Feel Like a Fraud? It Happens to the Best of Us.
Wikipedia: Impostor Syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychosomatic pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
When I start working with clients, one of the first subjects we deal with is mindset. One of the topics that always, always come up for the female entrepreneur is “Who am I to think I can do this?” ...or teach this, or provide this service, or whatever. The fear is all the same. And, if you let that fear run your show, it will keep you from reaching for your dreams.
The truth is, the further you go in your business or career, the more risks you may have to take, and the more likely it is that Imposter Syndrome will show up. If you have experienced feeling like a fraud at any point in your life or career, chances are you have chalked up your accomplishments to luck, charm, connections, or some other external factor.
Psychologists tell us that the personality types most likely to have Imposter Syndrome are perfectionists and overachievers. That’s right: The superwomen. That sounds like most entrepreneurs to me!
So let’s talk about how to break through it.
Identify what is shaking your confidence. The more you can pinpoint and define the issue, the more able you are to confront it head on with some actionable solutions.
Remember your real life value and all that you have achieved. I’ve started a “Look back 2018” document where I record everything that I have accomplished, big or little, biz or personal. I add to it on an ongoing basis. It builds confidence!
Stop comparing yourself to others. I know, easier said than done. There will always be someone else that is farther along than you are, so what’s the point? Stay focused on your own path and capacities. You may need to opt out of newsletters, and curtail your social media habit to keep your eyes on the prize.
Look at your own language, both internal and external. “I think, I feel, it may just be me, but….” Stop right there. Consciously upgrade your language with more confident, assertive phrases and you will reframe your own self-image. “In my opinion,” “I have a question, and I’m sure I’m not the only one,” are examples that communicate much more strength. Be on the lookout for words and phrases you can eliminate or tweak.
Understand that there is no “right way.” I’m sure there are multiple techniques for conducting specific surgeries! If you perceive that someone has “cracked the code,” or are the ultimate expert, try looking to them for guidance and influence, rather than making yourself wrong.
Take a calculated risk. What would you do if you were not afraid or insecure? Write it down, tell someone else, and take even a small step in a new direction. If you don’t succeed, so what? Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t let Imposter Syndrome rob you of your own progress and ultimate success.
Everyone starts somewhere. Your perspective and point of view will be unique and will resonate with just the right people. If it doesn’t, then they are not the right client or customer for you.
Think you are the only one? Famous actors, artists, CEO’s and the most successful people are the most likely to experience Imposter Syndrome. Consider it a symptom of success. You are in good company! But manage it so it is only a tiny voice that does not cripple your progress. Assume the power pose! You got this!
Elyse Tager, Elyse Tager Consulting, Chapter 150
Elyse provides business coaching to women entrepreneurs who want to go from solopreneur to CEO. She help coaches, consultants and service-based businesses scale and grow to their next level by providing clarity and eliminating the chaos and confusion that can occur with growth.
A long-time marketer and passionate entrepreneur, Elyse has helped hundreds of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective online marketing strategies to grow their business or organizations. Learn more: https://www.elysetager.com/