Have you ever heard that little voice inside your head saying that you’re not good enough, that you’re a fraud and that you don’t belong in your position? That there is what’s called Imposter Syndrome. And, I’ll tell you what. Everyone goes through that, and I’m talking from experience. I’ve experienced it where I felt that I didn’t deserve the award and I didn’t deserve to be in the place that I’m at. It affects everyone.
Most people in business have felt Imposter Syndrome at some point in their business career, in their life, and even in their working careers.
It causes anxiety, stress and depression. And, it’s just one of those kinds of things that are really hard to get rid of.
The more successful you are, the more you kind of feel like you’re not worthy and like you don’t belong. You may start questioning why you are getting the recognition. It’s somehow just what has developed over time and what society has instilled in us. We fear being more successful than the other person. We’re worried about what other people are going to say when we are more successful than they are.
I’m going to share a few tips on how you can reduce that feeling of being an imposter. As I said, I’ve definitely experienced this throughout my life. A few things that I’ve done to help me overcome it are:
1. Become Aware
Bring it to my attention and know that it’s not only me who’s going through this. Everyone goes through this, so that gives me that sense of comfort to say, “It’s not only me. Other people are feeling this as well.”
Other successful people go through the same feelings, and their mindset is very similar. It’s a trick that my mind is playing on me, and I bring that to my attention. I become aware of the fact that I’m feeling that.
So, that’s the first thing that I look at doing when I start feeling like that. Become aware of it, accept that it’s there, hold it in my mind that that’s what it is. And then, I move on from that.
It’s very common among successful executive women, people of different races, people from different religions, and people with different backgrounds and nationalities. They tend to find as they’re becoming successful that they have this Imposter Syndrome within them as well.
As I said, it’s a common thing, so don’t stress about it that much.
2. Acknowledge Your Hard Work & Success
Another thing that I’ve done over time is look back at my accomplishments and then credit these to the amount of hard work and effort that I put in. So, I never say, “I just got that award for no particular reason.” It was always because of the amount of hard work, effort, dedication and focus that I put into that particular activity and task. That’s why I accomplished that, and I am deserving of that reward.
3. Stop Criticising Yourself
Another tip is to stop criticising yourself or running yourself down.
You are capable of doing the things you need to and are capable of the position that you are in. As a business leader or entrepreneur, there are not that many other people who can do what you do in your particular field, so stop criticising yourself.
You’ve done certain things up to this point to get you to where you are, and you’ve got to be proud of what it is that you’ve done as well.
4. Accept That Mistakes Happen
Another thing that we tend to do is we really go hard on ourselves, especially as entrepreneurs and as business leaders, when we make mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen. It’s part of life. If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not learning. You learn from your mistakes. You don’t become successful just doing all the right things. You’ve got to continuously make a mistake, fall down, learn, fail, learn from that failure, and then, move forward. That’s how you succeed.
So, don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. It’s going to happen.
It happens to everyone. Accept that it’s part of the journey to become successful. You do not have to feel like an imposter if you make a mistake and people think, “This guy is supposed to know everything.”
No, you can’t be expected to know everything and do everything right. Sometimes you’re going to make a mistake or you’re going to miss something, and that’s just what happens.
5. Have Confidence In Your Abilities
And then again, you’ve got to have confidence and believe in yourself.
If you believe in yourself and you’re confident, then you’ll push through.
You’ll push past that little voice telling you that you are not good enough and that you are a fraud. If you’re confident in your abilities, you’ve done the hard work, you’ve put the effort in, and you are focused, then carry that confidence forward into what you do. You’ll find that these thoughts and feelings of being an imposter will dissipate, and you can push through and feel more successful as you go along.
This is a tough topic, but it’s a topic that everyone does experience. Being an entrepreneur or a business leader, at some point in your career, you are going to feel like an imposter or that you are not deserving of the position that you’re in. But, accept that everyone feels that way, and you do not need to have that mindset any longer.
It will always be there, yes. But, what can you do?
The things that I’ve shared can help you break through that feeling and mindset and come out stronger, and feel more confident in yourself and in your abilities.