Do you know what the imposter syndrome is?
It’s the ‘who do I think I am’ or 'I'm a fraud' feeling that many of us experience as we start growing our businesses or starting something new.
Let's examine imposter syndrome in more detail and discover how to overcome imposter syndrome.
What is imposter syndrome
Here are some questions you may ask yourself:
‘What makes me qualified to teach this’?
‘There are already so many good teachers in this field. What can I possibly add?’
‘What will people say about me when I profile myself as this expert’?
Haven spoken to many entrepreneurs, I know that these questions to oneself are very common. Just google ‘imposter syndrome’ and you will get 1.3 million results.
Heck, even the most accomplished famous people feel it!
‘The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: “I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!” So you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.’
Tina Fey, comedian
‘You think, “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”‘
Meryl Streep, actress
‘There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.’
Cheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
I feel it too.
I ask myself questions like:
‘Why should I even start this new business? Aren’t there enough other online mentors already’?
‘What qualifies me to teach this. I don’t have a million dollar business yet?'
However, I know enough about this syndrome and that inner voice to know that I can confidently answer that question with YES I should do this: I'm super qualified and the world needs the special gifts I have to share.
And so should you. Here’s why.
There may be other people in your field that offer a similar service or product, but none of these people are quite like YOU.
You have unique talents and gifts that only you can share.
And although some people may be more famous, perhaps have more qualifications or are better looking than you etc. etc., none of them have the experiences you’ve had in life and that others can learn from.
When I started 40+Style, I was certainly not the most qualified stylist in the world.
Instead i was going to show people through my pictures and articles that I knew what I was talking about. I had learned so much over the years about style and I knew I would be able to teach others what I'd learned.
People can relate to people who aren’t perfect but who have had experiences that they can relate to and learn from.
As for 40+Entrpreneur, I feel I’m uniquely qualified to start this business and hopefully become a mentor to many women to become more independent, strong and prosperous.
I was exactly in the space where you may be right now.
At the start of your business or perhaps struggling to make an impact with your marketing. Perhaps you already have a nice little business, but you're ready to level up.
I started from scratch, with no money but just my drive and willingness to put in the work every day and take consistent action.
I may not have a million dollar business yet, but I have a healthy 6 figure business that gives me lots of freedom in life and allows me to travel to exciting places like New York where I am at the moment.
I have lots of experience traveling and working independently on a lifestyle business all over the world.
I know that you may want to achieve these things too.
I’m uniquely qualified to start this business because I know what it’s like to start a business next to the job you already do.
I know how hard it can be to find time in your day to spend time on your side hustle each day so that it can slowly, but surely grow. I went through it myself and can share with you the many lessons I learned.
So next time when feelings of the imposter syndrome creep up, ask yourself this.
What experiences have I had that uniquely qualify me to do start this business?
I know with certainty that you’ve had many experiences throughout your life that makes you qualified. All your failures, successes, character traits, experiences and everything that happened in your life over the last 40+ years has prepared you.
Now you just need to put all that knowledge into something that can benefit and help others. Those people will want to work with YOU because you understand them and have experienced some of the struggles yourself.
What to do when the doubts start creeping back in though and how to overcome imposter syndrome?
You may already understand intellectually that you have the talents and experience to succeed, but get these doubts and feelings of being a fraud anyway.
Here are a few more tips for you that can help:
#1 Keep a happiness file
Whenever you get positive feedback from a client or a kind comment from a reader, take a screeenshot and keep it in a happiness file on your desktop. When feelings of doubt set in, this really helps to get you back on track quickly.
#2 Make a list of all past successes in your life
This will provide you with some clear 'proof' that you're not a fraud. Look it over whenever you need to.
#3 Stop comparing yourself to others
Although it's good to have a few people that can serve as your mentors it's not very beneficial to keep watching (and comparing yourself to) too many others that you feel are better than you. Stop following them on social media and limit the amount of emails you get from them. Instead, focus on your own path and where you are at right now.
#4 Name it for what it is!
Now that you know what imposter syndrome is, you will start to recognise it within you. Just knowing and acknowledging it for what it is can help you overcome imposter sydndrome.
#5 Remember that the world needs your unique gift.
You have something special to share. Don't deprive others of receiving it. If fear is holding you back, my tips on overcoming the fear of failure may help.
#6 Share your knowledge!
Write a blog, create a video, share on Instagram TV, start a podcast! This is so powerful as you yourself can see your expertise in different ways. Not only will this help you become an even bigger expert in what you do, it will also establish your credibility with your audience.
#7 Take inspiration from your idols
Remember Tina Fey''s quote: try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.’
So go on and create your amazing business in the confidence that you are enough!
Have you suffered from the imposter syndrome? What is holding you back? Write it down in a comment below and get it out of your system so it can no longer survive!
p.s. In order for your audience to get to know YOU and understand why you are the perfect person to help them, it’s important that you communicate with them on a regular basis. That is why you will want to get people on your email list so you can contact them regularly. This guide will help you get lots of new subscribers.