Most business owners I know struggle with Imposter Syndrome and I am guilty of it too. I think we as women are always comparing ourselves to others, always doubting our own success, and never really believing a compliment. So I am very grateful to Lindsey that she agreed to write a guest blog for us on this topic. She is a life-coach specialising in Imposter Syndrome and she just finished her book with lots of strategies to help women stop listening to that little voice and overcome Imposter Syndrome.
Lindsey's Tips & Strategies:
Stop doubting your awesomeness
Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking that you are not good enough to be successful in your business? Or comparing yourself to others and deciding they are much better than you which is why they are more successful than you are? Or maybe when you are doing well you start to doubt yourself and think you are not deserving of the success you are seeing? Or do you worry that your clients are going to go elsewhere when they realise you are not as good as they think you are?
If you identify with any of these statements, you might be struggling with the imposter syndrome! The imposter syndrome is feelings of self doubt, including feeling you are not good enough and feeling like a fraud that will get found out, regardless of the evidence to the contrary. The term was first coined in 1978 by two psychologists, Dr Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Immes. They were researching highly qualified academic women and found that these women didn’t feel they were deserving of their success, and often dismissed it as some form of luck, or deception on their part in convincing people they were better than they actually were. These intelligent, experienced women didn’t own their successes and often the more successful they became, the more they felt like a fraud.
This phenomenon is believed to affect up to 70% of the population, and some 2019 research by the International Center for Research on Women and TRESemmé states that 88% of women will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.
The self-confidence muscle
Although I don’t believe there is a ‘cure’ and I think if you are susceptible to these feelings they are likely to always be there, I want to share some simple strategies you can try that can put you in a more resourceful state, quickly. Like any exercise, to keep seeing results, you just need to keep doing them on a consistent basis.
Remember you are not alone! With almost 9 out of 10 women potentially struggling with these feelings at some point in their lives, you are actually in the majority by having these feelings. When you notice the feelings of self doubt, acknowledge them, accept that you’re feeling self doubt and, similar to any other feeling, this will change overtime. Instead of focusing on the self doubt think about how you would like to feel instead - maybe confident or relaxed - and really focus on what feeling like this would be like. Is there someone you admire that demonstrates these qualities? What do they do? Maybe they have a straight posture, maybe they smile, maybe they hold their head high. Whatever it is, try it for yourself: start adopting these behaviours and characteristics and see if this changes your feelings.
Write down all your achievements, ideally in a beautiful journal, but that may just be my personal preference! List the things you are proud of, such as awards, or client testimonials. Also list everything you can do and wonder that at some point you didn’t know how to do it but you have the resourcefulness and capacity to continuously learn, grow and develop! Remember, you were not born knowing how to walk, write, read, text, drive, type, use Excel, create a website, take a photograph, practice yoga, understand words, talk, cook, run a business, set up your accounts, attract clients. Everything you can currently do, at some point was something you couldn’t do. Anything you want to do can be learnt and by writing down everything you have achieved to date means you have your own evidence bank of what you have already accomplished. Be proud of yourself and let this build your self-confidence.
When you catch yourself saying you are not good enough just add the word ‘yet’ to the end. This simple trick moves you from a fixed mindset, for example that you are not good enough and never will be, to a growth mindset that although you feel this is your current reality, there is the possibility of something different in the future. This simple trick can work on so many self doubts - “I can’t do this” changes to “I can’t do this yet”; “I don’t know what I’m doing” changes to “I don’t know what I’m doing yet”; “I’m such a mess” can change to “I haven’t got everything sorted out yet”; “they are better than me” can change to “I’m not as advanced as them yet”. Give yourself the gift of being open to change and evolution, and, as you already have evidenced, you have achieved so much and you will achieve even more in the future because you are a highly capable, resourceful and brilliant individual!
If you too struggle with Imposter Syndrome, it might you even stop from growing your business, get in touch with Lindsey and book a life coaching sessions with her.