Ever thought you might have Imposter Syndrome and wondered how it can impact your business? If you want to be rid of it, then keep reading.

September 2, 2021

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How to overcome Imposter Syndrome in small business

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I get it, some days are better than others. One day you’re riding high and the next you’re consumed with doubt. Welcome to imposter syndrome as a business owner.

Not sure if you have Imposter Syndrome? People who have it are high-achieving and at the same times doubt their abilities all while the evidence of their abilities shows their incredible skills. People with imposter syndrome, no matter what the evidence to the opposite, believe that they are frauds and don’t deserve their achievements.

To overcome Imposter Syndrome, there are three questions you need to answer and then address:
– why do you believe you’re a fraud and/or don’t deserve your achievements
– why do you doubt your abilities
– why can you not accept other people’s praise for your work and achievements

What you need to know to overcome imposter syndrome as a business owner

Everyone’s journey to overcoming the imposter syndrome that holds them back in business is different because we each have different stories and experiences that lead us to where we are today. There are no right or wrong answers, so long as you answer the questions honestly and frankly.

How we see ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, how we “speak” to and about ourselves come from the stories and other things we hear, construct and believe about ourselves. Beliefs are thoughts that we hold as truths and are based on our lived experiences. Stories told about us by others are their perception of us or how they want us to be and are based on their beliefs, they can also be used to keep us in a place where the other person is comfortable with us.

Perhaps it was:Overcoming imposter syndrome in small business quote Margie Warrell
– a teacher who told you to let someone else have a turn at answering the questions
– an elder or parent who said you were too big for your boots
– a mentor or supervisor who said you queue jumped or hadn’t “done your time”
– a person in power who said that men/women didn’t do the work you did/wanted to do
– a sibling who was always vying to be better than you (even when they didn’t really want what you were after)
– an overhead remark in the lunchroom
– a piece of feedback in a performance appraisal
– a comment from a competitor about your new offer
– that you didn’t deserve that promotion/contract/award
– that you got lucky
– the competition “didn’t turn up” (they did, you were just better on the day)
– being passed over for an opportunity in preference for a less capable/qualified but more popular/nepotistic choice

Whatever it was, whenever it was, and even if you didn’t hear correctly, you’ve taken these (or other) pieces of information and created a story about yourself, your abilities, and your worthiness.

What business owners need to do to overcome imposter syndrome

To overcome Imposter Syndrome, there are three questions you need to answer and then address:
– why do you believe you’re a fraud and/or don’t deserve your achievements
– why do you doubt your abilities
– why can you not accept other people’s praise for your work and achievements

Grab some paper, notebook, or start a new document and write down those three questions, one to a page.

Remember there are no right or wrong answers, only frank and honest ones.

Write down every thought that comes to mind when you think about each question. What was said, what you heard, how you felt, what happened next/after.

With each point, ask yourself “so what”:Overcoming imposter syndrome in business quote Lady Gaga
– what did that mean for you
– what did you tell yourself
– what did it make you do
– what did it stop you from doing
Keep asking yourself “so what” until you frustrate yourself and there really is nothing else, no other implication or result.

Now write down the facts about each point you’ve written. What’s the evidence that supports AND contradicts every thing you’ve been told or led to believe AND the implications (so whats) of them? Don’t edit or second guess as you write, just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t censor these facts but do be honest and frank about them.

Now look at the stories and the facts and rewrite the stories based on the facts. Don’t second guess, judge, or edit as you write; just write your new story based on the facts.

Read your new story, read out aloud, read it often, keep copies in places you can easily access it when you feel Imposter Syndrome creeping in. Your new story is the truth, your brain is used to the lies and misinformation you’ve been led to believe as truth, but they are not the facts – this new story holds the facts and the truth and your brain needs to be reminded of that. You are incredible and have achieved so much, your skills do make a difference and you have earnt the accolades.

(If you would like to add more tools to your toolkit, then download my Fear and Imposter Syndrome Workbook for a list of 10 tools to add when the Imposter Syndrome niggles again)

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