How to Beat Impostor Syndrome
One of the most common obstacles that many women entrepreneurs face is impostor syndrome — that nagging thought that you’re not qualified enough to be running a business.
But the truth is, you don’t need to be an expert to be in business. You just need to have a solution to someone’s problem.
And I know firsthand that overcoming impostor syndrome is easier said than done. I faced it for months when I first started my business.
And that’s because I was letting myself focus on the stuff that I’m not really good at.
Instead, I should have been focusing on what I am good at and how I want to use that to help people.
Now, if you aren’t sure whether you actually have impostor syndrome or not, there are a couple of tell-tell signs.
So let’s go over those and then unpack each one with some actionable steps you can take right now to overcome impostor syndrome once and for all.
You Feel Like You Don’t Have the Necessary Skills — Even When There’s Plenty of Evidence That You Do
As I already said, impostor syndrome is that feeling you get when you don’t think you’re qualified to do what you do. In other words, you don’t think you have the necessary skills to do the job.
Maybe you’re a business coach, but because you didn’t go to Harvard Business School or you’re not Marie Forleo, you don’t think that you’re qualified to teach people how to build a business.
But, there has to be a reason behind why you decided to become a business coach in the first place. Maybe you did something similar in corporate. Or maybe you did such a stellar job at building your own business that you want to teach others how to do it, as well.
It’s pretty safe to assume, though, that you aren’t building a business around a topic that you have absolutely no clue about.
Yes, you may not know everything about the topic, but that’s okay! Nobody knows everything!
Don’t focus on the stuff you don’t know or the things you aren’t that good at.
Because let’s face it. Nobody is good at everything. And if you focus on the things you’re not good at, of course you’re going to question yourself.
But there are plenty of things that you are good at. And if you’re trying to use those things to help people, then you are absolutely qualified.
Because for every skill you have, there’s someone out there in the world who is lacking in that department. And a portion of those people will be willing to pay someone to help them out.
So if you can teach them how to do that, or provide a product that will help them out, then you are solving their problem.
Keep the focus on your customer and how you can legitimately help them out, and you’ll be able to beat the imposter syndrome.
It’s Hard For You to Believe People When They Compliment You
Another sign that you’re suffering from impostor syndrome is that it’s hard for you to believe people when they compliment you.
Like they’re just saying it to be nice.
But let’s face it, nobody has time for that.
If I’m going to take the time to tell someone how much I love what they do, I can guarantee that it will be a genuine compliment.
Why else would I take the time to do it?
Think about your different interactions with people, too.
Do you normally go out of your way to compliment someone who you don’t really care for?
No! That’s just not what people do!
So the next time someone throws you a compliment, don’t just assume they’re being nice. Assume that they actually like what you’re doing and want to let you know that.
Let it sink in.
And if that doesn’t work, think about the context of the compliment.
Did they tell you they like something in particular? And how does that product or idea tie into your entire business?
If someone is complimenting the way you solve someone’s problem or the way you set yourself up to solve that problem, then that’s a reflection of you and the hard work you’ve put in to get to where you are.
So embrace it.
You Feel Like You’ve Faked Your Way to Success
The next sign that you may be dealing with impostor syndrome is if you feel like you’ve faked your way to success.
And I think a lot of entrepreneurs deal with this.
Because when you’re first starting your own business, you have to put on a brave face and just push through.
And that means acting super confident, especially if you’re completely overwhelmed and scared shitless.
But again, that confidence isn’t a replacement for what you’re trying to do.
For example, you’re not just acting like you can help someone up their social media game. If that’s your business, then there’s a reason you’re in it.
You may not have the customer testimonials yet or that level of comfort that comes once you’ve been doing this for a bit. And that’s why you have to put on a brave face. Not because you’re a fraud.
So instead of focusing on all of that, focus on the wins you’ve had along the way. Or, if you’re just getting started, the wins you’re working towards.
Because ultimately, those little wins are going to be the story of your business.
They’re what will keep you going when it all just feels like too much.
And they’re the proof of your success.
You’re Scared Everyone is Going to Wake Up and Realize That You’ve Been Faking it the Whole Time
And the final sign that you might be suffering from imposter syndrome ties directly into that last one.
And it’s that someone is going to stand up on their soapbox and call you out on your shit.
And honestly, this probably will happen to you if you’re running an online business.
Trolls are ruthless assholes.
But you have to remember that you can’t please everyone.
In fact, you don’t want to please everyone.
You want to be genuine and authentic to your tribe.
And if someone who doesn’t like your message wants to call you out on that you can’t let it get to you.
You have to release it and move on.
The people who support what you and your business stand for don’t think you’re a fraud. They like your products and services because you legitimately solve their problems.
So keep being a rock star, keep serving your tribe, and don’t bother with the haters.
Questions You Can Ask Yourself to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Now, if overcoming imposter syndrome was as easy as a few simple mindset shifts, then a lot of life coaches would be out of a job.
Because like anything else that goes on internally, you can’t just read something and expect it to change everything. Or change anything, really.
You have to dive deep and get to the root of the problem. And then fix it there.
So here are some questions you can ask yourself to reflect on why you have impostor syndrome — and how you can fix it.
Do you feel like you aren’t qualified to be selling your products or services, or to be in business in general?
As long as the products and services you offer are the solution to someone’s problem, then, yes, you are qualified to help them out.
Actually, when you look at it that way, it would be pretty shitty of you not to give them that solution, right?
Why do you think you aren’t qualified?
Now, do you just feel like you’re not the solution to your customer’s problem because someone else has a different solution?
Don’t compare what you do to what someone else does, because even if you’re selling the exact same solution, you’re selling it infused with your own uniqueness — your own special message — and that’s what resonates with your tribe.
This isn’t to say that you can’t learn from your customers and make your products even better. You should always do this.
Just don’t let yourself see these as shortcomings. Look at them as stepping stones instead.
Are the products or services you sell created around a strength of yours?
As I said earlier, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re building a business around the things you like and the things you’re pretty good at.
So don’t focus on your weaknesses or any areas you may be lacking.
Focus on your strengths and on how they can help your clients and customers get the solution they came to you for.
Are they aligned with your values, your vision, and your aspirations?
Your products and services should also be aligned with your values, your visions, and your aspirations. These create your personal mission statement, and you want to make sure that you are always putting a clear and concise message out into the world.
If you aren’t sure that you’re working on things with your values, your visions, and your aspirations in mind, then sign up for my free Goal Crusher’s Workshop Series.
This series will take you through the exact steps you need to take to make sure you’re focusing your time and energy on the right things inside of your business.
Do the products or services you sell help your customers solve a problem?
Think about the problems your audience has. Are your products and services a solution to that problem? As long as you’re solving their problem, then you’re not an impostor.
Is the primary purpose of your products and services to help your customers solve a problem, or to make you money?
Now, are you in business just to make money? Or do you genuinely want to help?
As long as you’re in business for the right reasons, then you’re not an impostor. You’re here to help, so stop getting in your own way.
How bad do you want this?
Finally, ask yourself how bad you want this.
We can all be our own worst enemy.
And true success comes from moving past that and learning how to be the best that you can be.
You can’t expect yourself to be something you’re not. And you definitely can’t expect yourself to do the impossible.
So if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then get out of your head and get to work.
Remember why you’re doing this and let the self-defeating thoughts go. They will only hurt you, and the faster you move past them, the faster you can grow as an individual and an entrepreneur.
Are you ready to get the confidence you’ll gain from having a strategic plan in place?
Then sign up for my FREE Goal Crusher’s Workshop Series today and start getting intentional with your time, resources, and energy!
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Thank you so much for this! Such an important message, especially for mompreneurs. We have to believe in ourselves and each other. Rock on!
Great post and very well written. This is such an important conversation to have! ❤️
Thanks Ashley! 🖤💕