Last week, I had the good fortune to speak to an amazing group of smart women at the Success Summit and Expo here in Los Angeles. As a speaker, you hope to present an idea or concept that will provide value to a group, although you never really know until you actually see how the audience reacts if you’ve chosen something worthwhile.

Well, I’ll share with you that one of my points hit home with many of the women in the room. I could see eyes wide open and heads nodding. Are you curious about what it might be?

It’s called Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is well-known. It actually has its own definition in Wikipedia. Many successful people (yes, presidents and thought-leaders of the world) have suffered with this syndrome which can stop you in your tracks and keep you from realizing the success you deserve.

When it comes to your business, have you ever felt:

Uncomfortable being the authority?
Unqualified to be called an expert?
Like a fraud?

I know I have. I remember a particular situation where I was preparing to speak to a crowd of 450 women and I began to feel my own Imposter Syndrome creeping in. It started when the AV guy was running his hand up my blouse to connect the lavaliere and the event host was reading my bio from the stage – not a good time to allow the Imposter Syndrome to get my attention! In that moment, I was questioning my own authority about speaking to such a large group of women. It happens to everyone who chooses a path of growth, personal development and success. It usually rears its ugly head when you are just about to step fully into the next phase of your success – your feminine leadership path.

Here’s the truth: You’ve got to overcome Imposter Syndrome if you are to reach your true potential in your business. Allowing this syndrome to take center stage while you hide out waiting for it to magically disappear will never work. Hiding out allows you to play small and keeps you from achieving your own brand of brilliance. Here are a few tips and solutions that work for me:

1. Rave Reviews – Keep a folder in your desk drawer for rave reviews that clients have sent you about how your product or service has changed or transformed their life. Every time I feel the Imposter Syndrome rearing its ugly head, I reach for my file and it always re-assures me that I’m ready for what’s next in my life and business.

2. Grab a Life Raft – Surround yourself with people who champion you. Keep those people on speed dial when you need a quick boost of belief that you are on the right track.

3. Challenge Yourself – Seek out and accept invitations out of your comfort zone. For example, if you know public speaking could help you expand your reach and grow your business more quickly, call some event hosts and ask if they are in need of speakers.

The women in the room that day were smiling and nodding because each of them knew only too well what Imposter Syndrome feels like. Someone asked, “Joy, when was the last time you felt this syndrome – can you remember?” My reply? “Yes, at 7 am this morning before I came downstairs to speak to you. : -)” This syndrome lives within all of us. Acknowledge that it’s there and use the tips I shared with you today to stop hiding from your own success and step into your own brand of feminine leadership.

Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.

© 2012 Joy Chudacoff

Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur.  She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs.  If you’re ready take your life and your business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report and FREE MP3 now at Profits With Passion.