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Capable women suffer the impostor Syndrome, are you one of them?

What is the Impostor Syndrome and why capable woman suffer from it? LatinaVIDA just nails it with these simple but powerful ways to change your fears into good habits that will give you confidence and trust in your self-worth.

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“You can have all the confidence in the world and still be reluctant to self-promote out of a steadfast belief that a person’s work should speak for itself. It doesn’t.” 
― Valerie Young

  • Do you suffer from a fear that somehow others might see you as less than capable for your job?
  • Are you often thinking that others see through your achievements to an inadequate set of skills?
  • Do you panic that you might get questioned about your qualifications–even though you’ve been doing the job for years?

There’s a name for this and it’s called The Impostor Syndrome.

While this general anxiety can strike anyone at different times in their career–especially high achievers–it is women and particularly women of color that are more prone to these ruminations and self-doubt.

It means that despite having completed degrees, received awards or achieving key milestones in your professional role–somehow you have not integrated these achievements with your sense of self.

The net result of Impostor Syndrome is that you may limit what you seek to do or speak less favorably about your potential. Suffer no more!

Uno, dos y tres.  Let’s do this con ganas!

Monitor the Self Talk 

The Impostor speaks loudly–in your head!  We all process events and circumstances around us and often label them in an endless range of dimensions: good/bad, strong/weak, focused/scattered.  Keep a journal of what you say to yourself about your workday or your achievements and look for patterns. Based on what you see, you may need to reframe those thoughts and develop affirmations, mantras or simple reminders to paint a more accurate picture of yourself. “I am strong, wise and ready to achieve more”,  “I’ve got what it takes to rock this day.” Write this down now or say it out loud now and notice the impact it gives you.

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Expand your view of self-worth beyond the role you play at work

It’s easy at certain times in your career to center just on your workplace achievements to the exclusion of all else.  If you’ve not spent much time with friends or family because of a grueling work project, that may be one reason that work seems to overshadow all other aspects of your view of your whole self.  Get to your friends and trusted advisors to hear a more balanced view of your strengths. Ask others to highlight for you what you do well, your superpowers, and your strengths. A little bit of pampering with your BFFs goes a long way to reframe your views that you are successful at many things.

empathy in the workplace

Work with a Performance Coach

The hard work of succeeding as a professional accountant, lawyer, therapist, marketing analyst, engineer, physician, project manager–enter your job here–is no different than being an athlete.  Training for a marathon is both physical and mental. It may be wise to sit down with a coach who can listen to what triggers your self-doubt or your negative messages and learn new ways to redirect those thoughts and build your confidence in new ways.

empathy in the workplace 3 impostor syndrome

That’s it.

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How to become an influencer and advance your business

I was recently asked by an acquaintance to provide the “secret” to becoming an influencer within a community. I responded that while I consider myself a big fish in a very small pond, the process that I follow can scale and provide big fish in a big pond results.

Pope-Francis-Catholic-Church-of-England-and-Wales-CC influencer

Pope Frances, one of the greatest influencers of our times.

The following are the six steps that I have found to be effective in creating influence within a community. I believe that anyone can follow these steps to begin their journey towards becoming an influencer:

1. Determine the industry/segment in which you wish to become an influencer:

There’s a difference between being famous and being an influencer. O.J. Simpson was and continues to be famous. Better yet, infamous. John Wooden was an influencer. In the sports industry today who do you think is more successful in influencing the community – even posthumously? Wooden, of course. Influencers must choose a community upon which they will focus and serve. They must respect that community and the community must have no reason to disrespect them. While future influencers need not be experts in community matters, they must eventually evolve into subject matter experts before they earn influencer status.

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2. Create content that demonstrates your thought leadership and expertise:

Influencers within any community/industry generally have expert knowledge of matters within their domain. The masses listen and act on the advice of influencers specifically because they are experts. Whether their expertise relates to accounting, art or lipstick, influencers are perceived as being subject matter experts. Individuals seeking influencer status must demonstrate their mastery to the community/industry. In today’s content driven world this means that expertise should be evidenced in one or more content formats, including but not limited to, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, podcasts or any other form of content that is preferred by the community. Expertise and thought leadership must come through clearly in order for the community to adopt the individual as an influencer.

3. Develop public relations to put a face to the name:

Something I continually tell attendees at my workshops is that people do business with people. And people are influenced by people. While the Internet, social media and its many forms of content are essential, at the very core we want human interaction. Individuals seeking tocreatetheirplaceintheinfluencer Hall of Fame must ensure that they walk away from their computer screens and actually meet the community they are looking to serve. Through speaking engagements, networking functions and other face-to-face interactions influencers-in-process can help generate needed buzz from those individuals that read the book or saw the video or heard the podcast and have now put a face with a name. Big time influencers will tell you that it is not possible to meet the entire community or respond to every email, tweet or message. But they will also tell you that they invest time interacting as much as possible.


Photo credits (Top L to Bottom R) Susana G Baumann at Univision 41 Studios; Susana with Yvonne Garcia, ALPFA National Chair; Susana with Nina Vacca, CEO Pinnacle Group and Pres Emeritus US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Susana with the NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

4. Build your list:

One of the most valuable investments an influencer can make is to sign up for an account with Mailchimp, Constant Contact or some other email program. Consideration should be given to capturing contact information with the release of every piece of content. Show me a successful influencer and I will show you an effective contact database. In today’s social media world it is also important to develop followings in-platform. This means growing connections, likes, followers, etc. Both email lists and social media platforms are essential to the distribution of content that reinforces influencer status as well as grows influence through sharing.

5. Create collaborations/partnerships:

The biggest mistake an influencer-in-training can make is assume that he/she must do it all alone. In today’s democratized world where a dishwasher has as much of a chance of being an influencer as a billionaire, there are many opportunities for collaboration. Something that my Two Men In Your Business co-host Aaron M. Sanchez and I do frequently with our workshops is to bring in others with an expertise that fits our program. We promote those individuals to our following and they do the same with theirs resulting in greater reach and broader influence. The concept of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours is an effective tool for developing influence.

Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latina in politics, with Susana G Baumann, at Hispanicize 2015.

Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latinas in politics, with Susana G Baumann, at Hispanicize 2015.

6. Remain active and innovative: 

The first five steps above represent the tactics necessary to establish oneself as an influencer. However, in order to remain successful the tactics must be consistently applied and revised based on feedback. An influencer is not a state – it is a way of life. Successful influencers are consistently seeking new ways to grow their community, new approaches to deliver content, new presentations of old content and the development of new content and ideas.

Using these six tactics will allow anyone to develop into an influencer. I credit my big fish in a small pond success to these tactics. Perhaps it’s time to move to a bigger pond!


Jesse Torres has been named to the list of the Top 20 Most Influential Community Bankers in Social Media. The title was bestowed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.