By Jacqueline Frost with Natasha Berry
In this week’s episode of Finding Your EPIC, host Jacqueline Frost sits down with Natasha Berry, Vice President, Global Inclusive Culture, Diversity, and Equity at Smith+Nephew. They discuss how we can overcome imposter syndrome and self-doubt, the relationship between performance and self-confidence, and the importance of surrounding ourselves with supportive people.
For the full conversation, Finding Your EPIC is available here.
P is for performance
The Finding Your EPIC podcast was named as such for good reason. If you’re familiar with the Elevate Talent programme, you’ll know that we follow the EPIC Formula® – Exposure, Performance, Impact and Conscious (self-awareness): the four things we need to focus on to have a successful career.
Natasha Berry is the embodiment of epic performance. With her drive to excel, Natasha is continuously motivated to perform to the very best of her ability.
But how? And what does that look like?
Focusing on the present
Natasha: “I knew that I wanted more, and I knew that it was about performance. It started out with school performance, and then as I ventured into the workplace it was about work performance – a continuous growth. There was always that hunger and that drive.”
The first nugget of wisdom that Natasha shares is to focus on the now.
As busy professionals, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the feeling that there is always something else that needs doing. An upcoming presentation, perhaps, or a project looming on the horizon. As motivated people, we might find ourselves constantly looking to the future.
But doing so means that we’re not giving our full selves to the task at hand.
Whilst it’s okay to reflect on the past and plan for the future, we mustn’t lose focus on what we’re doing right now – and how we’re doing it. If we’re not committed to the present moment, we’ll constantly be living either in the past or in the future, and won’t be leveraging our full potential in our day-to-day performance.
Your only competition is who you were yesterday
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
When it comes to performance, this is especially true. We are not in competition with anyone. The motivation behind improving our performance should not be to beat the performance given by others, but to beat the performance we ourselves gave yesterday.
Natasha: “I am always trying to beat my own pace. I had a really great leader once that said to me, ‘Whenever you leave a role, you should easily be able to say: what are the three things you left behind?’ What mark did you leave?”
Competition breeds imposter syndrome
When we’re too focused on how our performance stands up in comparison to others, we can risk running headfirst into imposter syndrome, that terrible inability to believe in our own potential and to feel undeserving of our success. No one is immune to this phenomenon – not celebrities, not presidents of huge multinational companies, and not Natasha or myself.
Natasha: “Every time a role is bestowed upon me, I have that moment – that, ‘Am I the right person? Should you leave this with me? Am I good enough? Can I really do it?’”
To Natasha, the secret to overcoming imposter syndrome is belief. Belief in your own ability to perform, and deliberately surrounding yourself with those that believe in you.
We can all be a voice of positive reinforcement for those around us. Part of great performance, especially in leadership, is about how we show up for others and lift those around us. But we have to make sure we’re doing those things for ourselves, first.