“No one cares what I have to say.”
“I don’t have enough knowledge to talk about that.”
“I can’t compete with ______ – s/he has 10 years more experience than I do.”
“WOW! How does that entrepreneur have 10K followers?”
“Maybe I shouldn’t publish this video…”
“What if someone asks me something I don’t know the answer to?”
Have any of these thoughts ever gone through your mind? They’ve gone through mine!
It’s called “Imposter Syndrome” and it’s more common than you think. All entrepreneurs (big or small) have had feelings of doubt in their lives. We’re constantly challenging ourselves and pushing the limits of what’s “normal.” So it’s not uncommon to have feelings of doubt when we approach our next big, audacious goal or pursue something no one else would ever consider.
BUT, I’m here to tell you while those feelings are natural…and NOT to let them hold you back!
Don’t believe them for even one second. Because you are in the elite minority. You are unique. You *are* worth your audience’s time.
What if – instead of that little voice in your head holding you back – you heard…
“The world *needs* to hear my opinion.”
“People *will* benefit from what I have to teach.”
“ *I don’t care* what the industry experts are doing.”
“My list may be small, but it’s filled with people that *appreciate* what I have to say. Plus, it keeps growing!”
“I have *SO* much to say on video!”
“I’m ready for *anything*.”
This mindset shift is possible! How do you get there? You don’t *just* overcome imposter syndrome. You *master* it. And today I’m here to share my top five favorite strategies for mastering imposter syndrome.
🎥 Once again, I have everyone covered. If you’d rather watch, start the video below. Or keep scrolling for the text version of the five exercises.
Strategy #1: Adopt an action mentality.
When you first decide you want to do something different, or be something different… imposter syndrome tends to work it’s way into your head. You start thinking about all the other people doing what you want to do or all the entrepreneurs that are *so* much further along in their journey than you are.
Here’s what you need to remember:
Action squashes doubt.
Here’s an exercise to get you into action.
Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Ready?
In the first column, I want you to write down all the things that people in your industry do on the daily. Observe the people that have what you want or are doing what you would *love* to do. List out everything they are doing so you can see actionable steps that make them successful. Are they publishing a ton of content? Or creating “how-to” videos? Are they interviewing other experts or being featured on podcasts? Do they regularly speak at big events? Attend trade shows? You should write down at least ten distinct “actions” that these experts are taking.
Now in the second column, write down all the things you can start doing *today* that will get you closer to your desired end state.
For example, when I first entered the online entrepreneur space, I did this exact exercise. I noticed experts in this industry were producing a ton of content, were being interviewed on podcasts, and had close relationships with other influencers. So, while I wasn’t at that level yet, I started a list of the things I could do now to get me closer to that desired state. This is when I first started my blog and also when I experimented with hosting a podcast. I overcame those imposter feelings by taking those first crucial steps.
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^^^ Pin for reference or to read later! ^^^
Strategy #2: Flip the Script.
Change your perspective by embracing your perceived weaknesses.
For this exercise, you need to identify the thing that makes you most hesitant to get into action. The “weakness” that holds you back. Once you’ve identified one that scares you the most, flip your script by deciding how that weakness is actually a strength. Think you’re too old to start something new? Instead, think about all the experience and wisdom to bring to the table. Afraid you don’t have enough experience? Instead, think about how real and relatable you are to your audience. Embrace this mentality shift! It’s liberating.
Strategy #3: Gather and refer to evidence of how amazing you are.
This is one of my favorites for those rainy days… you know – the ones where nothing is going right and you just want to go back to bed and start over.
Every time you get a nice email or glowing testimonial or *any* words of praise – save it! Keep it somewhere special. Whether that’s a specific folder in your inbox or a physical box stored under your bed ;). Just collect that proof that you are *fantastic* at what you do, so you can go back to those glowing words when imposter syndrome comes a’knockin.
Don’t have this proof yet? Then go out and get it! Offer your services for free (or a reduced rate) to a select number of dream clients. Show these clients what you do and ask for honest feedback. This allows you to both prove to yourself *and* prove to the market that you are amazing.
Strategy #4: Manage your inputs.
I am a firm believer that you need to consistently and *obsessively* curate your life.
You have a choice on what blogs you’re reading, and who’s showing up in your social media feed. You have a choice to curate exactly what and who you want to influence your mood and emotions. If there’s a certain entrepreneur or brand that constantly triggers you to feel inferior – stop following them!
Pay attention to how you feel when you encounter people. If there’s a pattern where your thoughts are being affected negatively by a certain person, unsubscribe!
And, you must limit the reading, the podcasts, the freebie downloading. I’m not saying eliminate it. Be a lifelong learner, but set boundaries for yourself around it. The key is to get out of consumption mode and start creating more. When you quiet all the noise, it gets easier to tap into what you believe so you can start sharing that with the world.
Strategy #5: Build a support system.
I love that Brené Brown talks about this exact topic in her book Daring Greatly. She recommends only taking feedback from people who are also “in the ring” with you.
Build a cohort of peers that are putting themselves out there like you are. Be with entrepreneurs or creatives that have put their egos on the line to achieve something great. Find whatever peers you identify with most so you can commiserate and support each other through this crazy journey. It can be so *freeing* to talk with someone that just gets it – a person who understands what you are doing daily and *why* you are so frustrated… or so excited… or scared. You need these people in your circle!
This entrepreneurial life is hard. There’s no getting around it! At some point, imposter syndrome *will* rear its ugly head. But when it does, I hope you’ll remember (or bookmark) these strategies so you can get over it, move on, and keep sharing your genius with the world.