Do you feel insecure about your abilities?
Unworthy of your success or accomplishments?
Fear you’ll be exposed as a fraud?
Do you think “My business is doing well only because of luck”.
“Anybody could succeed in this business, it ‘s not that hard”?
These thoughts are destructive to you and your business. They cause anxiety, fear, and depression that can paralyze you as you work to build and grow a business.
They impact making decisions as you try to work around the nagging inner critic.
American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, named these feelings impostor syndrome. They described it as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.”
Take Comfort That You’re Not Alone.
Imposter Syndrome is common and can affect any demographic. No age, race, gender or economic level is exempt, but women and minorities deal with it more often.
A study by Sakulku and Alexander reports that 70% of individuals will experience Imposter Syndrome during their work life.
Many famous writers, artists, celebrities, CEO’s, even presidents have felt inadequate. Despite the fact that they were successful and highly regarded.
I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.
What Causes Imposter Syndrome?
In her book The Imposter Syndrome, DR EV Estacio explores several factors that contribute to someone developing Imposter Syndrome.
- Need for perfection
- Early life experiences
- Business environment
Need for Perfection
The perfectionist sets high and usually unrealistic standards. According to D.E. Hamachek, for the “neurotic perfectionist” – even their best efforts are not good enough in their eyes.
This hurts your business efforts as you hesitate to publish a blog post, an e-book, or the new course you’re creating until it’s “perfect”.
Fixed vs. Growth mindset plays a part to the “imposter”. A fixed mindset believes that this is all I know and am capable of. The growth mindset knows it can learn new skills and therefore can take on new and challenging opportunities.
In your business, the fixed mindset will doom you to only do what you know at this moment. The growth mindset will allow you to innovate new products and solutions.
Early Life Experiences
Children raised by a family with high expectations of achievement can influence what success and failure mean. Even if they perform well in their school years, at some point they will be with other people who excel too. That’s when they may start to question their abilities.
This carries through into starting a business too. The self-doubter looks at the competition and fears that they can’t measure up.
Work itself can cause a feeling of insecurity. Even if work is your own business. You can feel your customers know more than you and they will find out you’re a fake. Or the information they want from your course or service is not adequate and can be found by searching the internet.
Consequences of Self-doubt.
Being insecure about your abilities, and feeling unworthy of success, affects many areas of your life —Personal relationships, health and especially your business. Your business suffers greatly when a fear of failure, fear of success, making mistakes and believing you’re inadequate prevents you from taking actions.
In your business, you need to make decisions, provide services, and bring value to your customers. Something you can’t do if you worry more about what people think about you, and how you look to the world.
It should be clear that Imposter Syndrome is widespread, counter-productive, and a barrier to becoming your best self.
Here are five ways to combat it.
- Identify and acknowledge your inner critic
- Recognize the insecurity you feel
- Write down your accomplishments
- Re-frame your self-talk
- Find a mentor
Identify and Acknowledge Your Inner Critic
The inner critic is the little voice in your head that pops up and delivers its limiting message.
It can stop you in your tracks.
When it appears, acknowledge what it is, give it a name, and listen to what its telling you.
By doing so you make the voice visual and take it out of the dark. You’ll have more control over it and can deal with it when it shows up again.
Recognize the Insecurity You Feel
The little voice is telling you something. What is it?
“I started this business with no prior experience. I don’t know what I’m doing”
“This business looks like so many others. I won’t stand out”
“Other products can serve my customers better.”
Write Down Your Accomplishments
Now write a list of everything you’ve accomplished.
Include the steps that got you here, the things you had to learn, the decisions you had to make.
A picture should emerge that your business was not just luck. The success you’ve created was based on things you did.
Re-frame Your Self-talk
Your inner critic shows up and informs you: “You’re not very good at this so you should stop trying.”
Consider what it says, decide if this is true and if it is, how can you work around it?
For instance, change the limiting belief to say: Yes, it’s true I’m not great at this now, but I am continuing to learn and improve, and I will keep at it.
Practice this shift in thinking anytime these interfering thought show up. Answer the inner voice to reflect a growth and positive mindset.
Find a Mentor
Mentors are helpful for providing guidance and support. They can give you honest feedback and support.
Working with a mentor can be beneficial to develop confidence and adopt a growth mindset.
Imposter Syndrome is a disruptive condition that interferes with your success.
It is totally possible to gain a more positive mindset.
Hopefully, the steps above will help you get control of your doubts, fears, and insecurity.
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Published by CII © 2018