Starting a new project can seem daunting. Challenging yourself to accomplish or pursue something new is exciting but also extremely nerve-racking. Doubts about whether or not you are good enough or can make it with so much competition out there can start to creep in. They make you wonder why you are trying in the first place.
The truth is, competition and throwing yourself into the ring are two of the quickest ways to learn what works and what doesn’t. You might feel like an imposter, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually get to the point of self-confidence in your work.
Provides You with a Free Opportunity to Learn
If there is competition, then you are doing something right, it means there is a demand. The more people working in your particular area, the more you can learn about what works and what doesn’t. The saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. While competition doesn’t have to qualify as an enemy, being knowledgeable about how they operate can only help you to grow your own business.
Instead of scrolling past their ad in frustration, stop, take a look and learn something. Is the copy for the ad engaging? Who are they trying to target? Where are they running the ads? Depending on the business, do they publish their earnings? If so, you’ve got access to a free case study in your area of work. Knowing your competition not only helps you get better at what you are doing but how you are doing things differently.
No One is You-er Than You
Five different people could run the same type of business, and each could have plenty of customers. Why? Because now more than ever, when someone is buying something they aren’t just buying the product but the brand of the person or company selling. Customers will buy from the brand they best relate to, and that aligns with their ideals.
If you have studied your competition, you’ll not only know what works and what doesn’t, but how you and your approach is different. Highlighting the ways in which you are different and why you took a different approach, helps customers get to know you and builds trust. Customers will buy from you, so long as you make sure you are true to yourself. People can sniff out people being fake in who they are a mile a mile away.
That being said, there is a difference between being fake and faking confidence. Faking confidence is ok, faking who you are is not.
Fake it Til’ You Make it Really Does Work
When faced with the dreaded imposter syndrome, it is ok to fake your confidence. Everyone has done this at some point and the reason why is because it works. You’ll keep faking until one day you aren’t faking confidence anymore, you actually are confident in what you are doing.
You become confident because during all that time when you were “faking it” you were gaining experience. The more experience you have, the more skilled you are and the easier it becomes to demonstrate that knowledge. However, the experience you gain can be worth even more than that feeling of confidence if you can quantify your experience.
Make a Date to Review and Reflect
Regular review and reflection will allow you to see how far you’ve come. It makes it easy to quantify the things you accomplished and market that accomplishment. Building on that will mean expanding on your abilities and a new feeling of imposter syndrome while you learn something new.
A step back and look at the big picture also provides clarity in where your expertise really lies. Then you can examine if that aligns with the business you are trying to build. If not, imposter syndrome will likely start to settle in once again.
Imposter syndrome is cyclical if you aren’t feeling some twinges of imposter syndrome on occasion, then you aren’t pushing your limits. Imposter syndrome is something you can overcome, but it might be something to strive for as well.