Feel like a fraud? Like you don’t belong? Yes!? Then say hello to imposter syndrome.
The term Impostor Phenomenon was coined by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in the late 70s. It’s feelings of doubt, worry, and anxiety surrounding your abilities and intelligence. Despite being successful and having achieved many things, you feel like it’s all a mistake and you don’t belong.
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslet
1 // Talk to someone about it
Finding someone to talk to about your feelings can help you realise you’re not alone. Many business owners have bouts of feeling like an imposter. Voicing your concerns and chatting about it with someone can help you refocus.
2 // Keep and reflect on positive feedback
Keep a folder on your computer for ‘Kind Words’ where you save good comments and reviews you’ve received. When you’re feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing or that you’re a fraud, open that folder. Remind yourself that you are worthy. You are good at your job. You are deserve to be here.
3 // Accept and appreciate compliments
When you do receive a compliment or positive feedback, what’s your initial response? Being dismissive of compliments is common among those with imposter syndrome. Learn to accept that the person isn’t just saying it to be nice but genuinely thinks so.
4 // Stop comparing yourself to others
We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others. Social media doesn’t help make it any easier. But your journey is not theirs and comparing yourself to them is not going to leave you feeling better.
It’s also worthwhile remembering that the public image shared can sometimes be sugarcoated. We tend to curate the good stuff and hide the negative so looking at others and thinking ‘they are smarter, better, more successful than me’ is not a healthy habit.
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.” – Shannon L. Alder
5 // Don’t dismiss your achievements
You know what I used to say when people commented on my success, “I was just lucky”. But you know what, it wasn’t.
A successful business is not down to luck. It’s hard work.
By saying that you’re dismissing all the work you put in, the study, the days and nights you sweated away to get where you are. You weren’t lucky, you worked your butt off. Don’t dismiss yourself and all you did to get there.
Learn to appreciate your achievements and successes and celebrate the wins.