Imposter syndrome – I would argue we’re all working through some version of it.
If this is the first you’ve heard of the term, it basically means you doubt your accomplishments and have an internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
Imposter syndrome attacks your confidence and changes your inner dialog. It can impact your productivity, big time. Even amazing achievers like Albert Einstein and Maya Angelou admitted to feeling this way – it has nothing to do with our qualifications or experience.
I want you to have the tools you need to push away that overwhelming self-doubt and do the big things you were born to do. At the very least, this will be a jumping off point for you to recognize your Imposter Syndrome and begin working through it to claim your purpose in this world with pride.
WHAT IMPOSTER SYNDROME LOOKS LIKE
There are many ways it can manifest. Before I was a business mentor, I was an online fitness coach. I built that business to 6-figures and changed hundreds of lives. However, during the beginning I remember not even being able to say the words “I am an online fitness coach”. It would literally trip me up. I knew people would want to ask questions and it made me feel vulnerable, I automatically thought they wouldn’t respect me – given the amount of people that call themselves a “coach”.
It’s crazy how uncertain I was in that season, even though I was literally doing my “dream job”. I started to hide behind titles that people knew, to avoid questions. I started to experience that the world is comfortable with corporate terms and people that live in a certain box – definitely not open to dreamers and visionaries like me. I felt fragile, especially growing up under a roof of 9-5ers. What makes me think I could be any different?
But I am different, just like you are.
And if your imposter syndrome has actually stopped you before you’ve even started, maybe there’s a story you’re telling yourself. Like “I don’t know enough or someone else is already doing that or they are better than I’ll ever be,” and it takes over your ability to take action, stops you in your tracks. But your story doesn’t have to end there.
So the first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is this – recognizing why it exists. It could be because you were raised in an environment with a lot of criticism – such as in a home with an alcoholic parent, with domestic violence, or with physical abuse or any serious conflict. It can be a response to the trauma that comes from that.
You were criticised SO MUCH, that your adult life is now constantly questioning whether you deserve any sort of recognition. Or it could be because you’re measuring your ability to achieve against the achievements of others.
Once you’ve figured out the “why”, here’s what you need to do to overcome it – CLAIM your title. Take out a piece of paper and a pen, or open the Notes app on your phone, and start a list. Write down your title. Like if someone asked you the question, “What do you do?” and you answered without fear, what would that title be? CLAIM IT. Are you an online fitness coach, a personal trainer, a photographer, an educator, a videographer, a speaker?
Then, make three bullet points and answer these questions: Who do you serve? How do you serve them? What is their end result? One of the best ways to combat Imposter Syndrome is getting confident talking about what you do. If the next time someone asked you that question you could respond with your title and a summary of the answers to these questions, you’re claiming the title that used to make you feel like a fraud. Don’t add any caveats or verbal disclaimers, just a prompt and clear response and leave it at that.
For me, I can say I’m a business mentor to service based businesses. I’m an online educator that serves entrepreneurs through my online course, the Purpose to Profit Accelerator, where I teach them proven strategies to get paid to do what they love.
ADMIT YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS
I want to make one thing crystal clear: Just because you own your title does not mean you need to have all the answers. In fact, I want you to admit that you don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay.
If you’re faced with a question about your line of work, THAT’S OKAY. You have permission to always be learning, to start with imperfect action and keep getting better over time. I’d hate for you to hide your magic from the world because you’re afraid of getting stumped by a little question from someone who doesn’t have a single clue about all the big things you’re destined to do.
I challenge you to take imperfect action, and to continue to grow. Imperfect action makes things happen. Take big, bold, imperfect steps forward. If you get a question that you can’t answer. Say it: I don’t know… And then ask for help along the way. And with every imperfect step forward, you’ll start to learn the answers to those questions that once stumped you. You’ll start moving in the right direction. New questions will arise… Trust me, they never stop popping up, but just because you don’t have the answer right now doesn’t make you an imposter.
If you’re still struggling with taking action in your business, clarity and accountability can make a world of difference. To speak with me about how I can jumpstart your business’s growth, apply to the accelerator or get in touch with me on Instagram. I love hearing from you guys!