Is there a little voice in the back of your head that speaks up just about the time you feel like you’ve got it all together and says, “you don’t deserve this success”?
That voice is awful and it’s your imposter syndrome.
All female entrepreneurs I work with have dealt with imposter syndrome. When you feel like a fraud no matter what you’ve achieved or how qualified you are, it can be detrimental to your ability to get stuff done and get where you want to go.
You will leave this episode with a real system to approach imposter syndrome so that you can use your energy towards serving your clients and building your business.
- Discover why imposter syndrome is prevalent at every level of business.
- Discern why that voice is taking up brain power that you’re using to worry, rather than using that same amount of energy, cognitive bandwidth to take strategic action to level up.
- Takeaway a real system to take on imposter syndrome so that you can work through it.
Rather read than listen? ⬇️
Okay, have you ever had this happen? Where as soon as things start to go good– you sign a new client, or book a guest interview, or get some new highly engaged followers on social, you get so excited and then, there is this little voice in the back of your head that speaks up just about the time you feel like you’ve got it all together and says, “you didn’t deserve that success. It was just a lucky fluke. You can’t do it again. You aren’t really qualified. What if they find out you are just pretending and you actually have no idea what you are doing.”
Sounds like a pretty mean little voice, right?
That is your imposter syndrome troll. And it seems like all female entrepreneurs I work with and have chatted with deal with their own IS Troll.
Girl, I’ve been there too.
In February of 2020, I had my first 5-figure cash month in business and after the initial 5 minutes of celebration, I started the worry train. “Can I do it again? Can I repeat it? Can I prove that it wasn’t just a fluke, a one-time thing?”
I got in my head and in my own way. March and April were lackluster at best.
It’s that dreaded imposter syndrome. I know you’ve heard about it and likely experienced it yourself.
Imposter syndrome is exactly what it sounds like— you feel like a fraud, no matter what you’ve achieved or how qualified you are. And it can be detrimental to your ability to get stuff done.
But I think there are a few myths about imposter syndrome that keeps some of us stuck in the shame spiral even more.
It is commonly believed that only people who are new to entrepreneurship deal with imposter syndrome. And that you will outgrow it at some point.
Imposter syndrome is prevalent in entrepreneurship because at every new level, there are still challenges to handle & deal with. And we have this idea that if something is hard, we are doing it wrong.
But the reality is, while starting a business, especially an online business, is easier now than every before, creating a successful, profitable business is no walk in the park.
And honestly it doesn’t matter what level you are at in life or business— you are still susceptible to getting in your own head about feeling like a fraud. A-list stars, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, millionaires— all have indicated they still deal with imposter syndrome at some level no matter their success level.
So, it probably helps to know that you aren’t alone and people like Lady Gaga, Maya Angelou, and Serena Williams.
But it isn’t just enough to recognize it.
Because it is seriously affecting your forward momentum. TBH, imposter syndrome is keeping you from making money & taking action.
We feel like a fraud, like we aren’t qualified. So, we spend precious brain power on that worry of “being found out” instead of taking strategic action to level up.
Plus, if being more visible brings out those feelings of fraud, which don’t feel great, we’ll avoid that, so we’ll avoid the things that make us more visible aka the things that help more people recognize us for the experts we are!
It is a defense mechanism leftover from our caveman days when if we stepped out of line and didn’t “belong” somewhere, it meant almost certain death because it was kinda hard to survive on your own back then.
Change and rejection = death which was bad.
We are hardwired to want to belong and often that means NOT changing the status quo.
BUT, you don’t have to live in the fraud shame spiral forever nor do you have to live a life of mediocrity.
When you are feeling short on confidence & have little belief in self, here is a process you can do to short circuit the fraud spiral.
DON’T IGNORE IT. GET CURIOUS.
Ask yourself what’s holding you back, where is this resistance coming from? Are you focusing on things that mean something to you? Are you striving to meet or exceed other people’s expectations? Sometimes just asking the question makes it easy to step out of the fear and make a more logical decision.
If you start to feel anxious or like a fraud, look at the thoughts that are causing you to feel that way. Then dig deeper to understand the circumstances that led to that thought.
Remember we have no control over those circumstances, but we do have control over the thoughts that we develop from those circumstances, so ask “what other thoughts could these circumstances indicate?”
If you can choose a better thought that leads to a more desirable feeling, that will change your actions & results.
Feeling – Like a fraud
Which came from the
Thought – I was lucky
Which came from the
Circumstances = You sign a new client unexpectedly
So now we choose better:
Circumstances = You sign a new client unexpectedly
Thought = I’m a great coach who knows what I’m doing and can clearly communicate the value through active & passive marketing efforts
Feeling = like a total badass + competent
Actions = deliver excellent value to client + market to other potential clients
Results = happy client > word-of-mouth referrals + even better marketing = influx of clients & money
Remove the limiting beliefs & broken stories.
Success is not a straight shot up. Each new level, each new idea has its own unique set of issues, challenges, and BS. Rather than internalize those speed bumps as something wrong with you, change the mindset of success to include those speed bumps. If everything is a piece of cake and never challenges you, chances are you aren’t trying hard enough or doing what you need to do to level up.
The presence of challenges is not an indication that you are wrong, you are failing, or you are just not cut out for it.
Create a practice to battle imposter syndrome to maintain momentum
LEVERAGE STRENGTHS TO BUILD CONFIDENCE.
We have a negativity bias, which just basically means we remember the bad things way more than the good things. So we remember our failures or missteps much more clearly than all the amazing things we’ve done right. But you can remind yourself of all the things you are amazing at and what you’ve achieved.
I actually take my 1:1 clients and students through this exercise often when they start to feel like not enough: create an accomplishments list. It can be for your entire life, the past year, a month’s time, or even just the past 48 hours. The idea is to show yourself that you are awesome, you are a high-achiever, and that you have come a really long way.
HIRE A COACH.
Having someone else help jolt you out of the fraud spiral can be invaluable. Not only can they help you see how awesome you are, but they can provide perspective to help you from falling right back in as soon as you hop off Zoom. I’ve been on both sides of this relationship— both needing to be reminded of my awesomeness AND helping others remember that what they are doing is valuable to the world and they are worthy of success.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: If you are experiencing feelings of imposter syndrome, get curious. Start by separating yourself from those feelings. And then start journaling, free-writing about what you are feeling, how it is familiar, and why you think those thoughts are coming up for you.