Yep, I used to suffer from HUGE bouts of impostor syndrome.
Don’t know what that is?
Impostor Syndrome is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. When a person is experiencing impostor syndrome, they feel like a complete and utter pretender. A fake. Their self worth plummets. They feel like they’re not good enough, they shouldn’t be here among other contemporaries who they feel are ‘real’ examples of what they should be.
It’s very common for those who are new in business to suffer from impostor syndrome. And why wouldn’t it be? I mean, you’ve been planning and growing and learning for so long. And now’s your time to step up, to shine. That’s when you realize that even if you have all the knowledge under the sun, you’re suddenly out of your comfort zone. You’re suddenly thrown into the ring alongside more experienced people who seem to know exactly what they’re doing. Doubt sets in.
If you’d like to get a better understanding of how Impostor Syndrome can affect someone, here’s an AMAZING video which is also one of my favourite Ted Talks ever. It’s by the amazing Amy Cuddy, and though it’s about how your body language shapes who you are, there’s a moving segment in it where Amy explains her experience of Impostor Syndrome.
You’ve probably seen me pasting it all over my Facebook wall, but here it is again anyway.
So Why don’t I suffer from Impostor Syndrome anymore?
Well, it would be more accurate to say, ‘Why don’t I suffer from Impostor Syndrome as much any more?’. It still rears it’s ugly little head from time to time, but I’ve been finding it easier to smush it (badass, cat loving style) before it does any debilitating damage.
How? Besides EFT, walking and generally looking after myself, I’ve kept something important, which I’ve recently learned, in mind constantly. Everyone is in the same business boat. Running a business does NOT mean that someone knows it all, or that they are an expert on every part of that business forever and always.
See, the world is always in flux. Things are always changing. It can sometimes be hard to keep up. And that’s what everyone is trying to do; keep up. Whether they just birthed their biz or they’re an old hand at what they do, the one thing that’s constant is the pressure to keep their biz fresh and new. Like mine. Everyone else is constantly learning about their business. Like me.
How I’ve developed my business so far is like this: I’ve worked with what I know, and if people ask me if I can do something for them, if I WANT to do it for them, and I have a good foundation of understanding around it, I’ll say yes, then learn the rest as I go.
In short, if I’ve never done it before, but reckon I can handle it, I just say yes and learn the rest.
EVERYONE’S JUST MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG. – and that’s okay.
Now, that sounds kind of sleazy, right? Like… I don’t really have that much experience in the field you’ve inquired about, and here I am, giving you my services anyway?
Well that’s EXACTLY how I had felt for a long while, until I saw a quote from Richard Branson, which confirmed to me that that is how he rolls.
And to be quite honest, that’s how a lot of business peeps roll. They have the ability to think on their feet, to learn fast, and to produce awesome work, as they learn, under extreme pressure. Because everyone has to start somewhere. Everyone’s just making it up as they go along. The world is in constant flux and our businesses are too.
And that’s okay.
Learning as you go doesn’t make you an impostor, it makes you open to learning new things. It makes you a constant member of Life’s Academy.
If you find yourself suffering from impostor syndrome, don’t forget to find some support for yourself around it.
I’ve found that joining a Facebook or Mastermind group and chatting with both people in my own level of business and with those who have surpassed my level, is a super positive and helpful experience for me. It’s helped me pack away those horrible doubts about myself and my biz. If for some reason, I’m feeling vulnerable around the same issue at any stage, I pop back into my groups and have a natter with people who have been, or are going through the same doubts.
I do this because I want to see my business grow and flourish and more importantly, I want to see myself grow and flourish too, while I’m here partaking in this wonderful Academy called Life.