It’s a golden oldie, The Great Pretender by the Platters
Are you a fundraising leader who wakes up some days saying to yourself, I am “The Great Pretender?” Do you ever think that today might be the day that the university president, a top donor, or a member of my staff will call me out as a fake, a fraud, an impostor?
Impostor Syndrome is more common than we might think, and it may surprise some to know that it affects both male and female leaders. In the article How to Master Your Brain to Overcome Impostor Syndrome (Fast Company, 2/27/17)
Michael Grothaus chronicles the struggles that some leaders have faced and offers concrete steps for addressing what can become a career crippling crisis of confidence. The steps offered for addressing Impostor Syndrome focus on mind over matter, or put another way, that what you think about yourself matters.
An interesting way to reaffirm the value that you bring might be to think if yourself as a bit like George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If you’ve not seen the film, George (played by Jimmy Stewart) suffers a crisis and begins to doubt his value to the world. An angel appears and guides George through a review of his life from his youth through current times, offering affirmation regarding the many lives and the great good that George brought about as a result of sometimes small acts.
You have the capacity to be your own angel — think back on programs, projects, or scholarships for which you helped to raise funds and the countless lives those gifts will impact. Reflect on staff members whom you have mentored who are raising funds to change and save more lives. While you would never take full credit for their accomplishments, allow yourself to realize that you played some role in paving the way for their success.
In what ways do you remind yourself that yes, you are a skilled professional who brings value to your organization and those you serve? We welcome hearing from you because we can all learn from one another.