Do you ever feel like you’re a fraud? Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others, and feel like you come up short?… Despite the fact that you have the skills, schooling, and expertise to back it up?
If so, you may have imposter syndrome.
And if so, you are not alone. I hear from clients time-and-time again, that they don’t feel good enough, and that they feel “less-than” compared to others in their industry… despite the fact that they are awesome at what they do, have a proven track record of helping their clients change their lives, and are just as good, if not better than their peers.
But the problem is often, that no matter how much schooling, how much experience, how much awesomeness… sometimes we still feel like a fraud. Especially when we try something new, push our comfort zone, increase our rates, create a new program, change our niche, or get on stage for the first (or 100th time).
So, what exactly is Imposter Syndrome?
In general terms, imposter syndrome is when you feel inadequate, have self-doubt, or feel not worthy or deserving of this. Basically, you feel like you’re not living up to other people’s expectations.
Its kind of like perfectionism, you focus more on your mistakes rather than your achievements.
When talking about imposter syndrome regarding coaches, counsellors and healing professionals… it is based more around how to be attracting clients and running a business in a way that you create a big impact for clients. Plus, how you’ll be building a business you love and that loves you back and gives you the time and financial freedom you desire.
How imposter syndrome typically relates for these professionals is the thought that your job is easy and that anyone can do it or that your talents and strengths are unremarkable and believing that what you do is not enough.
There are many ways that imposter syndrome can show up in your business. Here are a few common ways it can show up and a few tips on how to overcome each one.
Undervaluing Your Services
Often, we see newer (and seasoned) professionals undercharging and/or allowing sessions to run wayyyy over time, but not charging for the additional time because they don’t think they are worthy of it, or feel bad asking clients for more money.
Seriously, you need to OWN YOUR VALUE!
You are worth it, you have the knowledge and the expertise, don’t be afraid to charge for your services. If you don’t charge for the extra time you are dis-servicing yourself, your business, and your clients (more on that HERE and HERE).
When you start avoiding GREAT opportunities that would give you higher exposure because you think that you aren’t good enough for it.
I remember when I first started getting calls about being on podcasts and be interviewed. I automatically dismissed them as being “spam” as I thought “who would want to interview me?”. I didn’t give the requests value or credit as I was feeling like an imposter.
And, don’t get me wrong… there is lots of spam out there, but do your research and notice for yourself if you are avoiding it because it just seems easier, or less scary?
This is when you compare yourself to those with more education, experience, success etc. and think, “Well, if I just do these few more things (often more training) then I’ll be more successful”.
Or maybe a client has more education, or money, or experience than you, so you feel like you don’t have anything to offer this person… you shrink back and don’t show up in the same way you normally would, as you feel like a fraud because you are comparing yourself to what they have done.
Or maybe it’s your peers (aka competitors …I just don’t believe in that word )… You see them online and they look uber successful with their fancy photos and online exposure and you feel crappy about yourself because you can’t figure out how to get to where they are, and you feel just a little bit like a looser, so you shut your computer and don’t even try to market yourself today.???
By always comparing yourself, you are stopping yourself from moving forward with your own voice and uniqueness on how you can help your ideal clients.
Be yourself, be willing to take action, put yourself out there and be ok with evolution instead of perfectionism! It will feel scary the first few times (or the first 100 times ). But it gets easier each and every time you choose to be brave and be more visible.
Staying stuck in the fear of making a mistake will only hurt your business. Every successful business person is willing to make mistakes, take risks and even fall sometimes. It’s not always comfortable but they do it anyways. AND they learn and grow from the experience. This is the sign of true success.
Do you find yourself starting sentences with..
“I’m not sure what I’m talking about, but…” even though you totally know what you are talking about?
“It might just be me, but…”
These are signs of not really standing in your authority and expertise and downplaying what you know.
Self doubting yourself can harm your business and push clients away. Using self-deprecating or self-doubting language may have the client wondering if you really do know what you are talking about, “Well are they an expert or not?”.
To help overcome self-doubt, I suggest you notice which types of ‘self-doubt’ statements might show up for you, and practice catching yourself before you say them, and instead choose to intentionally speak your mind, and from a place of authority.
It will feel awkward at first, but it is a learned skill and gets more comfortable with practice. This will help you build up your confidence in yourself and in your business.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome doesn’t happen overnight, but my suggestion is to shine a light on it, start talking about it, sharing it and naming it for what it is.
With awareness, you can start building your confidence up!
A great way to do this is to create a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
Then start thinking of how you can help your clients, what are their challenges?
Then start thinking about your ideal clients, what would happen if you weren’t there to share your experience and knowledge? What would their life look like?
You need to know that there is no amount of experience or education that can fix imposter syndrome. It is not about the education; it is about the underlying issues of putting your self out there and creating your own success instead of basing it on what some else has or is doing.
So, if you are experiencing any of this… don’t try to bury it by going and getting another degree or more training, cause that won’t fix it. Instead, shine a light on it, and walk this path of self-discovery and healing.
Being an entrepreneur is really the greatest mirror for the work that we still need to do, and creating success in our business and life is a direct reflection of our willingness to do this work.
It really is for the brave… AND is the best journey I have ever ventured on. I hope to see you on this beautiful journey of creating a business you love that also LOVES YOU BACK!
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