The persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
I think most entrepreneurs (especially female entrepreneurs) have all felt that doubt and fear of not being good enough. That little voice that is holding you back or preventing you to take on big challenges because you feel like a fraud. Guys, Imposter syndrome is real and I’ve experienced throughout my journey and I’ve spoken to many others that have gone through the same experiences. I’m not sure if you ever completely get rid of that imposter syndrome feeling but I definitely know that I have gotten much better at dealing with it and I wanted to share tips that have helped me. I’m hoping that you can find something in here that helps.
.01 | Take Notice When You are Feeling Like an Imposter and Face It.
There are many things that can trigger this feeling of not being good enough, or that people shouldn’t want to buy your services, or they shouldn’t take advice from you, etc. Whenever I get this feeling, I think about what situation just happened that has made me feel this way. Whether it’s raising your prices, or seeing someone with amazing skill level and thinking you can never reach that level, take note of what made you feel that way. Once you start seeing what is triggering it, you can dig deep and see a pattern of what is causing this to happen. For example, let’s say you get this feeling when you send off your pricing to a client. Maybe you feel that your prices are too much and that nobody is going to want to purchase from you. Take a step back and look at your prices. Realize that you set those prices for a reason; because you’re valuable and because you’re providing a service that is going to make someone’s life better, and you’re a business. When you face the truth behind what you’re feeling you’re able to stop your mind from working against you. I get this feeling on Instagram sometimes when I see other people designing amazing work and I just think I will never get to their level, or that they have it altogether, and just think that I don’t deserve to be in business. Then I take a step back and realize that my mind is just causing problems, and that I am a professional, that I have a ton of design knowledge and experience, and that I deserve to have my own design business.
Action Step: The next time you feel like an imposter, analyze the situation that you were in when you felt that way. Why am I feeling this way? What action can I take to prevent feeling this way?
.02 | Experience
This one probably isn’t very helpful for people that are looking for more experience, but I must say that I think i’ve been able to keep the imposter syndrome at bay because of my years of experience of being a designer. In all honesty, when I came out of design school, I was lost. I didn’t know how to price my design work, I didn’t know the design process or what it was like to work with actual real clients. I felt like an imposter. I remember a company hired me as a freelancer and I felt like I fooled them, that I wasn’t very good and that I wouldn’t be able to do the job as well as they wanted. Turns out, I delivered what I had to and the company loved it. As I’ve worked for design agencies, print shops, and as an in-house designer, I’ve definitely have grown more confident in my work. As I’ve taken classes and listened to podcasts, watched a million hours of YouTube video tutorials and worked with other designers, I realized I do know what I’m talking about and I do know what I’m doing. As you gain experience, you will start to gain more confidence. Hone in on your craft and get your hands on different projects and challenge yourself.
Action Step: Take a Skillshare class or watch a tutorial on YouTube to strengthen a skill that you feel you are lacking in.
.03 | Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Sound Cliche? I’m 100% comfortable with staying in my comfort zone and not straying but something always comes around, challenges me to step out of it, and I always end up appreciating those experiences the most. Sometimes you don’t know if you’ll be good at something or know if you like something if you don’t try it. Instead of making the assumption that you’ll suck at it, make yourself try something new. One, you’ll either be successful and find out that you are good at other things, or two, you fail and you learn from it, and figure out how you would do it differently next time. sometimes you need to just go for it.
Action Step: What’s something that would make you step out of your comfort zone? What’s something that you’ve been wanting to try but too scared to do it?
.04| Make friends with those you admire.
You know those people that look like they have it together? Those who look super confident and know exactly what they’re doing? Most likely they don’t have it altogether either and struggle with similar emotions. We are all human and we are experiencing this entrepreneurial journey together. All of us are at different places in our businesses, in difference niches, and there is no cookie cutter answer to running a business. So there might be people who make it look easy, doesn’t mean it’s actually easy for them. Or maybe they have just been at it longer so they have already gone through the failures and learned from them. By making friends with those people, you can learn from them, but you can also find that most of them don’t have it altogether either. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve listened to successful business owners give their stories on podcasts and they all say that they’re just figuring it out like the rest of us. When you make friends with someone or reach out to them, it takes away the idolizing factor and makes you realize that they’re human too.
Action step: Reach out to someone you admire on instagram, comment on their posts or send them a DM and just make conversation with them. Know somebody in person, ask them for a coffee date.
.05 | Nobody is you and that is your superpower
Okay, we’ve probably all seen this quote already and I know that quotes aren’t supposed to magically make things happen but it resonates so much with this topic of imposter syndrome. Every person is unique in some way and nobody has the same combinations of skills, personality, quirks, or experience. You have your own story to tell, your own thoughts to share and you deserve to tell them. If you can make a positive impact on just one person’s life by sharing your experience or perspective then you’re doing something right. They don’t have your quirks, your knowledge, or your experiences and I think that’s something you should remember when you question whether you have anything important to share. Or maybe you feel like there isn’t anything new to add, or you don’t have a unique spin. The best part though, is you do have something to add to the conversation and you should embrace it.
Action step: Full embrace who you are and then show it off.
We hope these tips help you out as they have helped me over the years. Once you start taking action and not letting the imposter syndrome take over, then you will see massive growth and fulfillment.