Build Your Confidence and Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Polly Robinson

Polly Robinson Coach

Premium Supplier 17th October 2023
Polly Robinson

Polly Robinson Coach

Premium Supplier

Build Your Confidence and Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Personal and business success goes hand-in-hand with confidence.

Confidence is the foundation of leadership - it’s the fuel that drives us forward. Self-confidence is the key to unlocking your potential. Leaders are role models. They are the glue that sticks the team together, to inspire them daily and to support them when the going gets tough. 

Confidence is contagious and so is a lack of confidence. Before expecting your team to believe in you, you must first believe in yourself. A confident leader binds a team together, fostering collective growth and individual development, driving the business forward. 

The good news is confidence comes through experience, and you can cultivate it. 


Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think of us.
Many people admit to experiencing Imposter Syndrome - that fear that we don’t deserve or haven’t got the experience to be in the job or position we are in and that at any moment we’re going to be found out. We’re in good company - some of the most well-known business leaders have admitted to feeling like a fraud. Imposter Syndrome affects both women and men too and leads to low self-esteem, anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination, fear of delegation and working extra hard to compensate for what we feel we’re lacking. 

The first step to building self-confidence and overcoming imposter syndrome is to build self-awareness and self-belief. Confidence stems from recognising your unique strengths and qualities. Celebrate your accomplishments, give yourself a pat on the back, and acknowledge your abilities. Ownership of your abilities begins with acknowledging them

Develop self-awareness of your emotions - acknowledge and express how you are feeling. Become aware of your values, what motivates you as well as any triggers, that might wind you up.

Remain true to yourself and your values - don’t feel you have to conform or be someone you are not. When you feel you have to hide your values or beliefs in order to fit into what you believe is expected of you, it will cause frustration and stress. Authenticity empowers you to express your opinions convincingly. You will feel more fulfilled and happy at work and you will inspire trust and loyalty from those around you.

We tend to be our own harshest critic so listen to your inner voice, that voice inside your head with judges, criticises and nags at you. We all have one, it’s completely normal! 

Start by tuning into your inner critic, and listen to what it’s telling you. Then distance yourself from it. Just writing down or speaking out loud what it’s saying can help to create distance. 

Next, develop your own inner champion - don’t dwell on past failures or self-doubts, instead reframe them, look for the lessons learned and towards the future.

Seeking out and listening to feedback is one of the best ways to grow and build self-awareness. Being open to feedback is not only a sign of self-confidence, but it also helps to build it.

Ask colleagues, friends and family and be prepared to listen, reflect and act on it. If you face criticism, stay calm, clarify anything you don’t understand, acknowledge the truthful elements and work on what needs to change.

There is a curious, and very British, tendency to shrug off compliments and to be self-deprecating. When someone praises us, it’s easy to shrug it off, “say well I didn’t do anything special, it wasn’t me, it was the team.” You are probably smiling to yourself in recognition as you read this!

Start to take compliments on board. Remember them for a day when you might need a boost.

Practice speaking to others positively and praising them will boost your mood as well as theirs.

Surround yourself with mentors, colleagues, and friends who believe in you and your potential. Connect with other successful people - they will inspire you - seek out their insights and advice.

Effective communication is key to being a confident leader and building trust with your team. Know when you need to speak and when to listen Be transparent and clear in your communication 

Actively listen to your staff, ask for their opinions, ideas, challenges and feedback.

A lack of confidence causes us to over-commit. Be realistic about your time management and remember that it's OK to say no sometimes or delegate when necessary.


Let go of perfectionism and trust your team to get on with their jobs. Learn to ask for help. It’s ok to admit that you can’t pull it all off by yourself - delegate tasks or seek out an expert.

Recognise you can't always stay within your comfort zone and that personal and business growth involves embracing challenging experiences and taking calculated risks. Recognise discomfort and seek support when you need it.

When making decisions embrace ambiguity - there are no right answers. Gather all the information that you can, and make an informed decision. Sometimes all you can do is trust your instinct. Once you’ve made a decision, commit to it and follow through.

If you find this hard then focus on the end goal, try mental rehearsals for difficult situations and push yourself forward.

Learn to live with failure - we’re all human, we all make mistakes. Set-backs are an opportunity to learn and grow and failure teaches us resilience and determination. 
Showing that we can learn from mistakes and find solutions will inspire team members to do the same.

When you hold a confident posture, standing straight, shoulders back, breathing deeply - you not only LOOK but also FEEL more confident. Adopting a ‘power pose’ even if you’re not really feeling it will give you a boost. Show courage even if you don’t feel it on the inside. 

Simply smiling can improve your mood, lower stress and increase happiness.

A healthy body and mind are essential for self-confidence. Maintain a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise, and spend time outdoors. 

When you feel under pressure, pause to ground yourself, and breathe.

Sometimes we’re so busy in the day-to-day that we don’t pause to reflect or acknowledge what we’ve achieved individually or as a team. Take a moment to recognise the positives, however small.

We don’t need to climb a mountain, sometimes we’re just taking small steps up it and that’s enough!

No one can teach you to be more confident, it comes through experience and believing that you will get better through practice. 

Develop a Growth Mindset - reflect on what you’ve learned, your contributions and what you can do differently in the future.

Remember confidence comes from within, from self-awareness, self-compassion, authenticity, courage, and curiosity. 

By practising these tips, you can nurture self-confidence that will benefit you in all aspects of your life. 

Finally, a much-quoted mantra from American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie:
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” 

Polly is a leadership coach and trainer dedicated to assisting hospitality managers in becoming more confident leaders and fostering engaged teams. 

For more information on Polly's online workshops, tailored in-person programs, and one-on-one coaching, visit: 

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