Forget Imposter Syndrome and be more creative!
Yesterday I was chatting with one of my coaching clients during our monthly video session and she confessed that she’s been lacking confidence because she doesn’t think she’s a good fit for her business. She feels she’s charging her clients too much. She doesn’t feel she’s good enough, she doesn’t feel she’s qualified for the job.
This was really shocking for me. If you see her past accomplishments, you would think that she’s the most confident, experienced, and knowledgeable person in this world. But she’s not. She has a lot of doubts, she has a lot of fears about her business and her future. That’s why she hired me last month to help her figure out what she can do to get unstuck and elevate her brand.
In case you don’t know, Imposter Syndrome is a concept describing people who experience a fear of being exposed as a “fraud” and they convince themselves that they don’t deserve the success they have achieved.
Instead of seeing and acknowledging their success they attribute their achievements to good luck or perfect timing. They don’t attribute the success to their own talent and skills or qualities, and they are scared that their clients will find out about the fraud.
Basically, you’re feeling like an impostor when you’re actually not. This usually happens when you are experiencing some sort of success in your career, things are working, your clients are hiring you, and your business is growing. And that’s when you start asking yourself questions.
I felt the same way when I started my event planning job back in the day. At the time, there was no formal education or training for event planning. I’m talking about the late 80s in Italy, when the job of event planner didn’t really exist.
I had to learn by making experience, event after event, and I had to learn from my mistake. This proved to be very effective because I was able to improve my business and bring it to a higher level every single year. And that’s when I started thinking: “Am I really doing the right thing? How can I charge clients for something that I learned from my mistakes? They could do the same thing, and I’m charging them for what I offer… Who am I to do that? I don’t even have a certification in event planning!”
Imposter syndrome was sabotaging my business with doubts and fear of failure. Luckily, I was able to take control of these negative feelings and I started looking at all the beautiful experiences that I was creating for my clients. Little by little, confidence started to replace my doubts.
And here I am today, helping others overcome this feeling and letting them grow, succeed, and be profitable.
How to identify imposter syndrome
Many psychologists attribute imposter syndrome to a natural sense of humility about our work which is a positive thing for sure. However, it can generate fear and we tend to discount our knowledge or expertise by charging less for our services and our products.
Common signs that you have imposter syndrome can range from procrastination to the inability to connect and work with new clients, comparison, competition, and in some major cases depression. This is because you don’t feel you’re enough for your business, you have a fear of not accomplishing your goals, and so on. The most important thing here is to become aware of the problem and be able to overcome the challenges. Otherwise you will stay in this situation forever. You have to do something like I did!
If you are a perfectionist or a workaholic (like me) chances are, you are suffering from imposter syndrome because you’re never happy with the results and you think what you’re doing is never enough to prove to the rest of the world that you are worth it.
But, you know what? I think that imposter syndrome can be a good thing for us entrepreneurs. It can push us to achieve even better goals in our business because we want to prove ourselves (and our clients) that we are indeed the expert here. And yes, we can charge more because we provide them exceptional value. So, if you realize you are living with imposter syndrome, first of all don’t feel ashamed because I think it’s very common among us entrepreneurs and it can be a great way to change and improve. Look at the positive side here!
If you do a little research on imposter syndrome you will find out that many famous people from actors to authors to artists went through the same path at a certain point in their lives. So, you’re not alone!
It’s very possible for you to experience imposter syndrome for your entire life but, again, once you are aware of this you can use it to your advantage and push yourself to be and do better in your business.
I help a lot of professionals, mainly solo entrepreneurs, who suffered or still suffer from Imposter Syndrome. It’s one of the most challenging parts of my business because I have to convince these skilled and passionate professionals that they’re doing everything right and that they achieved a lot throughout their career. Sometimes they tell me about their career and their accomplishments, but they still feel they are imposters and they are basically sabotaging their business without even knowing it. It’s like a block that prevents them from growing and standing out in the industry.
How to overcome (or deal with) imposter syndrome
I have a couple of tips for you that I always discuss with my clients. Of course, each of you is different and the process I go through with my clients is way more elaborate than sharing tips. However, this can give you a general idea of how to deal with imposter syndrome, be more creative and become more successful.
- Stop comparing yourself to others, stop copying them. You are you, you are your brand, and you can shine when you show your true self, when you express your creativity, your personality, your voice. Being authentic will let you stand out and it will give you that unique edge that nobody else has. You will see yourself under a completely different light, and you will realize your clients need YOU, only you.
- Be more confident and go beyond your doubts. I notice this happening when my clients are working on new projects or products or services, and they experience fear of failure. This is when the imposter syndrome kicks in: maybe my offerings are not good enough, I’m not smart enough, who am I trying to convince? People will find out that I’m scamming them… It’s not true – unless you really want to scam them!
Own what you do and take control of your life. If you believe in what you do you are not an imposter! You are just helping other people and solving their problems with your expertise and knowledge. You are here because you have a purpose in life which is, helping your clients with your gifts!
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ have you ever experienced imposter syndrome in your career? How did you overcome this?
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Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.