How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Business Owner

Jan 03, 2022

Don't let imposter syndrome stop you from achieving success

It's no secret that starting and running your own business is tough. But what you may not realize is that even the most successful female entrepreneurs suffer from something called imposter syndrome - the feeling of being a fraud or simply not good enough.

If you're currently struggling with imposter syndrome, know that you're not alone.

In this blog post, we'll explore some tips on how to overcome imposter syndrome so you can keep crushing it in business!

What exactly imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome - it's something we've all heard of. But what is it exactly?

Simply put, imposter syndrome is when individuals are unable to recognize and internalize their accomplishments, instead feeling like frauds or imposters despite their actual success and potential for success.

People struggling with this phenomenon might feel as though any successes or achievements they receive are due to chance or luck rather than their own merit.

This can manifest itself in many ways, from doubting and second-guessing your work, not feeling worthy of praise or promotions, and avoiding certain situations where you could possibly fail.

Thankfully, addressing these feelings and recognizing that many people experience the same doubts can help you take back control!

Understand that imposter syndrome is normal and common, especially among successful people

Even the most successful people in this world can face their own doubts and worries from time to time. From bouts of feeling like a fraud, to questioning whether our successes are down to luck or skill - it's normal to experience imposter syndrome.

Some of the most famous people have admitted to feeling this way. From Oprah to Lady Gaga, most successful people experience doubt about their abilities and fear that they will be "found out" and lose everything they've worked so hard to believe.

I hope that by knowing this, you'll feel reassured that your feelings are more common than you think.
As a side note, it's also important to remember that no one has all the answers and there is immense value placed on both success and mistakes. We're all on a journey and will overcome certain challenges in our own unique way - don't forget that!

Learn how to reframe your thinking about imposter syndrome

Do you ever feel like you're constantly running in circles because of imposter syndrome? It's not uncommon to feel this way – in fact, even the most accomplished professionals will tell you they experience it too.

But it's important to understand that it can be overcome with a little bit of effort.

Where imposter syndrome really comes from

You might be surprised to discover that when it comes to impostor syndrome, perfectionism is almost always the culprit.

Yup - you guessed it, you're trying way too hard to live up to other people's standards and expectations!

But here's the good news: you don't have to knock yourself out for approval, because imposter syndrome isn't really a measure of your success or even your worthiness.

In fact, imposter syndrome is virtually unavoidable when we're reaching for our higher potential and putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations that can lead to growth.

So take a step back, cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to make mistakes! After all, they're an essential part of the process.

What if you DO fail?

At this point, you might be nodding your head as these pennies drop, but then think to yourself... "what if I DO mess up? What if I don't deliver?" My fears are REAL.

I hear you. But, it's important to embrace setbacks and failure along your journey, especially if you are a business owner. There are so many challenges, variables and situations that arise, you have to be flexible and adaptable if you want your business to survive and thrive.

It can help to remind yourself that mistakes are part of learning and growing, and allow yourself some grace when things don't go as planned.

You might be surprised at how much more confident you'll start feeling once you begin to accept your imperfections!

How to overcome imposter syndrome

While you might recognize that you suffer from imposter syndrome, the real challenge is to deal with it. It's not something that you can conquer overnight, but there are actionable steps that you can take to make strides in overcoming it.

Building a supportive network of friends and family can be incredibly beneficial, as having someone to remind you of your worth is invaluable.

Self-compassion is also essential - process your negative thoughts with kindness instead of beating yourself up.

Making sure that your daily practices honours this self-compassion is just as important; set aside time for rest and relaxation, limit your digital diet, practice yoga or meditation, and separate yourself from unhealthy influences in life.

When you are wrapped up in yourself, worrying that you don't deserve to be seen and heard, you are actually denying the world the amazing products and services that you were put on this Earth to give.

All of these action steps can help you address these feelings so don’t let fear hold you back from taking charge of your mental health!

Journaling deep-dive

It can be healing to journal about your feelings of inadequacy. Set aside some alone time to answer the following questions:

  1. What am I experiencing imposter syndrome about, specifically?
  2. When in my life have I achieved a goal or success?
  3. How did I achieve it? Was it truly luck or was it my actions that led to that success?
  4. If I've been able to succeed in the past, it means I can do it again, right?

I also like to end off my journalling sessions by writing in big letters on the page: "Why not me?" and I tell myself that if other people can experience success in business and life, then so can I.

And so can you!

Closing thoughts

Imposter syndrome may be tempting to succumb to, but business owners must recognize it for what it is: a self-limiting thought process.

To overcome imposter syndrome, business owners need to focus on their strengths and successes, hold themselves accountable when necessary, recognize the value of continued learning, and maintain realistic yet ambitious expectations of themselves.

The most successful business owners stay in control of their own destiny by making an effort to supplant any false assumptions with positive affirmations about themselves.

By recognizing your worth and staying conscious of your abilities instead of letting doubts take over your emotions, you can eliminate (or at least significantly reduce) imposter syndrome from your mindset and set yourself up for success.

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