In this time of unprecedented global concern, amid a scary virus that leaves no country untouched, we’re facing change. It feels like everything is standing still, including time. I’m always asking, “What day is today?” because all my days feel the same. Do you do that too?
I’m actually kinda shocked how normal this feels. I’ve settled into a weird “nothingness.” I’ve worked from home for years, but this new routine of not going out, not seeing friends, and not traveling for business is my new normal. I’m lulled into thinking it won’t change.
But it won’t last. Change is coming. Are you fearful? Or are you fearless?
As of this writing, more than 5.25 million people applied for unemployment. In my circle of professional speaker friends, many are reinventing and rebranding to add virtual programs to their offerings (I did!) because every single live speaking engagement was canceled almost overnight. Stores and restaurants are closed, some possibly forever. Daily headlines are filled with dire news of layoffs. The stock market is in a bi-polar free for all, bouncing up and down all day, every day.
Change is being thrust upon us. And we need to be ready to respond. Today.
If you’re a person who self-identifies as one with Impostor Syndrome, be aware that your fraud fears may be on high alert soon. The voice of the Impostor is loudest and cruelest during times of transition, such as a job change, a new assignment, or a total industry overhaul. The fear is that your pre-change skills won’t meet the post-change demands. Or that your pre-change habits won’t work in the post-change setting. Or that the pre-change corporate structure will be flattened with post-change restructuring. You may find yourself in a new assignment. Or with a new company. Or in a remote work setting. Or assigned to a new boss. Or looking for a new job.
Change is the spark that sets the Impostor Syndrome fire ablaze.
Your challenge is to extinguish this fire.
Your skills alone will not get you through this fear, but your character will. Are you resilient, resourceful, optimistic, curious, steadfast, patient, considerate, open-minded, collaborative, dependable, creative? Chances are, you are all of these in some measure. You didn’t get to your current level of success without a good dose of these, plus more.
These elements demolish fraud fears. Drawing on your character traits can be profoundly more beneficial and rewarding than relying solely on skills. In her book “Presence,” author Amy Cuddy defines “personal power” as “access to and control of limitless inner resources, such as our skills and abilities, our deeply held values, our true personalities, our boldest selves…it makes us more open, optimistic and risk-tolerant, therefore more likely to notice and take advantage of opportunities.”
In times of uncertainty and change, character matters. A lot. No matter what day it is.
The time for noticing and taking advantage of opportunities is now. As we emerge from this crazy virus time, your character qualities will be the single most significant factor in how you respond, rebound and refocus. If you are facing fraud fears in the face of change, then take a step back. Remind yourself of your high and noble character qualities. Recognize those qualities that got you where you are. And draw on those same ones to propel you through transition and uncertainty. You’ve got this. Even if you don’t know that today is Friday.