How do you find belonging within yourself? Listen in as we talk to former attorney now CEO of GenLead|Belong Lab, Neha Sampat. She helps organizations create belonging so each individual can bring their true invested self. Neha also defines for us imposter syndrome and how to bust through it.
Neha Sampat, Esq. is CEO and founder of GenLead|BelongLab, where she focuses on building belonging and true inclusion. Through consulting, training, speaking, and writing, she helps organizations create peak‐performance, inclusive teams by addressing hidden barriers to belonging, such as internalized bias, unconscious bias, distrust in teams, and wellness challenges. She is a nationally sought-after expert on inclusive leadership and disrupting Imposter Syndrome, and she runs the top-rated “Owning Your Value” programs to cultivate evidence-based confidence and nurture authenticity.
Belonging and Imposter Syndrome as the Center of the work
She had experienced challenges of belonging and imposter syndrome growing up. She knew the difficulty of struggling with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. She defines imposter syndrome as that feeling you’re not cut out for the work you’re doing combined with the fear others will discover you are a fraud. She did not experience full belonging growing up. There was a disconnect among her peers, and among her parents because they grew up across the world. It’s always been an important part of her work to offer the world the experience of belonging
Courage Up Moment
Neha’s moment was starting her business even though she had no idea what she was doing. It was connected to the feeling that she had lost her voice. In order to experience true belonging, she had to share truly who she was. She thought she was so out of touch with who she was. Neha needed to know what she wanted to say, and know how to say it. She had to quiet the voices around her so she started her business, worked on her own, and made a conscious decision to not partner with people. She had to silence everything around her, to develop her voice. Running GendLead | BelongLab was the greatest gift she gave herself.
Showing Up As Who We Are
In order to do this, we first break free of the external expectations placed on us. The more you get to be your courageous self, the more the people around you will have space to be who they are, and the women who come after us...it’s communal.
She used to have a tremendous imposter syndrome around public speaking. It was evident because her voice would crack, and it was not a natural delivery at all. She would script out every speech and memorize it. During one event for a client, all of her notes fell on the floor. She was only halfway through, and trusted that she was prepared enough to finish it. That was a turning point for her because she realized she could speak.
She got through imposter syndrome with public speaking by putting herself out there and not expecting herself to be perfect and knowing it’s ok if she messes up a little bit. It’s also combined with lessons of fate.
To work through Imposter Syndrome, some question to ask yourself:
What are your skills?
Grow a bank of what your skill set is
Apply that skill set in an area you’re struggling with imposter syndrome
When you’re feeling unqualified, ask yourself could it be that you actually are uniquely qualified?
Belonging- I can’t define what belonging is to you. The only way I can know if you belong is by asking you.
With people we have affinity with, it’s easier to build connection and belonging. With people we have less in common with, it’s important to learn about their experiences because it builds natural empathy.
For many people, feeling belonging is the feeling of being valued. We show trust and value for one another. Another way to build is helping each other understand who we are. When we hear each other’s stories, it frees up space for us to have different perspectives while still valuing and contributing to a sense of belonging.
How Have you Surprised Yourself?
Starting her own business was definitely the biggest one. Her goal is to surprise herself everyday!
“It doesn't matter what other people think of you. It matters what you think of yourself.”
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Connect With Neha
LinkedIn: Neha Sempat
Twitter: @ belonglab
Connect With Ming:
Facebook: Ming Shelby
Listen to songs on the Courage Up Playlist!
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