Leadership and Self Doubt

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The leadership dimension I’ve identified as a weakness and area I’d like to improve upon is “Self-Knowledge and Openness to Learning”. When it comes to understanding what my limits are based on my own strengths and weaknesses, I fall short. I sometimes overestimate my own ability to perform and overextend myself, which can lead to me not meeting commitments.

I have chosen to work on my knowledge of self because it ties in to so many of the other defined leadership dimensions. Understanding who you are as a person is the foundation for any leadership action that is taken. In my post graduate career, I would like to become a serial entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs understand what their competencies are and find people that strengthen their weaknesses. A lack of understanding of my strengths and weaknesses may inhibit my success because I won’t understand the composition of competencies needed on my management team to get the job done.

I found two articles that offer me insight in what may be affecting my misperception. In my mind I am an “impostor” who finds himself “STUCC.” (The Dangers of Feeling Like a Fake, Kets De Vries, Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2005; The Perils of Outperformance: STUCC, Exline and Lobel, American Psychological Association, 1999) With each successful completion of a goal, though it makes me happy, that feeling is replaced by anxiety- I question how I made it and wonder when I’m going to fail because “there’s no way I deserve [this].” Having achieved success, those with whom I interact praise my accomplishments and make comments about my capabilities. Because I am self-deprecating, these interactions are often uncomfortable. I feel like those individuals are making an upward comparison to me, which makes me feel anxiety. The external perception that I am capable and an achiever comes into direct conflict with my own perception of me being less than capable and “just making it.” This leads me to try to take on more than I can...
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