While I decided not to watch the confirmation of Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson, I have been thinking a lot about the buzz and social commentary around this historical event. One of the conversations that’s come up is around imposter syndrome or internalized incompetence, something I’ve seen many professional women – and especially Black women – struggle with (including myself).
If you’re not familiar with the term, internalized incompetence is this notion we have of ourselves that we’re not qualified or “ready enough” to take on professional or personal opportunities, despite being highly qualified. Internalized incompetence often stems from negative or even traumatic personal experiences or from believing the (often unfounded) perceptions others have of us to the point where they become the stories we use to define ourselves.
If left to run rampant, internalized incompetence can negatively impact the way you show up in every aspect of your business, from sales calls to the marketing content you write to how you connect with clients. As part of your Spring Cleaning, I encourage you to dump those toxic mindsets and define a new, empowering personal narrative.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Identify negative thoughts. When experiencing internalized incompetence, our negative or even harmful thoughts have become so ingrained in our day-to-day perception of ourselves that it can be hard to identify them in the first place. Take some time to sit down and really think about your mindset. Where are these negative thoughts coming up for me? What’s causing them? The first step to addressing these thoughts is to recognize them.
2. Realize what you’re experiencing is normal. Internalized incompetence or imposter syndrome is very common. I’m here to remind you that you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. These feelings can have major impact on your personal and professional success, so it’s important to validate them.
3. Don’t be afraid to reach out for additional support. I’ve said it time and time again, but having a network is invaluable. A trusted group of friends or professional peers will make it easier to get through the tough times, offering perspective, empathy, and support. Facing your internalized incompetence can dig up trauma, so I encourage you to seek out professional support if you need it, too.
Negative mindset around your sales conversations? Unhelpful or toxic thoughts are a big part of what we’ll address in our next Tighten Up Your Sales Game session. Register today!