How to Banish your Imposter and Get Your Dream Career

To get, and thrive in, your dream career, you need three things:

  • self-awareness: knowing what makes you happy, what drags you down, areas of strength and areas for growth;

  • self-empowerment: having an internal cheerleader (rather than an inner critic) and overcoming those limiting belief

  • self-fulfilment: having a PLAN! Knowing what you want to achieve, and how to get there - with balance, and without stress.

Over the last few weeks my blog has covered Pillars one and two, and today it’s the turn of the third Pillar, self-fulfilment.

Why you need to dream BIG

We all know:

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

But if you don’t even have a goal, you are just travelling blind, with no idea of where you’re going.

This is not an effective way to get the career of your dreams!

So it’s vitally important that we work together to help you clarify your end goal:

where do you ultimately want to get to in your career? 🤔

Too often that critical Imposter voice in our heads (as discussed last week) kills these seeds of ambition before they have time to sprout.

But once you’re freed of that voice, you can allow yourself to dream BIG.

And that is the first step.

I have a portfolio of tools and techniques I use to help you with this, honed during the last two years of helping people define their ideal future career.

For example, my guided career visualisation which is extremely powerful: it bypasses your logical (and sometimes critical) mind to tap directly into your unconscious, and ask it what the answer is.

So often this is the first time clients are giving themselves permission to listen to that voice inside them - and it is incredibly enlightening, once they do… 💖

Then, once we’ve got that end goal, we can work to reverse engineer it to help you get there.

How you create a Plan

There are a number of different ways I can help you plan to get your desired career, but I will describe one exercise here: gap analysis.

Once you have tackled that Imposter voice, and have the confidence to go for your dreams…

🔶 Find a job description for your dream role that you will have achieved by the end of your career.

🔶 Break it down: what kinds of skills and experience does that you in the future, doing that job, have, and to what level?

🔶 Then compare: how far do you currently fit these right now? Where are your major areas of fit, and the major gaps?

🔶 Finally, plot how to fill those gaps.

If that future career you is expert in a particular knowledge area, how are you going to get that? Through study, through particular roles?

If that future career you is a highly-experienced manager of large teams, how are you going to be able to demonstrate you can do that? Which roles do you need to undertake as stepping stones to get you to your desired end career?

Once you look at this systematically, it makes career planning so much easier!

It is so important that you have tapped into your Naked Confidence before you do this exercise.

Without that, you will doubt your abilities, see the gaps as being MUCH bigger than they are, and refuse to believe that you can find ways to plug them.

I describe it to clients as like looking in a Fun House Mirror.

The picture you see will be severely distorted by your Imposter Syndrome, so you won’t get a true reflection of your skills and abilities.

But once you have banished that Imposter and built your Naked Confidence through our work in the first two pillars, you are ready to accurately reflect on yourself and your skills, and plan for your dream future!

How to work "with the grain" to deliver your Plan

Defining a goal and making a plan is only part of the equation. Being able to DELIVER that plan is crucial.

I have worked extensively with clients helping them do this.

I help clients understand their natural tendencies when it comes to productivity and efficiency, and then to plan their work delivery using these (rather than fighting against them to try to become something they’re not).

I call this “working with the grain”.

Anyone can become efficient and effective: the power of neuroplasticity means you can create new neural pathways to help you achieve anything.

But you will also find it easier to create and sustain these new habits if they are comfortable for you, rather than a stretch.

So for example, one priority I work on is helping clients define their “Deep Work” time.

This is an incredibly powerful idea from Cal Newport (described in the book of that name).

In this modern knowledge economy, our value is shaped by the degree to which we can do quality thinking (what Newport calls “Deep Work”).

This requires sufficient blocks of time (you can’t do Deep Work in 20 minutes because you don’t have time to go “deep” enough); and it needs to be time without distraction (the ever-pinging inbox destroys your “deep” trains of thought).

This can be hard with Imposter Syndrome:

❌ you are so busy proving yourself to everyone else, that you don’t give yourself space to do this Deep Work.