Do you have a secret?
Okay, I’m just going to say it.
Do you fear everyone will find out that you are a fraud?
Maybe you feel like you have to be perfect so that your mistakes don’t become evidence.
Or you could be so worried about what others think that you are afraid to move forward.
You may never get started because you don’t believe you have the skills.
Always saying that you will be ready when… You complete “this certification,” “that course,” “work with enough people,” or “have made enough money.”
And it never is enough.
Or maybe you don’t honestly know who you are. You could want to impress people so much that you have molded yourself into who you think they want you to be.
And the truth is that it seems everyone else has it all together except you.
You aren’t an expert. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t have anything interesting to say. And you need more experience.
So you drag your feet.
And it’s holding you back from real success in your business.
First, what is Imposter Syndrome anyway?
Imposter Syndrome stems from persistent feelings of inadequacy despite having success. Feeling like a fraud, you downplay your skills, hard work, and persistence by chalking it up to luck or even knowing the right people. Chronic self-doubt persists despite your accomplishments.
Keep in mind that this is not the same as low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Researchers have linked Imposter Syndrome to perfectionism, especially in high-achieving women or academics.
So how can you overcome this and take action?
Step 1: Awareness
Honestly, assess what is going on for you.
A great way to build awareness is by journaling. Write without judgment and allow the thoughts to enter the page. Keep asking why you feel this way until you get to the root cause.
Are you self-sabotaging your efforts or holding yourself back because you are terrified that you aren’t good enough?
How does this “not-enoughness” show up for you?
Take time to notice what comes up for you.
Do you hear a specific voice in your head on repeat telling you that you aren’t worthy? What is it saying?
And where do you feel this may be coming from? Do you recognize this voice or this pattern? Did someone in your past say this to you?
Look out for these common beliefs.
I am a fraud.
Do you judge yourself harshly, or do other people’s opinions influence how you perceive yourself? Do you fear being judged?
You could feel like you don’t deserve success because you feel incompetent or did not earn it.
And when you achieve accomplishments, you think it is a mistake, and you are nervous that others will find out.
You may feel you need to be, do, or have something more – specific certifications, make more money, or be on a certain level to move forward.
I can’t fail.
Fearing you are a fraud can also create enormous extra pressure as you worry others will find out that you are not good enough.
If you feel like your performance measures your worth, you will have to prove yourself constantly. Your fear of failure creates perfectionism and can stop you from even starting.
I can’t succeed.
Or you could fear success because with more responsibility comes more pressure. You believe you are a failure. If you mess up, this will confirm that you can’t succeed.
I just got lucky.
Maybe you feel like your success can be attributed to luck, being in the right place at the right time, or even knowing the right people. You think it is a fluke.
That was easy.
Or maybe you struggle with receiving compliments. You could downplay your success and attribute it to having help or it being easy. After all, anyone can do that, right?
Step 2: Is this true?
Once you have recorded your beliefs, ask yourself if this is true?
It’s time to prove yourself wrong by finding evidence that supports your accomplishments.
Resume of accomplishments
It can be easy to forget your knowledge, experience, and skillset. You may dismiss your unique talents saying anyone can do this when it is actually a tremendous skill you possess.
You could forget that even though you have not had that same experience, your past life experiences prepare you for new opportunities in your present.
To combat this, creating a resume of accomplishments can be helpful. List all of your experiences, including soft skills in your life and business. What skills do you have?
Are you a mom? What skills do you need to be a mom? Are you flexible, supportive, and caring? Are you a superhero that takes on the world?
Were you in a 4th-grade play that taught you to project your voice or be on stage?
Do you have noteworthy accomplishments, including degrees or courses you have taken?
Or have you worked in different businesses?
What jobs or experiences have you had throughout your life that shaped who you are?
What did they teach you? What skills did you learn? Have you become a great communicator? Speaker? Listener?
List out your unique talents and skills you learned. What proof do you have that you are truly gifted?
Phone a Friend
Ask family, friends, or clients what makes you unique and what skills you bring to the table. How do they feel you excel? What is your superpower?
If they had to describe you in three positive adjectives, what adjectives would they use and why?
Write a list of fifty reasons why your product or service is beneficial.
Include every benefit or feature your product contains by considering why you love what you sell and how it impacts you and others.
Imposter syndrome creates the inability to acknowledge accomplishments. Take time to collect achievements in a physical or virtual “Brag Box.” Include any certifications, testimonials, cards, positive comments (including screenshots), or anything that makes you recognize your accomplishments.
Step 3: Reframe
Once you have highlighted your positive traits and accomplishments, it’s time to reframe your negative beliefs.
Reflect on your lists from Step 1 and Step 2 and ask yourself, what can you believe instead that is realistic? Make sure the new belief is not an overreach.
Now, what needs to be true for you to shift your belief?
What do you need to create your goals? Is there a specific skill set or resources that are missing?
Once you identify these, develop a plan to grow skills where needed. Motivation only allows you to do what you are already capable of doing.
Always lead with curiosity. Accept that making mistakes is normal and reframe your failures as good learning opportunities. Shift your focus toward learning and growth. Instead of feeling like one mistake dictates your worth, ask what knowledge or gifts does this bring?
Continue to connect with yourself and others. Keep track of what thoughts and self-sabotaging behaviors arise by journaling daily. Talk about your feelings with others to help disarm self-judgment and seek support if needed.
Build your self-compassion by connecting daily with a childhood photo and empathize with the child inside by looking deep into her eyes and genuinely loving this beautiful child.
Know that she is still within you.
Grow your self-regard by writing down at least three positive attributes at night before sleep. Read them each day when you get up in the morning. If you struggle to come up with three, try reflecting on the good things you did during the day and assigning a quality.
Example: I held the door open for someone = I am considerate.
Seal it off with positive affirmations that remind you that you are worth it, such as:
I am good enough.
I am talented.
I am successful.
I am worthy.
Congratulating yourself by accepting compliments and celebrating wins is essential.
If you often deflect compliments, turn this around as it reflects how you feel inside. Make an effort to accept and absorb compliments. Genuinely take them in. Instead of saying things like “It wasn’t a big deal,” start saying a simple “thank you.” Place your hand on your heart, take a moment and soak it in. Feel the compliment.
Celebrating your wins is also essential. It’s easy to brush past accomplishments quickly without acknowledging your hard work.
Make a point to celebrate your small successes by pausing and even doing something special for yourself.
Imposter syndrome can be holding you back from real success in your business. Remember that you have unique talents, skills, and gifts, and you do not need to be, do, or have anything extra to be worthy.
By following the steps in this article, you will regain clarity and confidence to move forward.
Step 1: Awareness
Step 2: Is this true?
Step 3: Reframe
If you need help overcoming your Imposter Syndrome to build your vision and create a life and business you love, email me the word PROGRAM.
I look forward to your success!