Imposter Syndrome - What Is It and How Do I Deal With It?
You may or may not be familiar with imposter syndrome. If you're not, here it is summed up nicely by Wikipedia!
"Imposter syndrome is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud"."
Except, I would go further and say even those who wouldn't consider themselves as 'high achieving' can experience imposter syndrome. Anyone at any level of their career or success in life can have those doubts about their own abilities.
I remember first hearing someone talk about imposter syndrome on a podcast. It was like a light bulb had gone off in my head.
Finally, I could sum up in a phrase how I felt about starting my own business and being a content creator. Not only that, there were people worldwide who understood and related to my feelings 100%. It was a huge sigh of relief.
The irony of imposter syndrome in my experience, is I can literally be told to my face by clients that they love my work, I've made them feel amazing and they're recommending me to friends and family. Yet I can STILL finish some jobs thinking, "Oh no I really hope they liked me."
I know deep down how impactful the work I do can be, yet I still find myself with a pit in my stomach when I tell a client how much I charge, when I try to close a sale or, even worse, when I have to raise my prices as my skill and expertise develops.
If you let it, imposter syndrome, fear and self doubt can hold you back from growing your business, connecting with the people you care about, getting outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself to achieve success on your own terms. It can even stop you from getting started in the first place!
I don't know about you, but I've let imposter syndrome and fear run the game for far too long.
I'm ready to acknowledge those doubts and fears as part of the journey, and carefully place them aside and choose to have faith in myself.
Some helpful exercises if you're struggling with imposter syndrome:
Collect all your testimonials and other feedback. Read them on the days you're stuck in a rut - they will lift you out of it and remind you of the impact your work has. I save everything from positive comments on Youtube videos, to Facebook reviews and personal emails. If you don't have any yet, ask your friends, family, work colleagues or teachers to contribute two or three things each they love about you and your work.
Write a long list of all the qualities you possess that make you perfect for what you do (or perfect for what you WANT to do in the future) - these are the objective traits that prove how well fitted you are to your work. If you're a business owner for example, it might be being organised, creative, self motivated, ambitious and caring about the people you're serving.
- Tapping & Affirmations. EFT is a great way to use affirmations in a physical way that really allows them to sink into your sub-conscious - check out Youtube for some incredible tapping videos for success and letting go of fear. Here is one of my favourites. PS - it feels weird at first but go with it and you will feel amazing afterwards! I'm going to talk more about tapping in a video later this week.
Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? Please reach out to me in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - we all need some support on this journey!
Love, Kat x
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