help define your path forward. I want to emphasize this point as it allows you to start with something small and keep expanding as you progress on your journey. Your brand is built one step at a time. This is the same approach I've been taking for the past three years.
Tools for your Toolkit
Build your community and join productive groups
Interestingly, it is in my nature to build a community and look for them. However, I never considered the importance of how my community influenced my brand and vice versa. Especially professionally and in my business, my affiliation with certain groups helped me build and grow my brand. While you search for communities, keep in mind that you want a community you can give to and gain knowledge from. Remember the people you surround yourself with are a reflection of who you are.
Tools for your Toolkit
"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."- Francis of Assisi
After the long holidays, we are all now back to work. Some of us are having a great time, while others are not happy to wake up and go to work every day. With the amount of time we spend at work, I firmly believe that we need to enjoy work more. Thinking beyond your day to day job and more about finding fulfillment on your career journey will broaden your perspective.
Studies show that about 60% of women like to set career goals for themselves and 74% of women globally in junior or middle manager level positions expressed aspirations of reaching senior or executive leadership ranks within their organization. To get desired results in your career, you need to act.
Career growth should be on your list of goals for 2019. Continuing our thoughts on what we can do for ourselves, let's prioritize growing our careers and taking action. In this blog post, we will explore ways you can ensure you get the results you want at work.
Own your career development
To continuously grow in your career, it is essential to have a career development plan. Think about what you want to achieve in your career in the short, mid and long term. It is a missed opportunity to take the approach of "let's see where my career takes me" or “ I’ll see what my company will do for me.” Take an active approach to discovering where you want to be and working towards it. Learn more practical ways to Own your career development from my previous blog post. Remember that you are responsible for building the great career you desire and that it is possible.
Talk about your work
A great way to show your value and contribution is to make your work visible. Many women I talk to struggle with talking about the great work they are doing and their unique contribution to their company. Practice sharing highlights of what you are working on at any opportunity you get at work. Share some lessons you learned and the great results you have produced. If you aspire to get more recognition for your work, start talking about your accomplishments today. Discover more ways to Celebrate your professional achievements.
Find Mentors and Sponsors
Identifying the people who can serve as advocates and support you with your career development is a great contributor to your career growth. You need a mentor who will give friendly advice, build relationships and help you improve. A sponsor, on the other hand, can support you to get to the next level and help you get ahead. In a previous blog post titled How to find professional Sponsors, I shared some practical tips that can assist you on your quest. An additional piece of advice that I would like to share; seek out mentors and sponsors way before you need them and invest time in building relationships. The more they know about you and your work, the better they can support you.
Build your network
Having a community of people who are working on developing their careers will help you propel your career. Sometimes networking sounds daunting because we think of growing a massive network of people rather than making connections with our peers and industry partners. Great ways to start building your professional network include attending events, conferences, talks, and trainings. Discover more practical tips from my blog post How to build a professional network.
Seek out new opportunities
To find fulfilling work, you may need to look outside your day to day responsibilities for new opportunities. An essential part of women's satisfaction at work comes from doing more meaningful work and having opportunities to make a difference. Seek out work that provides you some satisfaction and growth opportunities. Depending on where you work, this may be a gradual process, be patient and persistent. Explore more tips on How to take Initiative at work from my previous blog post.
Call to Action
Where do you want to go in your career? Write down 3 things you want to achieve at work over the next year and 3 more longer-term career goals. Take a step today.
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" "What's worth doing even if you fail? - Brene Brown
A few years ago, a professor shared a valuable approach to facing my fears that I had never considered before. She advised me to think about strategies I can implement when I plan on doing things I am afraid of. Previously, I had never thought about actively addressing my fears through action.
To succeed and be fulfilled in life, you need to do many things you are afraid of. If your approach is to wait until you have no fear before you take a step, you will miss some great opportunities.
Are you starting a new job or role, chasing your dreams, working towards achieving your goals, moving to a new town or country, making lifestyle changes or doing something new? This post is dedicated to you.
In this blog post, we will explore seven strategies to overcome your fear through action.
Why should you do things you are afraid of?
Strategies to overcome your fear and do things you are afraid of
Acknowledge your fear
Often, we wonder what holds us back and stops us from embracing new opportunities. The fear of failing is one of the biggest reasons why we don't achieve new and bigger goals. Think about all the opportunities you have missed because of fear. It is natural to be afraid, but it should not stop you from taking a step.
Questions to consider
Prepare yourself for the journey ahead
To get more comfortable with making a move, make time to do some research and think through what you need to want to do. The good thing about most of the things we plan to do, we are hardly the first people to do it. Take advantage of the opportunity to research what other people in a similar situation have done and talk to people around you for input.
Questions to consider
Create a plan to achieve your goals
Often when we approach the big tasks that we fear, we can't imagine how we can take action. Break down those big tasks into smaller tasks and plan them. Set milestones to help you measure your progress.
Questions to consider
Equip yourself with the right tools
Tools, tips, and techniques help us solve the challenges we face as we achieve our goals. After you have identified what you are going to do, research available tools that can simplify the tasks. Some examples of useful tools may be a calendar for planning or courses and trainings to learn new skills.
Questions to consider
Take the first step
It may sound too easy, but now that you have done some research, prepared yourself, it is time to act. Be careful not to wait for too long to make a move. The best way to overcome your fear of doing something new is to do it.
Questions to consider
Continue learning and improving
As you take a step into the unknown, it is crucial to be prepared to learn and improve continuously. Having a growth mindset will help you cross the hurdle of getting started and also get better results as you are interested in growing and learning through the process.
Questions to consider
Celebrate your achievements
Now that you have decided to do something you are afraid of, keep track of your accomplishments. Your achievement log will show you the tangible results of the move you made and serve as motivation when you start feeling discouraged.
Questions to consider
Call for Action
What is that thing you will do if you were not afraid? Challenge yourself to take action and apply the strategies above. Share with your community.
"Let no one discourage your ambitious attitude. You don't need a fan club to achieve your goals. Be your own motivation." - Mama Zara
Many times, when we talk about being motivated, we are relying on external sources to motivate us. Imagine all you could do if you made it a priority to motivate yourself. It will not only get you started faster, but self-motivation will also keep you on the ball longer.
In this post, we will explore ways to get motivated and continue being motivated as you achieve your goals.
When you are self-motivated, you are:
ambitious, self-directed, full of initiative, proactive, self-dependent, driven by oneself, a self-starter and a go-getter.
What is self-motivation?
Benefits of being self-motivated
Let's evaluate your self- motivation with the help of some reflective questions.
What excites or drives you?
Being aware of the things that motivate you is crucial. With this knowledge, you unlock the ability to seek out those motivators and experiences. It will become like fuel for your motor to power through whatever situation you are in.
What are you good at?
Appreciating your unique strengths and identifying opportunities to apply your skills will motivate you. We focus so much on our weakness and what we are not good at, which demotivates us. Focus on your strengths and celebrate your achievements.
How do you continuously check your motivation level?
Being in touch with feelings and how motivated you are at all times is essential. You will feel more motivated at times more than other times, and that is perfectly normal. Have regular check-ins with yourself.
What do you do when you don't feel motivated?
Times will come when your motivation will drop. Think of ways to increase your motivation. Personally, I find that learning something new or sharing my knowledge helps motivate me. Fighting demotivation requires you taking action.
What are you looking forward to?
With all the seriousness and responsibilities we have, it is easy to forget to have a positive outlook on life and your future. There is a lot to be hopeful for. Positivity will increase your motivation throughout your journey.
Call to Action
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated? Write your response down so you can read later on.
Happy new year to you! 2019 is finally here. Are you ready for greatness?
The start of a new year brings excitement and anticipation of the great things to come. However, it also comes with a lot of pressures and fear of the future. In preparation for your journey this year, it is important to be empowered and confident that you can make things happen for yourself.
In this blog post, we will explore a few ideas to add to your list for the year that will cost you very little and create high value. The guiding principle for most of these tips is that they help you build a strong foundation for the year, no matter what comes your way.
#1: Believe in yourself
Valuing your unique skills and abilities comes at no cost. It's free and can only be applied by one person - you. Think and speak good things about yourself and your future.
#2: Be consistent and disciplined
You will experience great success in everything you do if you apply these two simple principles. Being consistent and disciplined costs you nothing but brings great rewards.
#3: Reflect on your experiences
Think back on the past experiences and uncover those valuable lessons that will help you this year. There is a wealth of knowledge that you can derive from things that went well or not so well last year.
#4: Share your story
This tip is a new one for most of us who prefer hearing other people's stories but fail to see that our stories are unique and relevant. Last year, I learned the power of sharing my experiences with people around me. It helped me appreciate my journey even more.
#5: Be positive
Especially as we start a new year, it is crucial to have a positive outlook on the future. It is very easy to look at the months ahead and think of only challenges and issues we may encounter. Imagine the excitement you build when you are hopeful and positive about what lies ahead.
#6: Motivate yourself
You can do even greater things when you are self-motivated. Depending on people to motivate you will affect the progress you make. The ability to identify your goals, take action and stay motivated through the process will make a difference for you this year.
#7: Build your growth mindset
Be prepared to invest time and work on your personal and professional development. As a result, you will continue to grow and get better at everything you do. Believing that in life you have many learning opportunities and possibilities to grow will change your perspective on challenges you may face.
#8: Surround yourself with good people
There are many positive and negative consequences of the company we keep. In this new year, make it a point to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow and be your best self. It may be time to reconnect with people who added positivity to your life.
#9: Find and gather knowledge
These days the vast amount of learning resources that are available to us are impressive. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend classes, subscribe to newsletters and take every opportunity to learn something new. Knowledge is a tool you always want to have in your toolkit.
#10: Be kind to yourself
It's the start of a new year, and you most likely have a long list of goals for 2019. While you work on achieving your goals, remember that some things may not happen as planned. Regardless of the outcomes, give yourself permission to make mistakes, learn and grow. Also, remember to make self-care a priority this year.
Call to Action
Think about things you can do for yourself and share two things you will do for yourself in 2019.
Welcome to 2019!
After taking a two-week break over the holidays, I am looking forward to sharing more blog posts with you and expanding our community. Join me on this adventurous journey!
"Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going." - Chantal Sutherland
As I planned my final blog post of the year, I reflected on the theme of many of the previous posts this year. A resounding message I discovered was "the power to do great things lies within you." It is important to make self-belief a priority in our lives.
In this blog post, we will explore the definition of believing in yourself, signs you don't believe in yourself and five reasons why you need to believe in yourself.
What does it mean to believe in yourself?
What are signs you don't believe in yourself?
Some of the signs to look out for are:
Why should you believe in yourself?
There are many strong reasons why you need to believe in yourself. Let’s explore some of them:
Reason 1: You are the only you
We are all unique. Regardless of who you were born or grew up around, the fact is, there is no one else like you. When you start living in this truth, you'll stop comparing yourself to others and diminishing your uniqueness.
Question to consider:
Reason 2: You have a huge contribution
You have a significant contribution to make to the lives of the people around you, even though you don't always feel this way. The feeling that there's not much you can contribute is very common. When you focus on all the great things, you have to offer, your perspective on life changes.
Questions to consider:
Reason 3: If you don’t believe in yourself who will?
It is interesting that we expect people to believe in us when we don't believe in ourselves. Observe your thoughts and words about yourself. Become your biggest fan!
Questions to consider:
Reason 4: You have what it takes to be successful
Believe that you have the required skills and abilities to thrive in life. Especially when you start doubting yourself, remember that you are enough and you have the opportunity to build anything you may be missing.
Questions to consider:
Reason 5: You will go places you never expected to go
People are more attracted to you when you exude confidence. Believing in yourself is a trait that will open doors to many new opportunities and set you up for greatness.
Questions to consider:
Let's wrap up with some positive affirmations to say to yourself:
Wrapping up 2018
Thank you for being part of my journey this year. I'm looking forward to many more learning experiences in 2019.
Every year brings different experiences and learnings that enrich our lives. As you approach the final weeks of the year, it's a great time to reflect on your personal and professional experiences.
In this blog post, we'll explore ten questions to help you reflect as well as share a high-level view of my year. Get comfortable, get a cup of tea, grab your notebook and go on a reflective journey of the year 2018 - your experiences, achievements, and challenges.
How to get the most benefits during your reflection?
Let's start with a few guiding principles:
What tools can you use during your reflection?
Ten questions to help you reflect on the whole year.
#1: What was the theme of 2018?
If you were asked to summarize your year in one sentence what would it be? Write down a few sentences or phrases that come to mind and then select one after you answer the other questions.
#2: What happened this year?
You might have to spend some time on this question. Try to remember the things that happened from January to December. The primary objective is to ensure that you reflect on the year as a whole, not only snapshots in time or most recent memories. Write down every month and summarize your experiences in those months.
#3: What were your highlights of the year?
Starting from a place of gratitude provides fuel for you. Reflect on the achievements and positive experiences you had this year. Naturally, we tend to forget the positive experiences. If you need some support remembering, ask people around you or review feedback people shared with you.
#4: What did you learn this year?
Especially when we have negative experiences, it is easy to feel regret and other negative feelings. Let's reframe those experiences a little and identify what we learned about ourselves, our career and our relationships.
#5: Who were the most important contributors?
The main objective of this question is to help you identify your support community. It is essential to acknowledge and appreciate the people in our lives that contributed in one way or the other. Think about how your family, partner, friends, teammates, mentors or sponsors supported you throughout the year.
#6: Where did you let self-doubt stop you from doing something?
As you prepare for the new year, it is important to be aware of the opportunities you missed because you doubted yourself. Reflecting on these opportunities gives you a clear view of the areas where you can decide to make a change.
#7: What did you do although you were afraid?
This is one of my favorite questions. Following the previous question, reflect on the bold moves you made this year. Write down the small and big things. The objective is to remind yourself of the great things you did even though you were not confident. Congratulations you did it!
#8: What inspired or motivated you this year?
Being aware of what drove us to be our best in a year is crucial. It could be the same things that motivated you in the past or new motivators. As you plan for next year, you want to ensure that you build on these inspirations.
#9: How did you invest in yourself in 2018?
Your personal growth should always be a priority. Write down some ways you invested in yourself and promoted your growth. It could be books you read, events you attended, courses you took, new roles you accepted or self-care.
#10: How did you give back this year?
It is essential to make giving back a part of our lives. With this question, we want to summarize the times we were self-less and did something for someone else that had a positive impact.
Marie-Christin's year in summary
2018 was a year of many unexpected twists and turns.
This year has been exciting on many levels. Thinking back, I can't believe everything I did this year. My year in numbers:
I asked myself what I was most proud, the four things that came to mind were the following:
There were a lot of valuable lessons I learned from the disappointments.
Thank you for being a part of my journey in 2018!
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel back home to Nigeria. When I left Nigeria in 2001, I never expected that I would only be back twice in seventeen years. As I write this post, I still can't believe it took me so long to go back to my original home country. I spent three beautiful weeks in the country that gave me a great childhood where I lived for fifteen years.
On this trip, I spent time in Abuja and Calabar, two cities that were new to me. The primary purpose of my trip was to celebrate my friend's marriage. I experienced many firsts on this visit.
In this blog post, I'll take you on a reflective journey of my trip to Nigeria after twelve long years.
How did I prepare?
In the months coming up to the trip, we spent time thinking of small things we could do to make the trip special. We created a list of food and snacks that we wanted to enjoy. It was essential for us to reserve something fun for ourselves. I can report that we were successful with the food goals we set.
What was my first impression?
Going back, it almost felt like I was in a new country. After a very long journey with the best travel companion ever, I was very excited to be in Abuja. The airport ordeals were very familiar. The additional luggage and immigration checks we had to endure, reminded me of past experiences. Also, hearing people speak Hausa made me feel at home immediately.
What were my highlights?
Spending time with my mum as an adult was very special. Until then, I had not spent longer than a few days with my mum over the last twelve years. We learned a lot about one another. Another highlight was experiencing my friend's wedding. This was the first Nigerian wedding I was very involved with. There were many valuable lessons learned to say the least.
What surprised me the most?
Nigeria is a very different place from the country I left seventeen years ago. Globalization is very evident. It feels like almost everything is available now. Staying connected was much easier than I remembered.
What was the same?
I still felt at home with family and friends. Being able to enjoy meals with family and close friends whom I hadn't seen in many years was special. Not that I had any doubts, but the food was as amazing as I remembered. I enjoyed sugar cane, furah, waina, and some fantastic suya.
What was very different?
The last time I visited Nigeria, I was twenty years old trying to find my place in the world. On this trip, I became more aware of how my perspective of what is important to me has changed. I was able to navigate uncomfortable situations better and enjoy the small good things even more.
What did I enjoy the most?
The simplicity of life in Nigeria was a welcome break from my life now. Partly because I was on vacation and not working, everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I was constantly reminded of the importance of enjoying life and being present in the moment.
What didn't go so well?
The story won’t be complete if I don’t mention the not so good things I witnessed during my visit. The main thing I didn't enjoy was the pressure to be married. Especially from extended family members, I met. There was detailed questioning about when I was going to get married. I attempted to redirect questions to share the fact that I was happy with where I was in life and very successful. I'm hopeful that we can change the view of what the vision of success is for a Nigerian woman.
What do I wish I did?
The two and a half weeks I spent went by too quickly. I would have loved to visit Kaduna, the city I grew up in. That's definitely on my list for my next visit with my sister. Hopefully, my next trip would be in less than twelve years :)
What was the most embarrassing experience?
There was a common theme of these moments. Meeting people who knew me but I could not recognize them or remember their names. Am I the only one who doesn’t recall everyone they met more than seventeen years ago?
What was my most significant learning?
On this trip, I was reminded of the importance of the people in our lives. I enjoyed reconnecting with people I haven't seen in many years and building new memories with my special companion.
In my recent blog post How growing up in Nigeria prepared me for life, I summarized the top 10 principles Nigeria taught me that prepared me for life. Let's wrap this post with the principles that were confirmed on my trip
Read more of my journey as part of the "Her Relocation" series.
“There are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.” - Sheryl Sandberg
Over the last weeks, I have been pondering on my struggle to accept that my success is earned and that I deserve to be where I am today. I had heard of the "imposter syndrome," but I didn't think that was what I was experiencing. I started digging deeper into this exciting topic and learned great insights that I would like to share. Especially as we prepare for the greatness that lies ahead of us, it is essential to be equipped to overcome imposter syndrome.
This blog post is written from the perspective of someone who suffers from Imposter syndrome wanting to help others like me. We will explore the definition, signs as well as tips to overcome imposter syndrome. For some useful resources to equip yourself, refer to the "Great Resources" section. We can only take our place in this world and enjoy where we are when we accept that we deserve the good things.
What does Imposter syndrome mean?
How to tell if you have imposter syndrome?
How to overcome Imposter syndrome
Tip 1: Own your accomplishments
You did it! We need to get into the habit of celebrating our accomplishments. Growing up in Nigeria, people were often labeled as proud or pompous if they spoke about their achievements. This is something I have been working very hard at unlearning. Feeling a sense of accomplishments is needed for healthy self-esteem. Focus on what you have accomplished and not what you expect to have achieved. I have come to value my accomplishment log as it helps remind me of all that I have accomplished when I start doubting myself.
Tip 2: Stop comparing yourself to others
When we start doubting ourselves and our accomplishments, the first place we go is to start comparing ourselves to others. We tend to view other's success as more significant, or think they are more deserving than we are. Your accomplishments are significant and deserve to be acknowledged. Stop trying to lessen the impact of the work you put in.
Tip 3: Find mentors and a support group
It is important to get comfortable talking to people you trust about your feelings. Sharing your insecurities can be an essential step to overcoming your imposter syndrome. There are many women out there like you doubting themselves. Imagine the strength we can find in confiding in trusted people and accepting their commitment to support us on our journey. Also, surrounding yourself with other people who are comfortable with celebrating their accomplishments will begin to rub off on you.
Tip 4: Accept positive feedback
Are you that person that can't take a compliment or positive feedback? Do you find yourself thinking people feel obliged to compliment you and don't mean it? Hearing people confirm your accomplishments and embodying it helps overcome imposter syndrome. It is often much easier for us to accept negative feedback than positive because we don't feel like we deserve the kind words people say to us. If you are tempted to shoot down a compliment, remember you earned it.
Tip 5: Think about set-backs differently
When we experience some setbacks, it might be easy to beat ourselves up and doubt our previous successes. Will you be where you are today if you didn't face some failures along the way? Seeing setbacks that you face as learning experiences and not the end of your story will help you bounce back and feel confident again.
Tip 6: Keep working on it
It takes continuous work and effort to overcome imposter syndrome. As you experience more success in life, you may have even more self-doubt. Remember the techniques that work for you and get to work. Keep aspiring for more and exploring new ways to celebrate your accomplishments.