Self Doubt and Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
Guest Post by: Craft Content Marketing
You sit there, today’s to-do list in front of you and client emails ready to read and begin another day. However, sipping your coffee you take in a deep breath and think ‘how long until they find out that I’m a fraud?’.
Despite your obvious success you continue to doubt your ability. This nagging voice in your head is always quick to tell you that you are not enough; are not good enough, smart enough or skilled enough to do the work that you are doing, or take the next step in making your idea a reality.
If yes, then you are one of millions of people who struggle with imposter syndrome. To have imposter syndrome is to have continued feelings of inadequacy despite evident success. The syndrome can be linked to perfectionism, as no matter how successful the person is, they are never able to accept their own achievements. ‘Imposters’ feel that they must not fail – because if they do, they will be ‘found out’ as the fake they are. They attribute their successes to ‘luck’ or ‘flukes’, and always downplay their
achievements. Imposter syndrome also strikes at the beginning of a new venture. Whilst you know that you have the ability to turn your idea into a successful business, you tell yourself that this business will never become a reality.
Why do imposters feel this way? Well, with social media it is so easy to track the success of our peers – whether this success is real or not! I have even found myself comparing my own life to people that I have never met and will never meet. I don’t know anything about their lives, but they’re the same age as me so why am I not as successful as they are? It becomes difficult to recognise your own talents when you are focused on the talents of others.
Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, ‘Imposters’ are often perfectionists, so even anything that they do themselves is never good enough. Another factor in this imposter-mess: parents. As parents we want to give our children all of the confidence, support and faith that we can muster, telling them that they can be anything they want to. You want to be President of the United States? SURE YOU CAN! Doesn’t matter that we live in the Australia, you can be anything you want to be! So, we grow up thinking that we have to live up to these best versions of ourselves, these crazy ideas we conjured up as children.
But, we’re not children. We are grown-ass adults who are working for ourselves, and we are killing it! As business-owners, imposter syndrome hits us hard. It’s difficult to feel like you’re really a writer, coach, mentor etc when your office is the kitchen table and your uniform is a sweaty gym kit or pjs. And it’s nerve-wracking to quit your ‘day job’ and pursue your life as an entrepreneur when the little voice is always telling you that you will fail.
So, how do you overcome it?
Like everything else it life, it is a learning experience. It won’t go away instantly, and unfortunately it may never fully leave you, but you learn to deal with it.
- Visualise success: picture what success looks like to you. Whether it’s renting an office space, gaining another client or finishing that email, keep focused. You will get there.
- Recognise your feelings: Once you know what imposter syndrome is, you can nip it in the bud. Shut it down before it takes a hold of you.
- Reframe your situation: Everything should be looked at in context. If you feel like a fraud because you had to look up a new business term, remind yourself of where you were six months ago.
- Love yourself: Be kind to yourself! Recognise your talents, and take yourself seriously. If you are a writer but you wait tables to cover some bills, call yourself a writer. If you call yourself a waiter who does some writing, then nobody will take you seriously. Start with you.
I hope that this helps to quieten that nagging voice a lot of us have. Remember: You are enough, you are talented and you are a success. Be proud of what you have achieved so far, and if you are thinking of taking that leap into entrepreneurship – have courage.
You got this!
About Keisha Singleton
CRAFT Founder, Keisha is a freelance writer with over five years of experience in varying fields and styles. Whether you need killer content for your business website, outstanding copy for your marketing department, feature articles for your blog or a sharp-eyed editor, Keisha can work with you to improve your business.
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