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3 Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

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At some point in your business, you’ll find yourself faced with a little thing called imposter syndrome. Its those moments when you second guess yourself and underestimate your ability to succeed.

No matter how much you prepare, train, or perform, you continuously fear you’ll be outed as a fraud or wonder if others think you’re under-qualified.

No one is exempt from imposter syndrome. For some of us, it’s a fleeting moment that comes in waves. For others, it’s a constant mental state that can be damaging for business growth.

Here are a few tips to keep imposter syndrome at bay:

Understand there’s no such thing as luck.

Imposter syndrome is the fear that you’re not worthy of your success. You believe everything (or most things) you’ve accomplished happened by chance.

I like to think of this quote by the Roman philosopher Seneca whenever I feel imposter syndrome:

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Sometimes you are at the right place at the right time to land a client, close a deal or win an award. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that you prepared and became qualified enough beforehand to get the opportunities you land. 

When you feel like a fraud or imposter, list out your accomplishments both small and large. Force yourself not to explain them away as luck. Give yourself the acknowledgment you deserve. Sometimes we all need an ego boost. You are not an imposter. You worked hard to reach your goals. 

Know the “fake it until you make it” mentality has some limitations.

We hear this phrase all the time, but it can be dangerous. It’s a phrase to encourage people not be fearful. The thought behind it is purely to motivate and inspire, but the mindset can cause trouble if you’re doing things before you’re ready to handle them. 

For example, maybe you want to venture into coaching. You haven’t sold a coaching package yet, but you’re thinking about rolling out a high-ticket coaching offer. Of course this is going to make you feel unfit or under-qualified. You haven’t worked with any coaching clients yet. An alternative could be doing free sessions to get some testimonials and show that you can get clients quality results before charging.

Be ready to challenge yourself and be prepared to roll up your sleeves. There’s no need to feel like an imposter if you’re committed to learning what’s necessary to do your job ethically. It might mean some growing pains, but that’s part of taking your business to the next level. 

Stop comparing yourself to others in your industry. 

Finally, comparison is a thief that will rob you of happiness in your business. When we see people doing the same thing we are doing, it is only human to start comparing our success. 

Social media can be a huge pit fall for sizing up the competition. Don’t feel like a failure or fraud because you’re moving slowly or in a different direction than your neighbor.

Celebrate others because their success doesn’t subtract from your own. I’ve found that learning strategies and partnering with competitors has grown my business. Plus, in talking with competitors I’ve found that they suffer from the same imposter anxieties. Other business owners are good people to have in your corner to lean on when you’re going through business struggles. 


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Personal Finance Writer
Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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