Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Sometimes when we’re struggling with something in our business, it can often be about more than just the problem itself. Not getting enough sales might seem like something you need to fix (well, and yeah, you do need sales) but it could really be due to something deeper. Something that doesn’t have anything to do with your sales ability, your website’s usability, or even your product or service.
Sometimes it boils down to how you feel about yourself. Now, stick with me for a little bit longer if you read that and thought, “Oy, feelings. I’m out.”
There’s a trend among today’s entrepreneurs called “Impostor Syndrome.” It’s pretty easy to figure out from the title, but you can fall into this trap when you question your worth, skills, and identity based on what you’re doing professionally and how well you’re doing it. When you get consumed with the “shoulds” and with all the limiting beliefs you’ve allowed to into your mindset.
Impostor syndrome tells you that you aren’t good enough to do what you’re doing and that with one false move, everyone’s going to find out about the fraud that you are. And that any accomplishment you’ve seen so far is just based on luck, not on skill you’ve got.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with making a big leap professionally and perhaps taking a position that you aren’t quite qualified for but can do some hard work to get caught up. But Impostor Syndrome is less about your skill level and more about who YOU are. That you’re NEVER going to be good enough, smart enough, fill-in-the-blank enough.
The fastest way to kick Impostor Syndrome to the curb is to change the script that plays in your mind. Almost a “fake it till you make it” type of situation. When someone is trying to make any type of change in a situation, feelings are going to be the last thing that changes. Think about the last time you got into an argument with your friend or spouse. Even after “I’m sorry”s are said and forgiveness is given, have you ever still felt mad or irritated about it for awhile? That’s going to be the same with feeling like an impostor.
To stop feeling like an impostor, you’ve got to stop talking to yourself like one.
If every time you get something recognized for an accomplishment at work you tell yourself, “if they only knew…” then you’re going to feel that way forever. If you can flip the script and take the congratulations and remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve done, you will start to see change. The feelings will remain for awhile, but eventually you will have retrained yourself.
Your internal monologue is going to make or break your Impostor Syndrome. What you think you are, you are. Even if it’s not true. Because that’s how you’ll behave. “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Change how you speak to and about yourself and very soon the feelings and actions will follow.