If there is one thing that I can pinpoint above all else that has really probably held me back in my own business ventures, it si definitely imposter syndrom.
Before I get into that, FYI you can use both spellings – imposter or impostor.
Anyway, like I said, it is the one thing that has probably held me back more than anything.
So I’m going to dive into what it is, how it has affected me and what you can do to deal with it.
What Is Imposter Syndrome?
It’s largely the belief that you’ve achieved or are achieving your success due to luck rather than skill or talent. or that in future if you’re successful, you’ll be exposed as a fraud.
That second bit applies more to me because that constant feeling that I’m not good enough is largely what holds me back from even starting, rather than getting to a point of success and then questioning if it was deserved.
Common examples are:
- If you’re a perfectionist and things feel less than perfect (yep.)
- If you’re trying to be an expert and feel like you need to know everything before you start (yep.)
- If you’re not used to asking for help and get stuck on something (yep.)
What Causes Imposter Syndrome?
It is fully psychological and the answer of the root cause will differ from person to person.
It will usually be a behaviour pattern that is learned from past experiences rather than it being something that pre-exists.
But even then, that is very broad.
Past experience can include something you did (or didn’t do) or something someone has said to you or even just watching something happen to other people and thinking you need to make sure you have everything in place so it doesn’t happen to you too.
Sometimes if you journal or write all your thoughts and experiences, you might be able to pinpoint the specific ones that make you feel like you’re not good enough.
And if you can, that goes a long way towards healing the symptoms that cause your issues.
How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome
I still battle with imposter syndrom daily and it is stopping me from my goals in a huge way.
So these are some of the things I’ve either tried, read about or been recommended to help deal with at least the symptoms of imposter syndrome.
1 – Buddy Up With Another “Imposter”
If you have an accountability partner, you have an objective observer to take away your negative self talk or a safety net to give you a bit of reassurance.
One of my main things is continuously putting off running my own Facebook ads.
But I know if I sat in a room with someone else and talked through my doubts, they would dissipate. Or if I had someone else review the ads, it’d give me that safety net.
But someone outside of your body taking the negative self talk out of the mix is a huge thing and it might be the spark you need.
2 – Imagine Worst Case And Compare It To The Impact Of That
A little bit of risk management strategy creeping in here.
Again, using my own example of Facebook ads, the absolute worst case scenario is no one signs up from my ads and I get a few hate comments.
I can switch off the ads any time if it’s not working and I can delete comments. And I can come back with new ads or a new offer.
My paranoia of not even starting is completely irrational when I put it like that.
What is worst case scenario for you? How will that impact you?And what would your action plan or next steps be if that happened?
3 – Start Small
Take some baby steps and get some small wins under your belt to build confidence and get some momentum on your side.
Returning to my Facebook ad example, if I start with a small ad budget to start getting some data, I’m not putting too much at risk, I’m getting some idea of what is or isn’t working and it’s too small to blow up in my face.
Once I have allowed that to continue for a few days and the worst case scenario hasn’t happened yet, then it at least gives me enough confidence to gradually start to go bigger.
What baby steps can you take in the direction you need to go, to get some confidence under your belt?
Imposter Syndrome Sucks
It can be a source of stress, anxiety and frustration.
But there are ways to overcome it and you’re definitely not alone.
I use this site for some self-accountability so by this time tomorrow, I’m aiming to have my first ads live. No more putting it off.