What Is the One Thing I Can Do to Seem More Confident Around Powerful People?
This is one of the most popular questions we get here at Change Creator. With all the major influencers out there, it can be quite intimidating to start a business, a movement — or both.
A lot of you have told us that you feel you suffer from impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. (Definition from Wikepedia.)
Impostor syndrome should never hold you back from making the world a better place, from starting that business that you are deeply passionate about, or from getting out there and starting a movement.
We’ve all had those moments of doubt and insecurities. All of us have been there, but you know what? We all had to start somewhere too.
Let’s face it. Life is an exciting adventure, right? You never have to stop learning if you don’t want to.
If you want to, you can enjoy every bumpy adventure along the way in your journey, including those times when you feel like a full-fledged imposter.
If you don’t want to feel like an amateur (even, if by definition, you are), what is the one thing you can do to seem more confident around powerful people?
The answer is simple:
Curiosity is the one trait that I see in every, single big-time success story.
If you want to mix and mingle with the ‘big wigs’, just be curious. Ask questions! Be genuinely curious in what they are doing instead of rushing in to brag about the work you are doing!
A genuine curiosity will take you far in life. Don’t just take this advice from me, this shit is the real deal. In fact, Dale Carnegie talks about this principle in his classic, powerful book: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
My dad made me read this book when I was 12. Yes, 12. Thanks, dad! I have probably re-read it a dozen times since. It is a true classic. One of the principles Carnegie talks about is the art of conversations (often with super powerful people). His advice is to let them talk more than you talk. People will go away feeling that you really listened to them, that you had an amazing conversation if you just let them talk about what they got going on.
I would add, don’t just listen. Be curious. Ask questions. Ask advice. Don’t be afraid that you will look naive, or underqualified — your genuine curiosity will overcome that anyway.
Let’s face it. We all start somewhere. If you are not where you want to be in life, that’s okay. You can get there. Building solid relationships with others is vital. Sometimes you’ll be in a room with some serious heavy-hitters. You can overcome that feeling of dread, and inadequacy with one genuine moment of curiosity.
So get out there folks! You can do it!