Imposter syndrome, if you’ve ever suffered from it, you’re not alone. Believing you’re not as competent as others and doubting yourself and your abilities are things many business owners struggle with. But if you let those doubts and beliefs hold you back, you’re doing yourself, your business and your clients a disservice.
But if you want to overcome imposter syndrome, it’s something you can’t beat yourself up over. If you do, you’ll only make it worse. Instead, here are some tips you can use to help gently move forward from it.
Talk it through
This is where it’s great to have an accountability buddy, coach or mentor on your team. If this isn’t an option for you, pick a trusted friend – but make sure it’s someone who will listen without judgement and not make you feel worse than you already do!
Bottling up your feelings is something that helps imposter syndrome thrive, so shine a light on it instead. Say out loud ‘I feel like a fraud’ and share your reasons why with the person you’re confiding in. Get it all out of your system and into the light – you’ll feel a lot better for it. And often, you’ll surprise yourself with the resulting insights you have.
Get clear on the facts
Understand the facts around your beliefs. For example, you may not feel qualified to talk about a topic, but know you have vast experience in the subject. So ask yourself the following to help clarify the facts of the matter:
- Who specifically, is saying you’re the imposter and how much authority do you give to this person?
- What experience and/or qualifications do you have in the area you feel like an imposter in? And do you even need either to talk about it?
- Why are you qualified to talk about the subject?
- Do you associate a feeling to it? And if so, where do you feel it?
- What is the self-talk currently going on in your head and do you have evidence that it’s right? (Don’t go looking for evidence, but can you counteract it with the facts you’ve already accumulated?)
Remind yourself of what you can do and say to help others – not what you feel you should do or should know.
“I still have a little impostor syndrome… It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.”Michelle Obama
Highlight your positives
Make a list of all your positives – traits, experiences, qualifications etc – so you can refer back to it when needed. Include your life experiences and examples of how you overcame obstacles, testimonials from previous clients, compliments you’ve received from others. Basically, anything that you can refer back to when you need to boost your confidence and remind yourself of how good you are.
Focus on providing value
You don’t have to know it all, to provide value to others. You just need to be one step ahead of them. Focus on your clients, what they need and how you can provide them with the value to help them solve their problems and move themselves forward.
Change your self-talk
Look into using mantras so you can reprogram your thoughts and believe in yourself and your abilities more. These need to be realistic and believable for you now, otherwise, you won’t believe what you’re saying, so pick ones like:
- I just need to be one step ahead of my clients
- I’m stepping into my power
- I believe I can help my clients in this area
- I am choosing to believe in myself and my abilities
- I am choosing to share my knowledge with those people I can help
Imposter syndrome is something many business owners struggle with, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. By using the tips above you’ll be able to gently move yourself forward from it and start believing in yourself more – so you can trust in yourself and your abilities.