Overcome Imposter Syndrome with these Five Steps

Overcome Imposter Syndrome with these Five Steps

Yes, imposter syndrome is real and every now and again, it’ll affect even the best of us. If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s no doubt that you have experienced it at some point in your journey.

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence”
— Harvard Business Review

If you’re feeling anxiety and self-doubt around your capabilities, know that you’re not alone. Imposter syndrome is incredibly common. Though this is the case and nearly everyone experiences this phenomenon, the business world offers no breaks. Even as you’re getting sucked into a negative pit of despair, the world keeps spinning. So that leads us to this--how can you break the cycle?

First, take a deep breath in, deep breath out.

Then, keep reading for our top five tips for overcoming imposter syndrome!

Reframe your story to deal with imposter syndrome - image of notebook

1. Recognize the Feelings and Reframe Your Story

When you feel the doubts arise, take a moment to observe how you feel. Notice exactly what it is that’s shaking your confidence and then write it down. Separate the facts from your feelings and reframe your story. Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean that you are that way. Your objective accomplishments have led you to where you are. Trust that you are successful because of skill and ability and not just pure chance. 

Image of “good enough” mug to conquer perfectionism

2. Conquer Perfectionism

While perfectionism can be a key motivator in success, the key is to not obsess over it. Do an incredible job when it matters and forgive yourself when you inevitably make mistakes. Know that you don’t have to know everything--you just have to know more than the people you are serving.

Identify your value image of yellow flower in hand

3. Identify Your Value

Write down the value that you provide and how you help people. Write it down each day until you believe it and when you forget, write it down all over again. 

When you’re in the middle of the entrepreneurial grind, it’s easy to get lost in the nitty gritty details. Having a clear statement of your value brings you back to the core of what you provide and what makes you and your services different. Know that it’s not just what you’re selling, but the entire experience of what you provide--your unique understanding of the industry, your unique strategy, your unique business persona.

I am grateful journal to update language

4. Update Your Language

Take a hard look at how you speak to yourself (and others). Assume that your questions and statements are valid and instead of prefacing them with lines that insinuate doubt (for example, “it might just be me…”) state them in conjunction with more assertive and confident phrases. The more you use positive language, the more you’ll build your self-esteem.

Develop a new response to failure. Instead of beating yourself up for being human and making a mistake, take it as an opportunity to learn and then move on. Accentuate the positives that come out of your work and accept any negatives but don’t dwell on them.

Do what you love neon sign

5. Repeat After Me: Nobody Belongs Here More Than You

NOBODY BELONGS HERE MORE THAN YOU. Breathe it in. Repeat it to yourself. Breathe it out.

Remember that you are unique in what you offer and how you offer it. When the doubts are swirling and you’re tempted to compare yourself to others, put those blinders on.

Inspiration can be great, but sometimes we have to stay in our own lane. Be mindful about what you choose to consume and if you find yourself falling for the comparison game, check out this blog post.

Remember that imposter syndrome is a very normal part of the entrepreneurial process. If you’re having doubts about your capabilities, take a moment to pause and use these tips to help break the cycle.

Do you have any tips for beating imposter syndrome? We’d love to hear them in the comments down below!

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