The response to the pandemic has really affected so many of us in profound ways, especially small businesses. So now, when feelings of doubt and Imposter Syndrome start to creep in, it can be even more difficult to fight off our inner saboteurs. In that spirit, we have asked the incredible CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their best tips for overcoming their own feelings of doubt and Imposter Syndrome in small business. Their answers are presented below, in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Small Fish in the Big Sea
When I left the corporate world to strike out on my own, it seemed very challenging. Who was I to try to make it alone in a world dominated by Big Business? It felt lonely, almost futile, after working in large multinationals for my whole career! Could I compete?
But then, I reminded myself that if there is anything bigger than Big Business, it's the marketplace and if your product is good enough, there is almost infinite space.
Small fish can swim strongly in a big sea!
2. How to Slay Imposter Syndrome
When it comes to being successful in business, most people think it's about who you know, what you know, or what you can do. The truth is, it's the people who know how to slay imposter syndrome who win.
Beating imposter syndrome comes from two things.
Serving those you know you can help and having a clear freedom number. That number is how many clients you need or how many products you need to sell to get your freedom.
Help enough people get what they want and you'll get what you want.
3. Yes! You Are Worthy!
My one best tip for overcoming imposter syndrome is to believe you are worthy of every good thing that happens to you. You worked hard to build the business and you deserve every bit of success that comes your way and even more.
When next you feel like an imposter, look yourself in the mirror and tell your image; "Yes! You are worthy and you are worth it!"
4. Give It a Name
Let's call it Sam.
Sam says,"You're not capable." How do you respond?
Sam says, "You can't do that." What do you say?
Now, if Sam were your friend, it might say, "Hey, friend, I noticed we didn't focus on a couple things, what if we spent a little time researching or practicing?"
By depersonalizing the Imposter Syndrome/doubt, we increase our objectivity, collect information, and gain insights that can help us identify potential gaps and blindspots. Make Sam your friend.
5. Meditate and Visualize
Ask yourself this question - "What would you do differently if no one could see your imperfections and failures?"
Meditate and visualize a positive outcome of what you are trying to achieve and become your alter ego like Beyonce does when she goes on stage. Prepare a list of things you have achieved and look at them as a constant reminder of how far you have come in life when you start to feel imposter syndrome.
Remember that growth takes place outside of your comfort zone.
6. Visualize Your Success
When you're doubting yourself, remember that you define your own success. Close your eyes and imagine what it looks like for your business to succeed. Don't worry about what others would say or how they define success. When you visualize success, you can trust yourself that you can make your business thrive based on your abilities.
7. Plain and Simple
Everyone experiences doubt, but as an entrepreneur, you have already taken the first step to overcome doubt. You started your own company when people said you were crazy. You employ people who are able to support their families. My tip is plain and simple, remember who you are, remember what you've already accomplished, think positive and tackle doubt as you've tackled it in the past.
8. Imposter Syndrome
Remembering your achievements is one of the best ways any entrepreneur can overcome imposter syndrome. Consider what you attained and how far you came from when you started your business. This will help you reframe negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
9. Ignore Feelings Focus On Facts
For a long time, I felt like I was faking it.
However, when I sat down and looked and the numbers, I realized that the figures certainly weren't fake.
I am running a real business that is making real money.
Looking at the cold hard facts of my business helped me to overcome imposter syndrome and realize that actually I belong here.
10. Stay the Course!
We all can experience self-doubt when the going gets tough. Especially the more introverted amongst us. But, you have to remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing, the passion that drove you to get to this point, and the fact that starting over isn't the best solution. Better to get your head down and fight on through it. Look back on your journey to this point, take a step back and analyze what has worked for you in the past and how you can source similar opportunities again.
11. Stop Sabotage, See Success
Those of us with imposter syndrome tend to focus on two things: perceived failures and opportunities to do better. While our drive for perfection moves us forward, it also messes with our minds. We're often so focused on a better, more perfect future that we blast right by our successes. My tip: Try taking a success inventory. Think back on the last week, month, or even year, and write down your wins. Big wins like a new client or promotion. And small wins like new habits or less negative talk.
12. You Know Your Stuff
When we experience the imposter syndrome, it's usually because we are comparing ourselves to others or we've not taken note of all we have accomplished. Founders who work with me find that when we list all the achievements they've accomplished, they realize "Wow! I do add value and have something to offer my clients." Remember that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to be an expert. You're probably an expert by now; give yourself credit.
13. Say STOP!
Whenever your inner self-doubts flare-up, be quick and talk back.
Don’t let the negativity spin out of control or grow from a whisper to a stream of discouraging sentences. Instead, talk back to the doubtful thoughts... counter them with positive words.
By doing so, you can disrupt the negative thought pattern and stop that inner self-doubter from taking over.
14. Become Friends With Your Fear
The more we push fear away, the scarier it is. We avoid it, and when it comes up, we try to run away again. But the thing is, fear will always be there if you're running a business and taking risks. It's there to guide you to look at something or let go of an old belief. Become friends with it and let it guide you - you may be surprised what you learn when you don't run away.
15. They're Onto Me! I'm a Fraud!
We've all dealt with the feeling of imposter syndrome at some point. The feeling of inadequacy, being caught out, despair. That's perfectly natural.
The best tip I can provide for overcoming imposter syndrome is by letting go. Recognize yourself as an expert and trust your skills.
As time goes on, you'll see all of your peers and those you look up to are going through the same thing. Everyone is making it up as they go along.
Be kind to yourself, you've got this!
Nick Farnborough of Clavis
16. Start Adulting
I have a 4-step approach for conquering imposter syndrome: 1) Acknowledge that EVERYONE doubts their ability sometimes. 2) Assess whether your doubt is actually true. (Are you REALLY in over your head? Or do you just think you are? Are you really not smart enough? Do you have a history of being wrong in that situation? Be self-aware - positively and negatively.) 3) Start adulting once you've established the doubt is false and get over yourself. And, 4) Do the work well now that you know you can.
17. Snap Out of Negative Thinking
My best advice to combat self-doubt as a small business owner is to keep a rubber band around your wrist and every time you have a self-defeating thought, snap it. It may sound crazy, but this trick has long been used for bad habit cessation like smoking. The snap is intended to condition your mind to associate negative thinking with minor pain. It works better than any other method I've tried, and I have found it to be highly effective for slowly stopping self-sabotaging thoughts.
18. I Am Enough
When self-sabotage jeopardized my business opportunities, I had to question my self-doubt, investigate it, change my thoughts & behavior, get in touch & develop a relationship with myself & that of my higher power. I had to know that I AM WORTHY. I AM ENOUGH. Today, as I confront self-doubt, I strive to accept that I am powerless over the outcome of the situation, I think & act only on what is in my control. I listen to myself first, because it's my life, my effort, my success.
19. Know Yourself
Self sabotage and self doubt are products of not truly understanding who you are, what your value is and to whom.
Too many of us do not take the time to understand that there are way more people in this world that we cannot add value to than those we can.
We need to embrace this. Realize that we cannot know all, help everyone or be valuable to 7.5 Billion people.
By understanding this, it takes enormous pressure off of us. We can then concentrate on who we can add value to and know why.
20. Doing the Work
The only known cure for imposter syndrome is doing the work. You can't become a great basketball player until you practice playing a lot of basketball. You won't become a great writer without doing a lot of writing. When feeling the pressure or your inner voice is saying you're not good enough, reply, "that's why I'm going to practice." If you position it in your mind as practice or an experiment, I've found that relieves some of the anxiety and pressure to be an all-star right out of the gate.
21. Attitude of Gratitude
It's ok to have doubts as long as you don't let them have you.
When I feel doubt creeping in my headspace, I pause and take a moment to reflect on three (business-related) things for which I am grateful. Shifting my focus on those things creates an attitude of gratitude and reminds me that faith is greater than fear.
Martha Holler of ShinePR
22. It All Starts With Education
When I feel like an “imposter”, it’s usually because I’m trying to do something I haven’t done before. I combat this feeling by investing in my own education. Books, podcasts, YouTube, conferences, mentors, and paid courses are great ways to learn. I treat every bit of knowledge I gain as another tool in my tool belt. The more I learn, the more confident I become.
23. I Compared & I'm Qualified
There are a handful of things I know cold, that I'm a national expert, they're narrow, but few care about. Then, there is a next level of leadership, management and teamwork, that I know really well because of 25+ years as a CEO. I'm always learning, and I know a lot. To share that info and counsel, I've had to get over the hump of "Do I really know that and are people interested in it?" I benchmarked who's offering advice and concluded I'm qualified, which gives me confidence to act.
24. Create a Cushion For Yourself
There will inevitably be times when you can't seem to shake imposter syndrome and negative self-talk on your own.
So, it's smart to intentionally surround yourself with positive people who are vocal about your strengths and capabilities. Do this even before imposter syndrome strikes, so that you're not scrambling for reassurance when it does.
You can even screenshot and save encouraging messages for easy reference whenever you need a boost. This cushions you against the blows of self-doubt.
25. Practice Positive Affirmations
When I founded my company, negative thoughts frequently crept into my head. The key is not to let the negative thoughts stick. When I experience negative thoughts, I try to flip them into positives instead. If I find myself comparing myself to other security experts, I will immediately focus on my successes. By giving myself positive affirmations, I can push back that negative voice in my head and regain my sense of worth.
26. Magical Wall
I deploy affirmative techniques to overcome "Imposter Syndrome" in my small business. Having a dedicated wall, covered with motivational sticky notes, affirmative statements, boss girl graphics, and a beautiful vision board, is indeed effective. Staring at the inspiring wall, for even a couple of minutes, and repeating the positive statements, recharges my motivation, reminds me of persistence, & swells my self-confidence. We are visual animals, so this process does wonder for our subconscious mind.
27. Write Down Past Mistakes
I've found it helpful to have a notepad on my phone/computer of past mistakes/experiences I've made/had or others in my circle of trust have made. This way, when I'm walking down a road that seems iffy, I can recalibrate myself to know that others have been there before me or I've made that mistake before and how it's fixable. People can't see the forest beyond the trees, so it's nice to know where you've been or where others have been so you can navigate the forest with a clear sight in mind.
28. Reframe the Problem
Doubt can come when you don’t have the answer to a problem. Sometimes, I struggle to find a solution and because I’m stuck, I believe the problem is impossible to solve. To overcome this, I’ve found it effective to reframe the problem. Instead of saying I can’t or it’s impossible, I ask what would have to happen to do this. This allows my brain to produce solutions or the steps needed to get the solution. At that point, I realize it is within my grasp and the problem can be solved.
29. Challenge Your Inner Saboteur
Imposter Syndrome is rife amongst small business owners and can become one of your biggest challenges if you let doubt overwhelm you. The best way I’ve found to combat this feeling is to repeat what the voice of self-sabotage is telling you, out loud to yourself or to someone else. The words inside your head can feel quite powerful, debilitating even, but outside of your head they can sound hollow or ridiculous. Giving voice to these thoughts challenges them and helps you take back the power.
30. Trust Your Team & Take Action
I’ve yet to meet a business owner who doesn’t get feelings of doubt or feels like they’re not good enough when they push themselves outside their comfort zone or try new things. My top tip to help you keep going when you feel like a fraud is to trust your team! They are there to support you and the business, so run your ideas by your team and get feedback. You might still doubt yourself, but you’ll be more confident with your team's support and better equipped to take action.
31. Killing the Imposter Syndrome
My best advice would be to learn how to compartmentalize how you feel with the facts at hand.
It's normal to feel inept sometimes. There will be days when you feel inferior compared to your peers. The reality is that you're not, and you got to where you are because of the skills you have. Keep that in mind.
32. End Imposter Syndrome Today
Everyone has a positive trait in them, whether it's with their personality or skills at work. Train yourself to focus on that.
Sure, you will make mistakes along the way, but don't beat yourself up about it. Be sure to learn from those mistakes, but don't forget to recognize the good things.
33. Be True to Yourself
You will have days where you'll be feeling depressed, anxious and doubtful — every business owner has these. Now, one way I deal with that is doing my job whatever happens, because I promised myself I'd do it. If I made some appointments, I don't move them due to my poor well-being. This concerns life activities, as well. If I made a promise to myself that I'll go for a morning run, I go for a morning run, no matter how bad, tired or demotivated I feel.
34. Stop Being a Perfectionist
Perfectionism can be the death of virtually any business owner. I had to deal with that too, which soon enough had led to doubtful thoughts about my skills. It took me a while to realize that nobody is perfect and that I should just do my job well enough for my customers to be happy. And that's what I do. I like to remember how many happy customers I've had since I launched my business. I believe that this is the best indicator of my company providing great services.
35. Allow Your Inner Voice 2 Speak
In order to transform yourself, you must learn 'yourself' first. Do not suppress your inner destructive thoughts, but accept and note them down when they occur. It helps you build powerful constructive thoughts on the way.
Start nurturing self-worth with positive affirmations, set realistic goals and aim to be better every day instead of being Mr.perfect.
At the end of 2020, I decided to follow this advice and I am progressing my efficiency to overcome self-doubt for my small biz success.
36. Don't Fight it
When we try to fight negative feelings, we start looking for ways to eliminate them, which is impossible. Learn to live with them. Know that you are not alone and that this is just a part of our brain trying to protect us. Don't shun it, but don't sit and listen to it for hours. Take small steps towards reinventing your business. Your mind will start to settle down as you move forward into the unknown and discover that things aren't that bad.
Mindfulness is extremely helpful with all life aspects. Dealing with impostor syndrome and doubt is no different. It consists of training your brain to be fully aware of your senses and emotions, keeping you grounded. Such a foundation allows you to simply accept the present as it is without over-analyzing it. Meditation, naming emotions, as well as different external and internal stimuli are some of the mindfulness techniques.
38. Ignore it
There's a great talk by Ira Glass, of This American Life fame, about The Gap. It's when you look at your work and think it's just not good enough. You've spent years consuming content and so your tastes are good, but your ability to create that same content just isn't up to par (yet). It's as if you started playing the piano for the first time, you'd be bad and you would know it. But the key is to push through the gap, to keep at it, and ignore that feeling of being a fake. That's how you win.
39. Focus on Your Strength
Focus your small business on your strength point, as it will set your performance apart from your competitors. Direct your marketing effort into emphasizing your unique strength. As more customers know you for it, the more confidence it gives you to succeed in the business.
40. Visualizing Success
Over years, I have realized perfection is never a door to success, but optimism is. If you truly want to overcome Imposter Syndrome, try to change your narrative to be more optimistic than critical and visualize it. In fact, visualizing success is a key characteristic among successful business owners and entrepreneurs. It takes time, hard work, and faith in yourself when taking a big leap to launch a business. Step by step, you’ll notice the success you visualize becoming a reality.
41. Take Time to Celebrate
I always make sure to take time to celebrate even the little wins, this helps me stay on track and keep track of my progress.
It's so easy to feel deflated when you are a small business and don't have a large team to bounce off and keep you on track.
For my website, this could mean keeping track of my traffic month on month, my total word count for articles published or engagement.
If you track regularly (.i.e., every month), it's great to look back in a year and see how far you've come.
42. Focus on How You Serve Others
When I feel doubt about my abilities as an entrepreneur, it's because I'm spending too much time focusing on the wrong thing...me! I didn't get into this business to serve me, I got into it to serve others. Negative thoughts are draining. Get a confidence boost by doing what you do best, finding ways to solve problems! Look at your existing products/services and see if there is something more you can offer. Better yet, talk to your customers to learn how you might serve them better.
43. Do it Anyway!
My best tip for overcoming doubt and self sabotage is to feel those feelings, acknowledge them, and then to just do it anyway.
You beat fear and doubt by showing up every day and doing the work.
You brain can think whatever it wants, but if your body does the work, the brain will eventually follow.
So, your doubt will first lessen, then dissipate, and then be replaced with confidence, and high and well-merited self esteem.
Go for it!
44. Relationships Matter!
Particularly in 2021, executives who will succeed are those who learn to pivot, and wading into new waters can cause even the most experienced pros to have doubts. My best advice is to foster relationships with other business owners who are willing to share their experiences – and not just their successes! When you talk to people who respect your work and are in the same position, you can build each other up. Their reassurances are vital to bolstering your confidence.
45. Anticipate Objections
In these challenging times, a great way to avoid feeling like an impostor as a salesperson is to anticipate any potential objections from prospects and raise them first.
Why? Because it lets you stay in control of the conversation, and you can formulate the objection in such a way that it completely makes sense to the customer. More importantly, it shows that you're honest and you're not afraid to tackle your prospect's concerns because you don't have anything to hide.
46. Doubt and "Imposter Syndrome"
My recommendation is to stay social.
I suggest discussing self-doubt with people you trust. Some of them likely have similar emotions and can share tips and advice to gain confidence.
Getting rid of these negative emotions takes a lot of work, but a strong support system is a great way to add positivity for the future.
Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN
47. Breaking the Ice
To overcome imposter syndrome, talk to other leaders in your industry. We've created a culture of silence where many people suffer from self-doubt, but they feel like expressing their insecurities will be perceived as a weakness. Once you break the ice, you'll find that many of your peers and your mentors have suffered from the same imposter syndrome you do. Understanding that everyone feels this way sometimes can help silence your self-doubt and motivate you to work through your fears.
48. Stop Doubting Yourself
My tip is to stop comparing your business (or self for solopreneurs) to others in your industry. While it's helpful to see what the "competition" is up to, it's better to focus on your strengths than to keep tallying what clients, social media followings, speaking gigs, etc. others have.
49. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome stems from a false narrative that is in your subcortical brain (subconscious). One of the best techniques to fight it is to ask yourself, "what if." For example, if you feel that you are not good enough, ask yourself, "What if I were good enough? What would that look like?". Take a moment and imagine what it would look like. Doing this repeatedly can lead to rewiring how you think while lifting yourself out of imposter syndrome.
50. Power of the Sticky Note
I put a sticky note on my bathroom mirror and on my monitor "The Only way to lose is to quit". I see it first thing when I wake up, when I get off a tough call, and the last thing before I go to bed. I read it out loud every day, the spoken word is an incredibly powerful tool.
51. Choose Your Inputs
Surround yourself with people who will speak hope and life into you, your talents, and your vision.
52. Nobody's Perfect
People need to keep in mind that nobody's perfect and that they'll make mistakes along the way. That doesn't make them an imposter or not good enough. The fact of the matter is that you know more about your industry than a lot of people and that's why people are willing to pay for your services. Don't tell yourself no. Make the world tell you no.
53. Your "WHY"
When you focus on why you are doing something, it helps you overcome self-doubt. For many people, their why is their purpose in their business/career. If you start overthinking something you are doing and feel like an imposter, remember it isn't about you, it’s about the person you may be inspiring or helping today. Think of it this way, your area of expertise can benefit someone else and you are doing a disservice to them when you don't share it.
54. Tarot Reader
I overcome imposter syndrome and self doubt by pulling a tarot card. Tarot helps me direct my energy and lets me focus on creating.
55. Quantify to Overcome Doubt
The best way to break through the self-sabotage is to quantify every matter that causes such dissonance. Just like the fear of the dark stems from not knowing what to expect, imposter syndrome often arises from the lack of information. Once we break our plans down to hours of work, precise knowledge and know-how needed to progress, we can feel reassured. Our efforts will be shielded from the risk, and the feeling of having earned it will come along.
Michael Sena of Senacea
56. Comparison is the Thief of Joy
When suffering from imposter syndrome, I think it's important to reframe your perspective.
Theodore Roosevelt famously said "Comparison is the thief of joy" and I find comparing yourself to your peers only makes your insecurities worse.
Instead, you should focus your attention on the people you are helping. You might not be the best in your field but if you have relative expertise and you are helping individuals and businesses, you are doing your job and that's something to be proud of.
57. Take a Step Back!
Although it may sound cliche- if you find yourself feeling doubtful, it’s important to remember what brought you to start your business in the first place. At a point in time, you were filled with confidence and were ready to take on any challenge that was thrown at you. In uncertain times, it’s easy to begin to question your capabilities, but it’s crucial to not give up.
Aaron McWilliams of 1Dental
58. The Power Is Within You
Self-sabotage is a real thing and happens to a lot of entrepreneurs, especially when first starting a new business. Running a business during a global pandemic is an even more daunting thought. Here are a few tips to overcome self-sabotage and doubt, while maintaining your business through hard times.
1. Remind yourself how far you have come.
2. Spend time on yourself and surround yourself with positivity (ex: meditation, reading, exercise).
3. Remember why you started.
59. Identity vs Behavior
Since imposter syndrome is when your behavior doesn't match your internal experience, the best way to overcome it is to lather, rinse, and repeat. Behavior and identity may take a while to line up, but the more you act like the assertive boss, the more you'll feel like the assertive boss.
60. Close Your Eyes and Jump
I'm a writer who's running several digital ventures. Overcoming imposter Syndrome is part of the morning routine at this point. I turn off my lizard brain with a non-negotiable schedule and focus on shipping, so I write and publish stuff every day, no matter how I feel about it. Sometimes, it's excellent; other times, it's horrible, but mostly, it's just OK. If I'd listen to my inner critic, I probably wouldn't ship a single story, start a business, or leave my bubble. I'd be miserable.
61. Listening Creates Compassion
I listen to podcasts or Blinkist summaries of money or business-related books. For example, Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, or I'll listen to a Marisa Peer audio session if I need a pep talk.
This works because you realize that you aren't alone. Treat yourself with compassion and focus on your goals. No success story exists without mistakes, worry, or fear. It's reassuring to hear that from people you respect and admire in business.
62. Success is a Learning Process
In unprecedented times like we’re currently in, it’s important to learn from any setbacks you come across. At the time, they might feel impossible to overcome and you may feel like giving up, but you must keep a positive mindset. Staying optimistic and mindful will help you battle any obstacles on your path to success, and this positivity will likely also help you achieve your business goals. Setbacks are usually only detrimental if you allow them to be, so be conscious of your mindset.
63. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
One way I fight against imposter syndrome is to look back through my planner of completed to-dos. Often, we forget the actual hard work we put into our businesses, and get caught up in all the things we don't have, help we can’t get, or things we haven't accomplished. By keeping tabs on the sweat and tears you put into your business, it helps ground you and keep you from feeling like an imposter.
64. Inner Demon Begone
My advice is to stay in your lane. If you keep looking into the next lane to see what other entrepreneurs are doing, you will suffer from envy and imposter syndrome. Have a list of tasks you need to accomplish to move forward in your success and focus on fulfilling those tasks. Avoid checking your competitors' metrics. Doing so will rob you of the time you need to be productive, distract you and worsen envy and imposter syndrome. Set aside time if you must look and not after that.
65. Find Strength From Others
All successful companies and businesses run into obstacles that must be overcome. When your business encounters adversity and doubt starts creeping in, try reading or listening to stories of other businesses or individuals who overcame failure or tough situations. One of my favorites is Thomas Edison. He never let countless setbacks deter him from creating world-changing inventions and businesses. Hopefully, these stories give you the strength to forge ahead.
66. Be Kind to Yourself
I like to think that I'm very understanding and compassionate with the people in my life. Unfortunately, I don't always treat myself with the same grace! Remember that you can be your harshest critic. On days when you're feeling your best, put together a document that's like a highlight reel of your past successes. This is just for you to 'brag' to yourself. Add to the document often. Revisit this when you're down or experiencing impostor syndrome. This little cheat sheet helps me get back up.
67. Shift the Focus
The best strategy to combat impostor syndrome is shifting the focus from our doubts to the perspective of how we can be helpful and resolve pain points of other people. We are often afraid that our ideas will not be interesting, or that we have too little experience to start something. What if it's your product or service that the world lacks? From this angle, hiding the power to be helpful looks egoistic. Pondering over such things may reveal how limiting these self-sabotage thoughts are.
68. What Makes You Fabulous?
It is normal to feel doubt and imposter syndrome in your small business. Fight your inner saboteur by seeking positive feedback from those around you. This can be as simple as texting a handful of friends, family members, mentors, and industry colleagues, "What makes me fabulous?" Use their positive affirmations to quiet your inner saboteur and overcome your feelings of self-doubt.
69. Journaling for Gratitude
To help rewire your mindset, keep a daily gratitude journal where you write about the positives in your daily life. Creating a mantra, speaking kindly to yourself, and visualizing success are all mitigation tools that can be incorporated into gratitude journaling, but its biggest benefit is in the physical act of writing. People are more likely to follow through on something when they've written it down, even if that something is self-love.
Shaun Price of MitoQ
70. Enhancing One Life At a Time
The key to overcoming self-doubt in your small business is to recognize that your service or product is truly helping people. If people are purchasing from you, it is because you're enhancing their life in some way. What you offer is impacting their health, their wealth, or their relationships. No matter what you sell, it will always be positively affecting one of those things. Anyone who is giving that gift to another person can never be considered an imposter.
71. Daily Visualization Practice
My tip for overcoming imposter syndrome is visualization. As cheesy as it sounds, it actually works. Include five minutes of visualization in your morning routine. Visualize yourself succeeding in the role or project you have imposter syndrome around, the more specific the better. Imagine the confidence you would feel, what you would say, what your best day would look like. Sometimes, you need to constantly imagine what your life would look like without imposter syndrome to get past it.
72. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Everyone struggles with imposter syndrome or doubt. It's hard as a leader to be the one that has all of the answers. Truthfully, we don't need to have all the answers. The best way to overcome self doubt, fear and imposter syndrome is to take action. As the saying goes, "He who does it, does it best." Avoid letting negative thoughts seep in and grow in your mind and take action that can provide you with the results you need. It's hard to doubt yourself when you're immersed in activity and busy!
73. Have Faith in Yourself!
If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to remember that we’re all navigating uncharted waters in 2020. Nobody has experienced what we’re all going through now, so have faith in your decisions – they’ve gotten you this far!
74. Keep a Folder of Fan Notes
Imposter syndrome affects even the most successful entrepreneurs at some time. One way I fight imposter syndrome is by keeping a folder of notes and testimonials from customers and readers so that I can easily access it when I start to feel like maybe I’m not good enough.
If you keep a folder of notes from your biggest fans, it can help you fight through those feelings. You are doing great things, so comparing yourself to others only brings you down. Focus on being your best.
75. Preparation is Key
My tip for overcoming doubt in business is to prepare before doing anything that makes you feel scared or anxious. I've found that spending time practicing, gathering information and preparing before I meet a new client, give a speech, write about a topic I'm new in, or before anything that pushes me to my limits helps me feel much more confident and allows me to overcome any feelings of imposter syndrome.
76. Fake it Until You Make it
The way I avoid feeling like an imposter in any business situation is to fake confidence with my body language and keep my mind calm. Once my body is open and confident for a minute or two in a new situation, my mind tends to follow in its direction and I no longer feel as though I am faking it or have imposter syndrome.
77. Using Objective Fact
For some people, hypothetical goal-setting processes like visualizing success or creating a mantra will help them overcome imposter syndrome. For others, it takes tools based on logic and reasoning to dig themselves out of their imposter syndrome hole. Separate your feelings from the facts by writing down a list of the objective goals you've reached since beginning your business and the project milestones you've reached. Use objective facts to disprove your fears.
Yuvi Alpert of Noémie
78. Celebrate the Small Things
Imposter syndrome can creep in, even for the most seasoned business owners. One way to overcome this doubt is to look back at how far you've come. Whether you are just starting or have been doing it for years, look back and celebrate even small milestones to remind yourself of your accomplishments. It doesn't matter if you are celebrating filing for an LLC, your first sale, or your thousandth sale. Focus on your achievements and keep on growing.
79. Regret Will Overpower All
Imposter syndrome is typically an overwhelming feeling that comes and goes (thankfully though, it's not permanent). When the heaviness of it strikes, I look to the big picture and remind myself that I will be happier to have tried than to have the regret of not taking those leaps. I believe regret is more powerful than fear or even failure. On the other side of taking those chances, we are always safe and left feeling empowered by moving forward.
80. Nobody Cares
Remind yourself that nobody cares. In a good way, nobody really cares about what you do with your life. People have their own things going on and their hands are full. Choose to do what you want - whether it's quitting your job, starting a business, or moving to a different country.
You can always learn along the way, and nobody will care if you make a misstep or two. As long as you're doing your best and you get the results you want, your mistakes will be forgotten in the end.
Candace Helton of Ringspo
81. Remember Your Wins
I fight my inner saboteur by reminding myself of every time I have won, no matter how small. Every win counts. I don’t let doubt dominate my mood because I refuse to run my business in fear. Remembering wins help small business owners to overcome their doubts by serving as a reminder that “if you’ve won before, you will win again.”
82. Celebrate Your Achievements
When we are obsessed with our failures, we just ignore our small wins, but when they add up, they build a bigger success and help you understand that you're moving in the right direction. Challenge your negative thoughts, reflect on the things that went right, and focus on the positive. Write down a list of things you've achieved and what you've learned. Give yourself credit for everything positive that happens to you and be proud.
83. Don't Compare Yourself
When you spend your time and energy trying to tailor your life to fit others' expectations, you are just wasting your time. You're living a version of life you think other people will approve of and may get stuck in an inadequacy loop. There will always be someone who appears to be doing better than you. Don't benchmark yourself against others' accomplishments. Be unique and focus on your own path.
84. Keep Your Goals to Yourself
Psychology studies have revealed that when we tell someone our goal, we are less likely to work on accomplishing it. It's because our brain mistakes the talking for the doing. We receive gratification from social acknowledgment, and it tricks our brain into feeling that we have already accomplished the goal. And it removes our motivation to do whatever it takes to actually make it happen.
85. Practice Self-compassion
When you fail at something important to you, don't beat yourself and silence your inner critic. You've failed not because you were not good enough. That only sets you up for failing again. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes, but it doesn't make sense to dwell on them. When we are kind to ourselves, we are more satisfied with our lives, which boosts our self-esteem and self-confidence.
86. What if it Does Go Wrong?
If whatever you’re feeling the doubt about goes really badly, how badly will it affect you? Often, the answer is very little! When I did my first TEDx talk, at the height of my nerves, I asked myself this question. Beyond a bruised ego, there was nothing else- no true ‘risk'. This instantly helped me relax, and because I was more relaxed, I gave a much better talk!
87. I'm One of a Kind
I was introduced as an expert in emotional intelligence. I cringed. What I know for sure is that I’m an expert in me. That expertise sets me apart. No letters after my name or certifications will make me a stronger expert in me.
Recently, I was asked to draw what self-compassion looks like, and I drew this big heart with my hand on top of the heart.
Now, when self-doubt creeps, I’m going to remember this image and remind myself that I am one of a kind. Not perfect, but one of a kind.
88. Catching Dismissive Self-Talk
The most effective thing I have done to silence those voices and combat imposter syndrome is to become more conscious of my self-talk, particularly when it turns negative or self-critical in an unconstructive way. I acknowledge that these are neurotic thoughts that are not rooted in reality, that my success is due to hard work and planning and I get on with my day.
89. Surround Yourself With Support
By surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, encourage you, and are positive, you can push away any feeling of doubt on a day-to-day basis.
We all feel overwhelmed at times and like we are imposters in a world we don't belong.
As a co-founder, I'm lucky to have a partner who encourages me and makes sure I know how far we've come in such a short time. Without this positive reinforcement, I might get down on myself on a regular basis. Because of it, I have faith in myself!
90. Activities to Boost Confidence
I find that doing something I know I'm good at - like playing a sport, participating in a hobby, or just doing something with people who make me feel confident - makes me feel positive.
It can boost my personal confidence and I carry that into the work I do later that day or even the next day.
These activities outside of work are so important for balancing your work & life, and they can also make you feel good about yourself and who you are, especially if you are feeling a little low.
91. Comfortably Uncomfortable
The easiest way to get over all said items is to not let them into your head. The more you focus on doing and executing your tasks needed to maintain, build, and grow your business, the more those thoughts get pushed out of your head. Worried about your revenue? Take some time to make sales calls and network. Worried about customer service? Call your customers and ask about their experience and how you can improve it. No one thought their way through hard work. Less thinking, more doing!
Tyler Mose of E3M
92. Reconnect With Your Customers
The best way to combat the "imposter syndrome" is through reconnecting with your customers.
For business owners that start growing to have personnel interaction with their customers, it's a best practice to set aside time periodically to reach out to your customers to see how your product/service is making their lives easier and better.
This validation is instrumental in helping to overcome self-doubt because you tangibly see the impact your product/service has on your clientele.
93. Align w/ Customer Expectations
I believe that imposter syndrome is often the result of unrealistically high expectations towards oneself. Because of that, it pays off to understand what is truly relevant for the customers. It can be an eye-opening experience, emphasizing that some of our business obsessions were irrelevant to the clients. A more diversified view allows building a more balanced self-judgement.
94. Exercise: Just Do it!
I can sum up my one best tip in one word: EXERCISE.
For me, a good workout gets my heart pumping, the blood flowing, the endorphins popping and the ideas coming.
If I am feeling down, lacking in energy or just letting doubts creep into my mindset, I know it’s time for a workout.
Any type of exercise will do, such as cardio, weights, a brisk walk or a run.
Immediately after my workout, my whole outlook on life is uplifted, my mental clarity is sharper & my energy levels are increased!
95. Acknowledge Accomplishments
I look at what I have achieved no matter how small it may be and I acknowledge my accomplishments. I feel that is the best way to overcome the feelings of doubt because you are always pushing yourself to look at every situation more positively. This type of strategy empowers you to regain control of your life and overcome your inner saboteur.
96. Squash it Like a Bug
To squash imposter syndrome like the insidious bug that it is, I review emails containing praise from happy customers and watch client testimonial videos. Doing this reminds me that I genuinely excel at what I do. After all, the world keeps telling me that's the case. So, when you feel like a phony, look back at your achievements and own your expertise.
97. You Don't Need a Glam Location
Remember that your business exists to serve two parties only - you and your customers. If you have a product or service that people are willing to pay for, and love it enough to come back for more, then nothing else matters!
2020 was a year of upheaval in our family-owned boutique business. We had to shut down our posh city location and move into a basement home office. The move felt like an embarrassing step back, but our customers have been so supportive and we're doing our best work yet!
98. Keep a Positivity Folder
I recently started a positivity folder on my phone to help remind me that things are never as bad they seem. In that folder, there are photos of our products being used in styled shoots around the country to magazine write-ups on up-coming brands we've decided to bring into the store. Reflecting on these little wins when I'm feeling insecure, not only helps me feel better but calms the "crazy" brain by reinforcing that other people DO see and value your vision and brand.
Amanda Maynard of Confête
99. Making Gift-giving Delicious
I keep a file of reviews and positive feedback from clients that I can refer to when beginning to doubt myself and the purpose of my business. Looking through these serves as a reminder that I am really making this world a little bit sweeter, bite by bite, and how much people really appreciate receiving a delicious treat delivered to their door!
100. Embrace the Curveballs!
Many things contribute to "imposter syndrome". However, one of the biggest issues is perfectionism. Many business owners have a self-imposed expectation that things need to be "perfect" to go right or be successful. When that "well thought out" plan goes sideways, we start to doubt our efforts & aim for things to be perfect. The best advice is to embrace those curveballs. Often, it's those curveballs that lead you to your next big idea and throws self-doubt and imposter syndrome out the window!
101. Zoom in Closer
You might be one of a million in your profession. But, you are one of only a few with your specific expertise, who are female, collegiate athletes, from your state. All of those experiences add up to make you one unique professional. Once you zoom in enough, you will see the the path you are on is yours and yours alone, it's not hard to begin to own it and trailblaze with confidence.
102. 2 Lists to Eliminate "IS"
I have spent too much time worrying if I am good enough and successful enough, for much of the last two decades. I overcame Imposter Syndrome (IS) with 2 simple lists. One of things I love to do and that I'm good at. The other of things I don't like to do, and I never want to do again. I dug into the positive list - and ended up starting a content, marketing, and branding company - in a pandemic!
I think everyone can overcome "IS" with the right attitude and by recognizing their strengths.
103. Be the Mentor You Wish You Had
A lot of entrepreneurs, myself included, feel like we’re “playing” at our profession—like there are many more successful and knowledgeable people out there. It’s time we give ourselves more credit. How? Mentor! Over the last year, I’ve mentored at least a dozen young people, providing guidance based on my 27 years of experience in the design field. I’m amazed by how regularly I’m asked for informational interviews, how easily the answers come to me, and by how much I DO know!
104. Stick to the Facts
I feel like I am constantly suffering from doubt - when I hit rough patches, it's certainly there, but even when things are good, I doubt myself and find reasons to minimize my success. The best thing I can do to combat it is look at how much progress I've made - I started the business about a year ago, and I'm going to do more sales this month than in the first six combined. No matter how strong my feelings, they don't contradict hard facts and numbers.
105. Rock Star- That's Me!
Coming from the corporate environment, I feared venturing off on my own. In the corporate science world, I was a Rock Star. I was at the top of my game! When I ventured out on my own, my biggest fear was losing the validation of the Fortune 500 company I was with. I had to really self-reflect and realize that I was the All-Star, not the company! My advice is, “believe in yourself, your knowledge, and your skills. People always recognize and want to associate with winners!”
106. Upgrade How Your Brain Works
Change your thinking and you will change your life. If you start thinking you did not deserve to make this money or that you are not good enough, you will start to show up not good enough. If you can wake up every day believing you deserve to have this, then you will start to have it. Declare it and it will happen.
107. Read Your Testimonials
One way to conquer self-doubt is to remind yourself how valuable you and your company are to your customers. When I’m feeling down or like I’m not enough, I like to go back and read my testimonials from happy clients. Another place to find encouragement is through your LinkedIn Recommendations. After I read a few, my spirits are lifted, my confidence is boosted and I’m reminded why I started my business in the first place. Give it a try!
108. It's Done By Average People
If you feel upset about there being too much perfect product that you have to see in your life, remember, it's all done by average people not much different than you are. Don't let aggressive marketing convince you that you are not good enough, because sometimes a person might even overestimate the value of a product after seeing the advertisement for it.
Alexander Mesfin of HRIT
109. Celebrate Your Wins Every Day
Every day, I have a recurring calendar reminder to “celebrate my wins.” I sit at my desk and write at least three “wins,” or things that I’ve done that day to help take my business to the next level. I then put those wins on a “dream board” in my office. It’s my way of reminding myself that even though the day can get away from me, I did accomplish a lot! Visualizing your successes can be a very powerful tool when it comes to keeping you motivated.
110. Attract Positivity
Surround yourself with positive people that can push you further and always believe in your potential.
The people in your network have a massive influence on your inner saboteur. They can reassure you of your skills, talents, and potential to counteract what your inner saboteur is saying. Your loved ones are a source of support, which is a great asset to have during times of intense self-doubt and self-loathing.
111. Get Outside Yourself
One of the most effective ways to clear doubt of one's performance is to get honest critiques from your peers and colleagues. Our organization uses quarterly 360 Reviews, conducted internally, using anonymous input from fellow team members. This type of feedback in a thoroughly vetted process will result in a true estimation of performance that replaces inner doubt and provides constructive action items in areas needing attention.
Scott Toal of eMite
112. Constructive, Not Destructive
Negative feedback about your business can trigger imposter syndrome. To overcome your IS, you have to see how you are dealing with negative feedback.
I know when you are just starting off as an entrepreneur, you may fall victim to tire kickers and unreasonable people who are always negative about anything under the sun. You have to differentiate between constructive criticism vs. destructive criticism.
Don’t get trapped into just bad criticism of people and stay positive.
113. You are Potential Personified
If you feel like an imposter, it's because you feel separate to the person you want to become.
This is because your habit is to think that this is the only reality that exists.
In truth, every reality exists now! You are both the imposter and the expert, too!
So, now you get to choose which you play with. There's nothing to overcome, there’s nothing to fight or live UP TO.
Just live IN TO that which you already are and make that your new habit!
114. Strong Core Values
My best tip for overcoming imposter syndrome is being solid on my core values as a human. No matter what level of business you're in, there will always be times of doubt.
Understanding the power of being in alignment with my core values not just in business, but in life, helps to remind me WHO I am, not just WHAT I am.
115. Reframing the Failure
I worked to accept that failures are an inevitable part of life, and every admirable business icon encountered many on their paths. I reframed failure and started looking at it as a sign that I was challenging myself to my limits - even if an idea fell apart, it would be at the very least a good learning experience.
Sure, you can do something small to better ensure your success, but to do something big takes grit, guts, and perseverance - these are the things that help us grow.
116. Change the Rules You Follow
If you are suffering from impostor syndrome before starting your own business, it is highly likely that you are putting yourself under immense pressure. You have set rules for yourself that could be misleading and too demanding. While it is good to define and follow a set of rules, it is also important that you update your rules to match your mental health and physical limitations.
117. Competence is Dynamic
I remind myself that my competence is dynamic, variable, and always ebbing. There are times when it will be at a high level and other times it will be comparably lower. This doesn’t mean that I lack the ability to get things done; it just means that depending on the context, my intelligence, competency, and ability will be applied differently. This slight prompt to shift my mindset helps me to overcome any lingering doubts and to deal with obstacles.
118. Have Faith in Your Credibility
I highly recommend having full faith in your credibility. You know the amount of time you’ve spent and effort you’ve put in to get where you are today. In situations where you’re sure of what you’re suggesting, qualify yourself through the years of gained experience. Similarly, when you don’t know something, there is no need to apologize for it; rather, be honest and accepting of it. You should be able to support your credibility and take some pressure off your chest.
119. Build a Clear Narrative
To overcome the Imposter Syndrome in your business, I think you need to build a clear narrative about what you want from your business. The narrative doesn’t have to be built upon perfection and unachievable goals, it should rather be realistic. You know your business and its capabilities better than anyone, so build a narrative based upon them and make sure you stick.
120. Embrace it
It is natural to undergo feelings of imposter syndrome when you’re growing; hence, embrace the feeling. When going through such emotions, it shows you're a person ready to experience new heights and achieve greater things in life, business. I recommend identifying this feeling and go with it, instead of running away from it. Don’t let your growth get affected.
121. Take an Alter Ego
Impostor syndrome or self-doubt when starting a new business is prevalent. One way you can take it on is by assuming an alter ego. Assume yourself to be the person that does not fear anything and is ready to achieve big things in life. This approach allows you to step out of being your fearful self and take challenges with a positive attitude.
122. Forget Inner Perfectionist
Most imposter syndrome sufferers are high achievers. They’re committed to doing and being the best. However, being a perfectionist will only add to it because of the fear of the inability to meet a “perfect” goal, which may seem impossible to achieve. No one can do everything perfectly and comparing yourself to such a standard can create counterproductiveness.
123. Take Action
With a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance and a Master of Music in Vocal Jazz, absolutely nothing prepared me to open my own business. However, I find that if I take some sort of action every single day - I don't feel like an imposter at all. I am learning by DOING. In my Master's program, we called this "Action Research". Every day that I learn something new about running a business, I'm less inclined to believe I'm an imposter. I'm just in research mode!
124. Comparison Is a Thief of Joy
Do you know the feeling? Eyes scanning the room, checking out the other attendees at the event. No, you are not looking for a date, but you are wondering if you belong. Did I wear the right thing? Do I look the part?
Want to overcome imposter syndrome, then stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing ourselves to others robs our joy. Don't let anyone steal your joy. Your joy and being yourself is your currency. Rest in being who you are.
125. Learn to Fail Forward
A universal entrepreneurship truth is that you are going to fail. Failure is inevitable in our business, and it's our response to failure that dictates how successful our businesses will be. When you have imposter syndrome, each failure can feel like confirmation of your greatest fears and secret doubts. To combat imposter syndrome, develop a healthy response to failure by learning how to fail up and parlay your failures into learning opportunities.
Chris Vaughn of Emjay
126. Look at the Evidence!
Look at the evidence! We often undervalue our own accomplishments because maybe that achievement came easily to you or you think anyone can do it. FALSE! Even if people have similar opportunities, you bring a unique flair to all you do that no one can replicate. Look at the evidence of your life. Write down the obstacles and triumphs and talk yourself off the imposter ledge.
127. Unexpected Stress Relief Tip
This may seem off-topic, but I recommend exercise for overcoming doubt. Why? It increases endorphins and confidence. A lot of times when you suffer from anxiety or "Imposter Syndrome", no amount of positive talk can get you to overcome this feeling. Sweating and increasing your heart rate not only distract you in the moment, but help you feel better. Although you may not even realize it in the moment, consistent exercise will greatly increase your confidence and help reduce self doubt over time.
128. A Roadmap for Growth
Everyone experiences imposter syndrome from time to time. A tool you can use to combat self-doubt is writing lists. You can tailor this to your specific insecurities and needs, but making a list of why you're worthy of what you've earned, your greatest successes, or the steps you're taking to achieve your goals can show you factual evidence of your self-worth, while providing a roadmap for future growth.
129. The Human Condition
I'm a professional landscape artist, fashion designer, author and award winning educator.
The best way to overcome impostor syndrome is to think back to our human core, what unites us all as opposed to separates us, those innate human emotions that comprise the human condition. Once you put yourself in the shoes of your client and experience their fears and aspirations, you'll be speaking the same language.
130. KISS My Grits
As a business owner for 18 yrs, I've always preferred in person mtgs. ZOOM doubts flood my mind all too often. When self doubt grips me, I find the closest mirror in my house, close my eyes, Pucker UP & literally hold-it-for-a-few-seconds KISS THE MIRROR. Coach Katie Carlson taught me this GENIUS instant confidence booster hack. Right away, energy lightens up, my heart feels warm & I am PRESENT. My breath might not be perfect, likely rockin' sweatpants off camera, but my confidence post-mirror kiss is on point!
131. Pick Your Lane & Focus There
You'll never be an expert at everything. Setting unrealistic expectations and "faking it til you make it" often leads to self-doubt... and for good reason! One of the best ways to overcome impostor syndrome is to develop real expertise in your chosen area and release the rest. Identify what, specifically, you want to be known for and build your confidence by leveling up your skills. Everything else? Find other folks to collaborate with or outsource to.
132. Home Shopping Schadenfreude
I like to deal with impostor syndrome by watching the home shopping network and seeing all the terrible products being advertised. It reminds me that if horrible ideas like that can be successes, there is no need to justify my own successes.
Alexandra Seagal of Animalso
133. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Sooner or later, we all have to fly by the seat of our pants. Instead of thinking of “winging it” as proof of your ineptness, you need to learn to do what many high achievers proceed and view it as a skill. The point of the old-school phrase, fake it til you make it, still stands: Don’t wait until you feel positive and confident to put yourself out there. Daring comes from taking risks. Change your behavior first and let your confidence build.
134. Don't Doubt, Just Do
In 2019, Hyre was a hospitality platform. When COVID hit, sales dropped to $0 in 48 hrs! It was traumatic and I often doubted myself, feeling like a true imposter. No Bueno.
In order to hyper-focus on solutions, I changed my routine and my mindset. I woke up at 5 AM every morning to clear my head and get in the zone. I lead my team to focus on what we can control, and pivoted to healthcare. There was a huge demand for our scheduling and staffing platform. Now we serve big names in the industry.
Eropa Stein of Hyre
135. CEO's Tip: Imposter Syndrome
Accept your feelings. Most people struggle through Imposter Syndrome because they don’t recognize how they’re feeling. They often believe what's not true & end up creating a fake personality. If you’re feeling something, learn to accept and avoid over-exaggeration. When you do that, you’ll be closer to reality and finding a solution will be much easier. Acceptance is the key. When you accept, you’ll realize that other people’s reactions were genuine and your fears were baseless.
The best cure for self-doubt is making a decision. Imposter syndrome is rooted in fear and that fear is rooted in ego. I am afraid of failing, afraid of not being perfect, etc. This is natural, but life is simply too precious to live this way! I realized I needed to make a decision. Commit myself despite the fear or give up. Once I committed myself 100%, I became responsible only for the effort, not the outcome. The fear disappeared and regardless of outcomes, I continue to learn and grow every day.
137. Stop Being So Critical
Having imposter syndrome means you have this one enemy who's tough to beat: yourself. So, instead of trying to beat yourself for feeling like you're a fraud or feeling inadequate, make friends with yourself and stop being so critical.
Imposter syndrome creeps in when you start doubting yourself, because you've raised your expectations too high. Give yourself a long pep-talk, focusing on your strengths and achievements, instead of what you feel you lack. You are more than enough.
138. No More Mom Pants
I do my Qigong, get FULLY dressed, and curl my hair. Shifting our face-to-face service business to online for 2020 made it easy to become like the 80s mullet, except it was business on top, and mom pants on the bottom. Working like this, especially at home, made it hard to feel professional. Getting completely dressed, centered, and when possible going to the office, helps me get out of my self-doubt, resume my position as a leader for my business, and focus on my staff and our clients.
139. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
It's easy to see the competition and feel inadequate, especially when you are first starting out. Social media can highlight only the best parts of everyone's lives without showing the sacrifice and hard work that likely played a big part of that story.
I overcome this feeling of imposter syndrome by remembering that we are all human and all equal. I turn these negative thoughts into something positive by critically analyzing the competition to better my work.
140. Being More Open to Learning
One of the best ways to overcome self-doubt and impostor syndrome is being more open to learning from mistakes and making the most out of them. Rather than looking at mistakes as something purely negative, it’s best to look at them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. Being kinder to yourself and your journey is one of the best steps you can take to overcome doubt and impostor syndrome.
141. Change Your Perspective
As a business owner, it's important to make an appeal to logic rather than emotion - especially when you feel insecure or worried about your position. While self-doubt has a negative perception, it's arguably a sign of something else: ambition. You're constantly looking for better, and for many people, this is an integral part of finding success.
142. Remember All You've Achieved
Imposter syndrome arises as a consequence of feeling that you don't deserve your position. That you haven't worked hard enough to earn it, or you're ill-equipped to carry out your responsibilities. But by reminding yourself of all the things you've achieved, you'll fight your inner saboteur with inarguable evidence of your success. During the pandemic, people have been especially hard on themselves. But, it's important to reflect on the things we do well from time to time and celebrate our wins.
143. The 100-Year-Old Self Test
My best tip for overcoming Imposter Syndrome is to imagine myself at my deathbed 75 years from now, reflecting on my life. My 100-year-old self would regret not sticking with my business just because I was afraid. Thinking about this puts my fear into perspective and allows me to push past any current feelings of inadequacy.
144. Define Your Goals!
The quickest way to overcome imposter is to become clear about your goals. You need to have a discussion with yourself about which milestones you want to achieve in 1/3/6 months. Do you want to hire new members for your team? Great! Hit $1MM in sales? Whatever it is: Write. It. Down. Make a poster and hang it on the wall if you want. And then, celebrate once you hit any of these milestones. Remember: Sometimes, it takes longer than you think to get there. Don’t over-judge yourself!
145. Do the New
When you start feeling like an imposter, you need to kick yourself out of your funk. Take a class, learn a skill, do something new. When you accomplish a task outside of your comfort zone, you'll boost your confidence. You'll remember that you're an expert and have the skills needed for success. You'll stop wasting time doubting yourself. This confidence in yourself will allow you to move your business forward with boldness.
146. Remember You are Not Alone
It’s normal to feel like a fraud as a business owner as it depends on your self-confidence and the pressure to perform at a high level constantly. Interestingly, Imposter Syndrome is very common in overachievers and people who are highly successful in what they do. However, always feel relieved knowing that you are not alone and Imposter Syndrome is just a passing phase in your life. Focusing on this notion makes it easier to cope with the feelings of fear and insecurity that accompany IS.
147. Act As If!
My best tip is to act "AS IF", which includes referring to oneself by how one visualizes oneself even before it's outwardly happened. For example, someone starting a coaching business and feeling like an imposter because she has no clients yet, should call herself a coach even before getting that first client. By acting as if, one begins to believe it, loses the imposter syndrome and hastens the manifestation process to convert as "if" into "as"!
148. Remember a Client's Reaction
To overcome self-doubt, I close my eyes and remember the reaction of a specific great client when I presented them with the work I'd done (for me, that's the photos I’d created). Their reaction, the words they use (and their willingness to pay!) is affirmation that I create work of high value to my clients. If I’m still wobbling with imposter syndrome, I go back through a document I have that contains all the testimonials I’ve collected over the years. They really set me straight.
149. It's Not About You!
Remember that. It’s about the results you deliver to your clients. People want to know what’s in it for them and when you can give what they need, it doesn’t matter how long you’re in business or what others think of you. All that matters is the positive impact you can make for your client and when you truly believe in that added value, there is no stopping you. And, if the person on the other side doesn’t see the added value, it’s not the right client.
150. Drown Your Fears
a. Have a support system. These people should be able to understand that you have this syndrome and have them continuously let you know about your achievements and positive traits, even when you do not acknowledge these things yourself.
b. List down your doubts and fears. One way to do this is by listing them down. Then, have other people check if they’re true. Let them write the things that make your doubts and fears false.
c. Practice mindfulness exercises.
Michael Humphreys of Z-Grills
151. Do a SWOT Analysis
I think the best way to overcome Imposter Syndrome and any type of self doubt as an entrepreneur and doubts in your business is to do a SWOT analysis of yourself and your business. SWOT analysis will help you find your strengths and weaknesses to make your business better than many. You can work on your weaknesses to eliminate them and your strengths to make them work in a better fashion.
152. Avoid Inhuman Expectations
Starting a business puts you through millions of thoughts, one of them being high expectations. You imagine your business achieving massive success, and that’s where your self-doubt kicks in. You start doubting yourself when you map your thoughts with those significant achievements. Hence, focus on short-term goals that you can achieve with your primary efforts. Keep your expectations real and practical.
153. Compete Only With Yourself
Self-sabotage and imposter syndrome often arise when you make excessive comparisons between yourself and others. If you fall victim to this often, stop and reflect on whether your decisions are serving your greater purpose. If you spend your time making comparisons solely to re-affirm notions of self-doubt, you're misallocating your time. That time is better spent investing in your professional development, appreciating your journey thus far, and competing only with where you were yesterday.
154. Talk Yourself into it
Talk yourself into it as if you are convincing someone to buy a product from you. The number one thing you should be doing right now is to convince yourself that while it is considerably difficult, it is not impossible, too. The point is you have to believe that you can thrive, despite the change in your routine or environment to actually embody it. There is a wide array of competition, sure, but it's exactly what makes it challenging and fulfilling at the same time.
155. Embrace and Accept Failure
Failure is a part of business and you only fail when you don’t try to do something big. Your guarantee of not failing is only possible when you don’t try to do anything and step out of your comfort zone. Take failure as an opportunity to learn something new and not repeat the mistakes you made. This is how you grow as an entrepreneur and make your business grow as well, and overcome Imposter Syndrome.
156. Feelings from Fact Separation
This is an interesting one as I think it’s more common that a lot of people might think; particularly for those who work for themselves. My biggest tip here is to separate feelings from fact. It’s fine to acknowledge the way that you’re feeling, but don’t dwell on it. Instead, write down your achievements and, also, a list of the things that you did in order to make them happen. This will give you a clear picture of the work that you’ve put in to make things happen for.
157. Valid Self-doubt
My only tip for this situation is to be frighteningly honest in order to recognize when you do feel fraudulent, as opposed to when you should. In my experience, most feelings of self-doubt are unfounded but, that’s not to say that there are no areas that could use improvement. When self-doubt creeps in, take the time to examine these doubts in order to see if they’re valid and, if so, what you can do in order to do better.
158. Acknowledge the Mistake
This is really important as self-doubt can be paralyzing - particularly for those setting up their own business; a situation where mistakes are almost certainly going to occur. My main piece of advice would be to acknowledge the mistakes but, instead of allowing them to fester into self-doubt or imposter syndrome, put systems in place to make sure that a particular mistake never happens again.
159. Overcoming Doubt
I asked myself if I can still give ideas to people and if they still need me even during the pandemic. I doubted my skills and my goals for my business. Because of this, I realized that life is uncertain. Like the fish in the sea, my worries swim away because I surround myself with like-minded people and see my value. I'm aware of my situation and feelings. I have a journal to express my feelings. I celebrate small wins with people who inspire me. And, set my goals and make sure that I'm on track.
160. Challenge Your Thoughts
It’s easy getting engrossed in negative thoughts that control how we feel and act, ultimately holding us back from reaching our goals. So, in order to avoid negative thoughts, a beneficial technique I use to overcome these types of feelings is by challenging those negative thoughts. I question those feelings and keenly reflect on the situation based on facts. It can be hard at times, but I have found it helpful to examine the evidence and replace the negative mindset with accurate statements.
161. Channel an Alter-Ego
Come with your own superman identity, someone who knows that they are doing the right thing, they are allowed to make mistakes, and knows that 9.9 times out of 10 their work and suggestions will be greater in value to the company than the greatness of fear they felt in sharing it. This alter-ego doesn't suffer from doubt because they aren't an imposter at all, they know they have earned their seat at the table and are aware of the value they provide.
162. Learn to Embrace Rejection
"Imposter Syndrome" is just the timeless fear of rejection. It's the fear of being "found out" and rejected by others.
Think of rejections as opportunities for course corrections. Every time someone says "no" the closer you get to where you need to be. Once you accept rejection as beneficial feedback, the more comfortable you'll become with it. Also, the less you will feel like an imposter and the more you'll feel like a legitimate businessperson.
163. Be the Most Prepared Person
Whether it is something as simple as an introductory phone call, or as complex and all-consuming as the main product in your portfolio, the one thing that is always in your control is how well-prepared you are. Preparation means knowing the answers to these questions before you get on the call, start the project, or enter the marketplace. And the more prepared you are, the more confident you are, and thus there is no room for doubt –because you'll know exactly what you're doing.
164. Focus on Purpose
My best tip for overcoming doubt is to focus on purpose. Purpose powers productivity. When you feel you are acting with purpose, what you do and how you do it creates an impact. You become far more willing to give it your all and bring your A-game to any situation. Purpose should be genuine and align with your values. It creates a positive overall sentiment that yields productive work among team members — as well as yourself! — for a common good.
165. Doubt is Code for Caring
Anyone who cares about what they do experiences 'imposter syndrome' and doubt. It's normal, and it doesn't mean you can't provide value to your clients.
Deep down, you just want to help people. Stop making it difficult. You know far more than you give yourself credit for and you'll never stop learning.
Next time you're beating yourself up, stop and breathe. Would you talk to your inner child that way? You're a badass. Act like it. Don't apologize. Grow and share. Live and learn.
166. Use It and Forget It
Over the past weeks, I have had multiple, very accomplished executive clients dealing with crippling self-doubt. They fear not stacking or failing to deliver. One even starts the day fearing he'll be fired. I think the best strategy for dealing with this is twofold: First, remind yourself that these thoughts are fleeting. Thoughts are not facts.
But, don't struggle to suppress them. It won't work if you do. Instead, use them as fuel. They are tools to push you harder and provoke your best work.
167. Improving Yourself
By learning new things and improving yourself, you can push away feelings of doubt and self-sabotage.
The act of learning and growing is a positive one and it can serve as a barrier between the negative thoughts.
If we are always striving to improve ourselves and move forward, the feelings of doubt won't be able to catch us standing still.
168. Keep Track of Successes
The key to not letting doubt win is to prove it is wrong and that you are worthy of success in the workplace. Keeping track of the little wins or victories throughout the week is a great way to give yourself positive encouragement and encourage you to keep pushing toward meeting your goals. Seeing what you've accomplished written on paper gives it more validation and allows you to physically see what your hard work is turning into, which will help quiet the doubting voice in your head!
169. Setbacks are Not Permanent!
Taking risks in the workplace can be intimidating – especially when you're doubting yourself in your small business. The reality is, however, there will always be failures on the road to success. Instead of letting any of those setbacks build on top of one another into a mountain of self-doubt, analyze the situation and try to truly understand why it wasn't a success for you. If you use every scenario as a learning experience, you'll eventually see what it takes to succeed.
170. Founder on Imposter Syndrome
Be kind to yourself. The idea of being a perfectionist makes you go harsh on yourself. You’ll never really be satisfied and always complain about not being good enough. Honestly, that’s a dangerous thought and fosters negativity. Be kind and practice positive self-talk. It will help you subside negativity and eliminate feelings of stress and anxiety. Plus, load yourself with optimistic thoughts and believe that you’re destined for great things. Remember, every big thing starts small.
171. Leverage Your Self-Awareness
Develop self-awareness of your true strengths and weaknesses. List both and write down proof of each. Focus on facts related to your achievements and perceived failures or weaknesses. Ask trusted colleagues, clients, and so on what they think you are good at and what you could improve. Compare and contrast the external feedback with your self-assessment. Build a foundation on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses through partnerships and personal development to increase confidence.
172. Always Keep Moving Forward
Although self-doubt can be overwhelming and might prevent you from making business decisions from time to time, it's important to remember that the doubts are not reality. Even if the little voice inside your head is telling you that you'll fail, it has no idea what you are capable of actually accomplishing. Instead of trusting that doubting voice, embrace the unknown head-on and focus on the growth potential if you were to succeed. You can't move forward unless you take the steps to try!
173. Failure is Growth
Failures are bound to happen, but they lead to growth. There is a lot to learn from failures. No matter what the result is, one thing is for sure, you get to learn a lot from it. One thing that we should aspire to is to not repeat the same mistakes, but we can certainly commit new ones. So, do not fear committing mistakes.
Christian Velitchkov of Twiz LLC
174. It's Not "That" Difficult!
Everyone has problems, but successful people are the ones who tackle them with a positive mindset. Yes, there is a problem, but it isn't as difficult as it seems. First, you need to convince your mind that the problem is not that huge, and then you need to get into action. It helps gain confidence and positivity.
175. So What?
Ask yourself this question "So What?". So what if you couldn't make it or be successful? Failures are a part of life and every day gives a new opportunity. You aren't dead, you still got a life and things to do. Thank the Universe for everything, notice things that are in your favor, and start working on it again.
176. Face Your Fears
Being an SMB, be prepared to take chances and get ready for failures. Fear can kill your dreams and makes you miss precious opportunities. Before taking any business decision, analyze the risk-reward ratio and predict the worst-case scenario. This helps you prepare to deal with the consequences of your decision, whether or not it works out.
177. Don't Compare With Others
As a small business owner, you will be looking to grow your business and achieve new levels of performance. You want to progress, but the key is to measure your progress against the goals you set, not against the progress of others.
Remember that you are an individual with a unique set of attributes. Others will have different circumstances and may have had a head start over you in certain areas. So, don’t compare yourself to them.
Gilad Rom of Huan
178. Celebrate the Small Wins
In small business, we concentrate so hard on what we’re doing, we forget what we got done. At the end of the day, on my To-Do list, I quickly highlight what I accomplished, note what challenges I overcame, and/or if I learned a new skill, and definitely note any compliments received. End it with a positive statement, such as, “I am good at what I do and, my clients trust me.”, or “I am doing better than I was a year ago.”
179. Know This: It's Not Real
Understand that everyone experiences imposter syndrome when they launch out on their own, and most feel it even after they're established. Knowing this, treat it for what it is: a passing fancy as your mind tries to protect you. It's just doing its job. Ignore. Carry on.
180. How to Fight Imposter Syndrome
The best way to fight "Imposter Syndrome" is to talk to people in your industry, be that your competition, suppliers or major customers.
Especially if there are networking events available for your niche.
You will most certainly discover that regardless of the size of the business, they deal with similar problems, and rarely have out of this world knowledge or grasp over the business. Moreover, often, even the larger company employees will feel less knowledgeable than you personally.
181. CEO on the Imposter Syndrome
The first thing you should realize is that the imposter syndrome is completely normal, especially if you're going to compete in an established, competitive market such as digital marketing. The truth is that you can consistently deliver better work because you can focus on your customer, but you still have to find your unique approach. I've maintained this philosophy for two years, and Loganix has continued to grow each year. We're at 30 people at the moment, and we're looking to expand more.
Aaron Haynes of Loganix
182. Embracing Uncertain Times
Almost everyone, on their personal success ladder, is at some point haunted by second-guessing themselves. In addition to focusing on the bigger picture, remember to establish attainable, short-term ones. By achieving smaller goals along the way, you can constantly bask in frequent wins.
Another helpful way to navigate through challenges is by embracing uncertain times. Being able to organize and manage our time wisely has worked miraculously in opening new doors.
183. Not Self-talk But Resilience
Build up your self resilience. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. To do this, stop any negative self-talk about your capabilities. Replace it only with positive self-talk. Emphasize the progress you are making towards a goal, no matter how small. Focus on what you have done. Don’t let the doubt of another person creep into your consciousness. Repeat this process, often, until you become self resilient and no longer feel like an imposter.
184. Listen to OUTER Voices
I stopped listening to the inner voice and started trusting the “outer” voices. Instead of hearing only my critical self, I listen carefully to other people. But only people I trust. I don’t specifically ask for reassurance, instead, I listen when they compliment me, when they encourage me and even when they criticize me. They are sharing OBSERVATIONS about the outer results and manifestation of my abilities and my efforts. That’s all they can see! The RESULTS. Not the false doubts.
185. "We've Seen Worse!"
"We’ve seen worse!" As a reminder, I keep a picture of Mrs. Hattie Edwards, my maternal great-grandmother, Bluefield State Teachers College, 1898, close by. My late husband’s grandfather, Dr. James Nabrit, graduated from Morehouse College the same year, just 35 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. I was 11 when my great-grandmother died. I knew her well. She’d say any difficulties facing my 34-year-old business are relative. "We’ve seen worse!" Voila! Imposter Syndrome dismissed.
186. Reflect & Remember Your Wins
A lot of people feel like they’re not supposed to be in their position, no matter how hard they’ve worked. When I’m dealing with imposter Syndrome, I take a moment to reflect and remember that someone else believes in me and believes I am an expert. If a stranger can believe in me, then I should believe in myself.
187. Positives Outweigh Negatives
When I feel hopeless and want to give up, I would think about DocPro's vision: "providing accessible legal solutions for everyone" and how people would benefit if I succeed. I would also think about how my employees would be affected if I quit now.
Focus on how the positives from not quitting would outweigh the negatives - the community as a whole would benefit more from me being resilient. This makes me want to make more sacrifices to overcome the current issue.
Kim Chan of DocPro
188. Make Self-Doubt Work FOR You!
When I feel imposter syndrome creeping in, I remind myself that the definition of an imposter is a fake, and that this feeling is fake, too.
That simple exercise helps me reframe those moments of self-doubt and channel that uncertain energy into excitement for my next step(s).
I also remind myself that, no matter what happens, the ultimate failure is not believing in myself and not trying... that is always a launchpad past the fear!
189. Success is a Journey
I started a global marketing and digital branding firm 19 years ago. The key is to never stop learning, evolving, and working to become an even better version of yourself. Try to embrace the fact you'll probably never feel like you've made it and use that feeling as fuel to turn "good enough" into great and then keep doing that again and again. Success isn't a destination, it is a journey and if you've "made it," that means your journey is complete. The goal is to keep learning and growing!
190. Our Peachy Tip
I’m Debbie, a realtor for over 14 years, and I’m Oscar, a real estate investor who has sold over 50 properties. We recently started a small business, Peachy Homebuyers, to help distressed homebuyers sell their home. Starting a new business can be challenging; fear and self-doubt start to linger without realization. Our one best tip to help overcome “Imposter Syndrome” is to understand that you can do one thing in different ways. Make it simple enough so you are actually able to do it.
191. Celebrating Small Wins
Never focus on having a feeling of being an imposter, instead, direct it on your small achievements. When I was struck with self-doubt, I became ineffective and my decision-making was crippled. The key here is focusing on small achievements you’ve done and celebrate them. Small wins like winning a new client or receiving praise from someone are more than enough wins to celebrate with in order to fill your mind and leave no room for self-criticism and self-doubt.
192. Race or Marathon?
The world of PR brings on self doubt everyday, with the pressure of getting stories published for clients. I have to remind myself that just because an editor isn't interested in my story pitch today, a year down the road she may be. This has happened many times where I land clients on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, NY Times and other major metro media. To keep my head up in the meantime, I remind myself my success isn't a race, it's a marathon.
193. Listen to Happy Customers
Every small business has something that makes them special. It might be your intended USP, but it could also be something your customers have unexpectedly observed and appreciated. Take the time to absorb positive customer feedback. Many reviews will pinpoint exactly what makes your company unique. Soaking them up will give you motivation, boost your confidence, and remind you why you started your business in the first place.
194. Go Paws Out!
As the owner of a 100% natural pet product company, everyday presents unexpected challenges. Did we make enough Flea & Tick Shampoo? What can I do to optimize the product page? Advertise or not? What keeps me positive is to complete just one thing on my to-do list daily before I start analyzing. This gives me a sense of achievement. After that, the day takes on a life of its own and the other jobs at hand come easy, allowing me no time for self doubt. I've already gotten off on a good paw.
195. Focus on What You Can Change
I think it's important to compare my company to larger businesses, especially competitors. Doing so is a fantastic learning opportunity if done correctly. Focus on smaller details you can implement within your business over time. Don't get caught up in things you can't change or don't have the resources for. Remember, it's okay to be at different stages; there are advantages to being a small business. Find and utilize them.
196. Success is a Team Effort
I believe understanding the trigger is the first step in changing the way that it can affect us.
Once we recognize this, we can take action towards avoiding this pattern of behavior.
By accepting also, that success is a team effort, imposter syndrome itself can be reduced. We don't need to take full responsibility for success, or failure, but rather understand we are a part of the whole. By developing a healthy response to failure or mistakes, then we are able to overcome that fear or doubt.
197. Imposter Syndrome Rocks
Imposter syndrome's your friend. It tells you your self-worth isn't where it could be. Doubt your coaching skills? You can solve it in one sentence. "Consistently, persuasively, & generously help others, gaining testimonials & a track-record." This works because offering free help feels like a favor. You can help newbies. They'll reciprocate with a testimonial. You can get pages of praise this way. And now, if you ever feel you're not a 'real coach', you point to the praise & feel like a pro.
Jason Fonceca of Ryze
198. I Know I'm Not a Fraud, But...
One technique I use to overcome imposter syndrome is to think about the people I admire, and how they manage imposter syndrome. As an example, JK Rowling wrote books after Harry Potter using a ghost name because, despite her notoriety, she didn't think she was as good as people thought and wanted to avoid pressure. I often take this approach of anonymity because it limits my exposure and lessons my imposter syndrome feelings, so I can focus on my work instead of worrying about being a fraud.
199. Just Be True to Yourself
I haven't struggled with confidence, or I'd say I've never had problems accepting my mistakes or faults. I think the tip I could give is to just be true to yourself and keep learning instead of minding what others think of you.
200. Self-made CEO Thanks to MOOCs
I do a daily pep talk with myself.
It’s easy to get discouraged, especially when there's nothing to show for all the work.
The lowest point in your pursuit is also the most crucial time to trust in your capabilities and believe that things will pay off sooner or later.
So, what do I do? I do positive self-talk. I acknowledge my work. I pat myself on the back and celebrate wins – small or big – it doesn’t matter. Cause to be honest, if you don’t support yourself, who will?
201. Collaboration is Your Friend
It's easy to get stuck in your head. "I'm an Imposter." We've all been there. While starting two companies, I discovered that the power of collaboration is one of the greatest assets a human has. After starting my first business, I learned the power of idea-sharing within a team. I started it solo with my second business, so I did not realize this benefit until I brought on trusted advisors. Big tip, tell your ideas to people. If they share them, then you're doing something right.
Jeff Peroutka of Pror.io
202. Remember Your Mission
To relieve myself from the weight of the world, I would take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and remember my mission. In any business, your company mission is crucial to keeping you going, even through times when you feel like everyone is against you, including yourself.
Just remember, however, that "if you don't have any haters, then you're doing something wrong". Focusing on giving and your service releases expectations and doubts from yourself and others.
203. Excel Through Repetition
Nothing trumps the repetition of consistently and constantly focusing on providing a great quality of service. When the feeling of being a fraud comes up, the repetition of knowing the services I provide or the skills of my trade like the back of my palm always helps in bringing me back to what I enjoy doing.
The less time I get to focus on the criticisms of people, the less time and room I have to doubt myself, which means I'm always happier with myself as opposed to doubting my capabilities.
204. Read About Others' Journeys
Imposter syndrome can be a crippling feeling, especially when you’re pioneering a new business. In order to overcome this, it’s important to read books about other entrepreneurs on their journeys. You’ll find that every single one of them, even the most successful, deal with the feeling of imposter syndrome. Knowing that you’re not alone with this feeling and seeing that they still succeed will make the road ahead much easier to tackle as an entrepreneur.
205. Just Do This
If you're frustrated by lies spread about you, then why buy into lies created by you? Self-doubt, self-sabotage, and Imposter Syndrome are lies imagined by you.
95% of your day is spent replaying the record of your past. That record is often a broken story based on lies turned beliefs.
Lies created by misinterpretations of emotionally charged events.
Imagine creating a true story!
A true vision of your future, not a false record of the past.
Believe in who you truly are.
206. Avoid Triggers
I try to avoid triggers that elicit imposter syndrome. For example, I minimize interactions with an individual(s) who intentionally wants to make me feel inferior or incapable and instead, seek out those who are supportive while still being honest with me about my capabilities. Having a strong network of people who believe in you and support you allows you to feel centered and capable, at least most of the time.
207. Cleaning And Restoration
We were about to embark on changing our internal system to become more efficient just as 2020 came along. I start second guessing myself; Was this really the right time to be investing in the business or was I wrong in my assumptions that my business can grow. My initial feeling was to wait, but then I started thinking of all the reasons that I wanted to improve our CRM. I was also wondering if people will want to work on their AC systems, which is what our company does. I decided to go ahead.
208. Take Action Anyway
I have never talked to an entrepreneur or founder who hasn't at least occasionally struggled with imposter syndrome.
My best advice is to feel the emotions, but then take action anyway. In other words, don't try to fight or "get over" imposter syndrome. Instead, accept that it's part of the process, but don't let it stop you from taking action in spite of it.
209. Manage Your Internal 'Team'
Imagine you have a cast of characters inside you and your job is to lead them. One is Self-Doubt; they have a loud voice in meetings. One is Confidence; and Confidence (ironically) is a quieter sort, but when they have something to say, it's worth listening. When Self-Doubt is making their unhelpful presence known, take charge of the meeting going on in your head. Take a breath, and ask Self-Doubt to be quiet for a moment, so that you can hear what Confidence has to say instead.
210. Reading My Own Reviews
One of the ways that I overcome imposter syndrome in my business is by spending time reading my own testimonials page! When I'm caught up in the day-to-day running of my business, it's easy to forget all of the good that I've done and all the people that I've helped. Reading all of the wonderful things that past clients have said about me helps get my mindset back on track and reminds me that I CAN do this!
211. Are You Satisfied?
Getting around "imposter syndrome" and doubt is to move outside of yourself and take a different perspective. A favorite question I like to ask when my clients are doubting themselves is, "What would happen if things stayed the same?" If you can paint the picture of what your life is going to be when you give up on your business or stay stagnant, and it's not acceptable - then you know you have to take action. Taking action cures self-doubt and moves you through imposter syndrome faster.
212. Celebrate Your Wins!
As a business owner and management expert, the one tip I can give to help any small business owner combat imposter syndrome is to celebrate wins, no matter how big or small. When you list these wins every day like a winning roadmap and look back on them in the future, it will boost your self-esteem and provide a more hopeful perspective that you are doing all the things that you possibly can and that it just takes time.
213. Take a Logical Approach
My best tip is to take a step back and review all the numbers and data that demonstrate your success. Logically, if the statistics are on your side, then you can rest assured that you're not an imposter at all. In fact, you share the same burden as many successful people that also think they are imposters, when in fact they are brilliant. Imposter syndrome can happen to anyone at any time, just remember that it's just your mind playing tricks on you!
214. Search for a Powerful Mentor
Besides guiding you through multiple business decisions, mentors can also help you out in feeling more adequate. They will recognize your strengths and weaknesses and help you be more realistic about what you can and cannot do. A lot of time, they will be the ones to make you realize that you’re actually more competent than you think you are. If you can’t find a mentor for one reason or another, talking to colleagues in similar industries can help, as well.
Carsten Schaefer of Trust
215. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Is it possible there’s a bit of truth to this upsetting feeling of self-doubt? Meryl Streep suffers from it. Sheryl Sandberg does, too. Instead of calming myself down this way and asking for reassurance, I like to dive deep into the “why”. Why am I really feeling this way? Chances are that it stems from something particular that is fixable. Imposter syndrome can lead to inertia, but lately, I chose to own it and get to action. Mostly, it’s about closing the knowledge gap the insecurity came from.
216. Journaling to Overcome Doubt
When I started my business, fighting my inner saboteur was a challenge that lasted a good few years. Initially, I didn't even know why I kept sabotaging my success! But once I recognized the problem, I actively started to make changes. I tried to separate the feelings from the facts. Each time, I wrote in my journal what the negative thoughts were and why I was thinking this way and what triggered it. After that, it became a habit and now I recognize when it's just an emotional response.
Jeanine Duval of Edelwyn
217. Get True on You
Imposter syndrome is created from a lack of self-worth, and the way to solve a lack of self-worth is to get truthful with ourselves about who we are and who we really want to be. Once we understand our truth, the next step is to interrupt the emotional patterns that drive our behavior in the direction we do not want it to go, which is the feeling of living as an imposter. The last step is to live into who we truly are.
218. Why Do We Work?
The greatest way to navigate self doubt and resistance is to stay busy. As long as your mind is occupied with your occupation, you don’t have time to sabotage yourself. Keep up the work momentum so that doubt doesn’t gain any. This includes your life outside of work. Too much downtime is not good for anyone. As long as you keep fulfilling your duties and destiny, you will not have time to pretend you don’t belong where you are.
219. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
A way to overcome imposter syndrome that has worked for me is simply speaking to other people about how I'm feeling. A lot of the time, we bottle these feelings up to avoid people “finding out that we’re an imposter”, but that’s probably the worst thing you can do. Speaking to others will help you to realize that what you’re experiencing isn’t true. Try speaking to others in the industry. This can help you get insight from the right individuals who know what they’re talking about.
220. Don't Give Time to Doubt
The best way for keeping any sort of negative thoughts at bay is simply staying active. If you are running a small business that will be taking up most of your time as it is. Staying active in your time away from work is also necessary. Too much idle time is what creates these negative thought patterns. Stay focused on growing your business. Stay focused on your relationships and hobbies outside of that, and you will succeed in keeping the doubt demons away.
Keesjan "Case" Engelen of Titoma
221. NLP vs. Limiting Beliefs
95% of our actions are motivated by our subconscious mind, so ridding myself of my imposter syndrome required a total NLP 'reprogramming.' Neuro is your thinking process. Linguistic is how you use language and its influence on you. Programming is your behavior, how you organize your ideas and reactions, and how this affects you. By understanding how those areas operate together, I was able to tap into the imposter syndrome and reshape my ways of thinking about and viewing myself for success.
222. Find Proof of Skills & Success
The first thing I do when I doubt myself is go to the Google Analytics account of my biggest client and search for the stats on organic traffic growth. I know that with my help, they experienced enormous growth in organic traffic. So basically, I'm looking straight at my own success. If that is not enough, I call them to ask about their online results. They are life and career coaches and they are the best in giving positive feedback and cheering me up!
223. Change Your Inner Voice
So many people compare themselves to others and have that voice from within telling them they are not “good enough”. My tip for entrepreneurs dealing with Imposter Syndrome is to change that inner voice and create a new one. Self talk is powerful and when you choose positive self talk, your mindset is in the realm of seeing possibilities instead of problems. This shift not only benefits your mindset, but can also have a positive effect on your team and your clients.
224. Being You Is Up To You
The psychology of “doing it all” rings clearly to women. No one, other than us, expects us to do it all. In starting a business, other roles we play are amplified. I prioritized and valued things differently, having to be better than okay to not “be all” to everyone.
HOW we approach opportunity is the differentiator. My mindset was to own this and find an amazing team. I never felt like an imposter because I didn’t pretend to have it figured out or be anything other than my best.
225. Working Through it, Win By Win
There is no one best way to overcome IS, and frankly, no one ever really does--one works through it. My coaching revolves around affirmations, breaking down the big wins, and acknowledging the steps that go into those wins. Performing exercises and affirmations out loud and making eye contact with another person helps to build more meaning behind those words. By recognizing capabilities and connecting the dots from win to win, you can begin to internalize and shift the IS voice in your head.
226. Action Always Conquers Anxiety
Keep in mind the fact that just by starting a new project or task, that you're already a million miles ahead of people who never get around to starting something new.
Gaps in knowledge and ability are only natural and you can figure this out as you get into the work.
Action always conquers anxiety!
Jonny Quirk of Subkit
227. Mental Gymnastics for Business
What does it take to perform the mental and physical maneuvers in business and in gymnastics when we doubt ourselves?
As we bend, twist, and contort our thoughts, we need to ask ourselves, "What's the price we're willing to pay if we don't take the risks to do XYZ?"
But what if we did? And it worked!
Learning to trust yourself is hard. Whether it's physical or mental in business or in sports, belief is necessary to nail that landing every time. It's you who made your business a reality.
228. Transparency is Key
Imposter syndrome is an extremely legitimate issue in a world that constantly pressures you to 'fake it until you make it'. I've found that the number one way to abate that feeling is to make transparency and honesty, even when difficult, a necessary foundation of the work. I would rather appear less experienced or qualified, but be myself, any day. It allows you to work efficiently without the burden of having to keep your facts straight.
229. Reflect on Your Past Successes
Whenever you feel those inklings of self-doubt, be honest with yourself. Look into your past experiences and find those examples of success, especially when your imposter syndrome took hold of you and made you feel less confident. Despite all those doubtful thoughts, you surpassed them with resulting success.
Focus on the positives when your brain's pessimistic side is trying to take over because when you think positively, those thoughts will create productive outcomes with your business.
230. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
An effective way to deal with one’s inner saboteur is to own one’s success. That doesn’t mean simply bragging about it. It means knowing what it took for you to get there, acknowledging all your successes, as well as any missteps taken. Remember the feedback you received. Pat yourself on the back for the positives. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the negatives. Then, promptly start all over again on a new “project.”
231. Use Past Experiences
Don't be afraid to use your past experiences. Don't be afraid to take what you've learned from past jobs, successes, and mistakes, and use it to help you and your business thrive. Sharing what you know and what you have experienced helps to relieve some of the pressure that Imposter Syndrome can bring on.
232. Dynamic Meditation
Dynamic meditation (a.k.a Silva method) is a powerful way to by-pass self-doubt.
Prior to each meeting or project, I lower my brainwaves and visualize the project unfolding ideally. This technique can be tricky to master at first, but the results are worth it. More often than not, the project unfolds exactly as I visualized it, or even better.
Of course, the more results I accumulate with this technique, the more I trust myself to achieve more in the future.
233. I Squashed Imposter Syndrome
Taking the leap as an entrepreneur meant imposter syndrome was a daily part of life. As we built the business, I vacillated between feeling great about myself—and feeling like I was on the verge of ultimate failure.
So, I started a folder of all the nice things anyone ever said about ViscoSoft, about our mattress toppers, and about me personally. My Success Folder—it’s powerful. And it annihilates imposter syndrome.
234. Keep Folders With Feedback
Recently, I found myself speaking at virtual summits alongside experts in the industry I had admired for some time and imposter syndrome crept in. Watching other presentations, I was quick to pick my own apart and wonder how I was sharing the same stage.
I received lots of great feedback and to prevent imposter syndrome from creeping back in next time I presented, I took screenshots of all the positive feedback and created a folder to refer to before my next public speaking event.
235. Focus On Your Experience
As a female entrepreneur who launched her online business at the age of 21, I'm more than familiar with the notion of dealing with self-doubt and the not-so-helpful thought that you are an impostor. One strategy that I embraced that helped me overcome that, is to keep a list of my clients' wins that I helped them achieve, as well as their "thank you" messages. Look at the evidence that points out that you're worthy of being in your position and switch your focus to facts rather than thoughts.
236. I Look Myself Right in the Eye
When I am sticking my neck out into a new field or stretching my professional reach and all of my fears and doubts creep in, I look at myself in the mirror, straight into my eyes and remind myself of everything I have already done. All of the achievements I've accomplished and how those situations are the same as what I want to do today. And I do this pep talk every morning because I need to hear myself tell me I can do it, so that I really believe it.