Have you ever been scared to speak out in a meeting or to express a different opinion to everyone else? Do you shudder at the thought of being called a show off? Or do you overthink everything you say to your boss? If so, then you may be suffering from Chameleon Syndrome. This is a pattern of thinking that encourages you to blend in, but not in a good way. It stops you making a difference and becoming a high-impact leader.
Why do so many talented people develop Chameleon Syndrome?
Chameleon Syndrome is a toxic need to blend in. It stems from a deep, unconscious fear of rejection – which often started during a talented child’s earliest years. Why? Because talented youngsters are often taught to blend in. Think about it. As a child, were you told not to draw attention to yourself? Were you teased for being different or for speaking up? Did teachers or parents tell you to stop showing off? If so, you were being taught to blend into the background and stay out of the limelight.
The result? Chameleon Syndrome. It’s a defence mechanism – a natural reaction to being shamed or humiliated by people who should be protecting you. Unfortunately, when you step into a leadership role it is also a big problem. Chameleon Syndrome prevents you from standing out and creating the impact you know is possible. It prompts you to play it safe – hiding your true self in situations where your talents need to stand out.
The good news is that Chameleon Syndrome can be overcome. Here are some simple ways to start.
Remember that you are in the room for a reason
You are expected to make an impact and offer something unique. So don’t stay silent. If you’re nervous about speaking out, take an assertiveness course or book some success coaching sessions. This fear can be conquered!
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Drive your own brain
As you know, I’m a big advocate of NLP. This is because it is a powerful tool for personal change. Learning NLP
will help you to control your thoughts and regulate your fear. It is also a great tool for building confidence and self-assurance. If you want to be leader who makes a difference, NLP will help you unleash the power of you.
Trust your intuition and talent
Finally, always listen to your inner voice. It will speak up when you least expect it. When it does, act on what it tells you to do. After all, leaders who make a difference are the leaders who take action. So don’t let Chameleon Syndrome stop you making a difference. You have the talent and the drive to make a real impact – so go out there and use it!
This article was created by Eleanor Shakiba
Eleanor is a leadership trainer and success coach. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference. Since discovering her passion for training and development, Eleanor has trained more than 60,000 people. She delivers face-to-face workshops for corporates, online masterclasses for leaders and Positive Psychology retreats for trainers, HR practitioners and leaders.