Do you suffer from the concept of so-called Imposter Syndrome? You’ve probably heard of it before. It’s one of those industry terms – the exaggerated claim that people feel a degree of falseness within their businesses; the idea that we’re just winging it, unqualified, waiting until we’re discovered as fakes. The simplest way to describe it is we see only our blooper reel, while seeing the highlights reel of everyone else.
Have a little think about it before you answer.
When we first stumbled across the Imposter Syndrome it was our ‘A-ha!’ moment. Ah OK, it’s got a name, that’s definitely us and what we suffer from. All nicely boxed up with a neat little bow on top. Thanks very much. Now we’ve drawn a line under it, we can go back to our businesses relieved, safe in the knowledge there’s a diagnosis, we have a type of syndrome; a ‘disease’, that’s all. Now that’s done we can continue to do what we do until we feel this way again and the cycle begins yet again. Whoaaa, wait up — THAT’S ALL? A disease?
An imaginary disease more like it…
The imposter syndrome was a place of safety for us for such a long time. A reasoning, a thick wooly blanket for us to hide under when we allowed those negative thoughts creep in. Heck! It was even a regular networking conversation topic!
The almighty Imposter Syndrome has become a contagion. And it needs to leave.
The way we see it now is a cop out. Just a fancy disguise for another excuse not to show up to market your brand or business online.
[GASP] Hear us out.
We hear people make the excuse all the time for not posting on social media, writing captions, doing video, or going Live because they feel like they’re not the right person to share or say it, they feel like people aren’t going to listen to them or their audience isn’t big enough.
It’s easy to blame Imposter Syndrome for making you feel like a fraud when you’re failing at something.
What if the person you’re trying to be doesn’t actually exist? Not the person you feel like you’re impostering, but the actual imposter. What if the imposter isn’t real?
What if the feelings you feel such as you’re failing are exactly that? You’ve put all this pressure on yourself and you’re not doing as well as you’d hoped?
What if you feel like this imposter mainly because you actually don’t belong yet?
What if your perception is biased towards other people and that’s why you feel like everyone is better than you (blooper vs highlight reel)?
First, we need to accept and then understand these negative feelings are healthy and are actually a sign of strength. You feel these feelings because you’re not pushing hard enough and you’re subconsciously telling yourself this.
No one else can be you. You’re the decision-maker. Only you can control your thoughts, emotions and reactions to situations. So let’s start there.
We’ve put together 12 possible methods to help channel these icky thought patterns:
Accept that you ARE the right person
Who’s in charge here? If the imposter isn’t real then you must accept that you are actually the right person to be doing this. Accept that you have the right things to say to the right people, at the right times, in the right way, and this is what you need to be doing for your community.
Keep a success log
Remember, our successes are keeping us in business! It’s time to own them, no matter how small they may be. Every time your business reaches a milestone or a has a win, write it down. This can be as simple as a quick entry into the Notes app on your iphone. However you want to do it, start recording them. When you’re feeling down get the list out. You’ll be surprised how quickly your mood lifts.
Look to always be learning
Experiencing failure is a sign you need to slow down and learn something. Whether that’s just to read a book or enrol in a webinar or workshop, it’s the best way to keep your mind fresh so you can tackle creativity rejuvenated.
Might seem a bit ego-centric to some, but no one will ever know (unless you tell them, of course). This is a powerful tool when self-doubt comes creeping in. Every time you get a raving review, compliment, love or any other note, celebrate you. Then use it as leverage to push through and get back to growing your business!
Stop comparing yourself to others
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ rings more true today than ever! Especially with social media making it more accessible to see the transparent income reports people are sharing of $10,000 months etc. It can be a real blow to yourself-confidence and makes you wonder what you’re doing wrong. emember, you can’t do in 12 months what someone has built in five years. You’re on your own journey.
Develop new skills
In our online industry, learning new skills has a low barrier to entry. So use it. Try watching a video tutorial, taking a workshop or start a new hobby you’ve been interested in especially if it links well with your business. One we’ve been thinking of is photography, especially flatlays.
Take a real-life break
Usually when these negative thoughts come in its your mind telling you to take an actual break. No, not a quick bathroom or walk-to-the-fridge break. Take an entire afternoon, whole day or even a full week if you need to. Give yourself a break away from your business.
Just be with others
When we feel down we make crazy comparisons to our friends, colleagues, and even family. Make sure you’re attending one social event per week whether that be 1:1 coffee catch ups with a friend, after work drinks, or industry meetings. Start talking to others, it will prove to you that yes, you do bring value to any conversation. Try offering advice to help others. Facebook groups have heaps of people asking questions. Maybe you could help them.
Recognise you’re stopping your loyal followers and fans from learning from you
When you feel like a fraud you stop creating valuable content for your followers because you feel it’s not good enough, nor perfect to offer anything of value to anyone. Here’s where you’re wrong. Your audience is counting on you to show up and they love your point of view even if you might not that day!
Treat your business as one big experiment
Sometimes you’ll get things right. Other things will totally fail (like course launches… Ugh). That’s totally OK as that’s where we learn, right?
Your business is one big experiment and some experiments go better than others. The main thing to remember is to never give up experimenting. Think back to job hunting. Would you give up after receiving one “we wish you well on all your future endeavours” email? No, because you’d be unemployed and wouldn’t be sensible AT ALL. When one door closes another opens, and if it doesn’t there is always a window ajar.
Embrace your inner expert
Instead of focusing all your energy on the negatives, make a list of all the things you’re great at in your business. Maybe you’re seamless at client communications? Crafting killer sales copy? Social media queen? Write it all down and keep it in a similar place with your success log to look back on for a confidence and mood boost.
Lastly, we need to accept Imposter Syndrome is just another excuse and drop the concept forever. When you feel the fear of failure and self-doubt come back, tap into our solutions listed above to help quash the negative and start feeling uplifted. Set yourself new goals, new challenges, meet new people, spend some time away from your business and with friends, family and people who love you.
Remember, you’re never alone. Our ‘doors’ (inboxes, DMs and social media) are always open, and we will always leave a window ajar for you. Please reach out and let us know how you’re feeling. Our Facebook group is a safe place to hang out and ask questions. It’s our tribe full of other incredible, uplifting people who’ve been in exactly the same ‘teacup’ at some stage in their journey. Come and join us!