Today’s blog post is all about Imposter Syndrome.
I want to be honest with you.
I don’t always feel like the confident woman that people have described me as. Before I take any stage or hit record on a video, I often times have given myself a pep talk in the car, in the bathroom mirror, or as I put on my makeup.
And it’s because no matter how much “stuff” I’ve accomplished, there’s always a little voice that amplifies who I’m not.
As soon as I sat down to write it, a little voice popped in my head: “What do you know about helping others combat Imposter Syndrome? Isn’t this a psychological thing? You’re not a therapist. You coach others dealing with their marketing and their businesses, not their minds.”
I have given speeches in front of thousands of people, contributed to major publications, launched an online marketing agency that generates thousands of dollars per year for myself and my clients, and have created award-winning digital campaigns. But the voice doesn’t care about facts.
Do you know that feeling? Have you heard that voice in your head?
Imposter syndrome is a “collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success” and feels similar to putting on a pair of jeans that have been ironed with just a little too much starch. Although they are your correct size and have fit in the in the past, external situations have made them uncomfortable.
If you’ve ever had similar thoughts, recognize that questioning your creativity or purpose can be a reminder of your humility or an invitation down a rabbit hole of horror. However, you have the power to decide which of those options it will be.
Here’s 5 ways to beat Imposter Syndrome:
1. CALL IT OUT
When you begin to have those thoughts, identify them immediately so you can trace the root. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:
Is there any truth to what I am feeling right now?
Is there an experience I had when I was younger that’s making me doubt myself today?
When did I first feel like this?
Do I need to reframe a past incident from a failure into a learning experience?
Is this feeling of doubt really mine or did someone project it onto me?
2. REVIEW YOUR RESUME
I encourage you to go back to your bio, resume, CV, or even the positive note your mom slipped in your lunch box in the 4th grade.
When you can feel the imposter syndrome attempting to form, whip out your credentials and remind yourself of how much grit it has taken you to get to this point in your career. There’s nothing phony about that.
3. ASSEMBLE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
World renowned Social Activist, Theologian, and former columnist for The Washington Post, Rahiel Tesfamariam once said, “Surround yourself with people who remind you of who you are.” We have to stop with the “fake it until you make it” mantra, because that’s not helping anyone in the long term.
Do your best to ensure the people you enlist to be part of your support system truly have your best interest in mind and that you are in a safe place to be vulnerable and honest. It’s perfectly fine for you to make mistakes and to not know everything relative to your field of expertise.
4. DO IT ANYWAY
The worst thing Imposter Syndrome can do is keep us from our best work. The sooner you push through the Imposter Syndrome, the sooner you can know how to improve on your current process. I also encourage you to record or document your processes either on video or in a journal.
The last recommendation to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is to evaluate yourself. Watch your own videos, review your own notes, and see if there are any opportunities for you to improve. Additionally, you may find some unique things that only you do that can add to your competitive advantage.
You don’t have to feel like a fraud. Whenever that feeling creeps up, pull up a chair to this table and get comfortable…because you belong here.
Always speak life,
This article was edited for space. To read my full article, visit ConvertKit’s online publication, Tradecraft (Issue #23, How to Start a Coaching Business)