The fact that you have found success in business doesn’t mean you won’t struggle at times. In fact, that struggle that you might feel is often evidence of the contrary, it’s evidence of the fact that you’re on the brink of a breakthrough.
Today I want to talk about something that is so pertinent to every entrepreneur on the face of planet Earth and that is imposter syndrome – specifically imposter syndrome in entrepreneurs who have already found success. Because if you’ve already found success as an entrepreneur, sometimes you have this added pressure of feeling like you shouldn’t feel like an imposter because you’ve already done the thing. Your ego kicks in and it tries to protect you, leading you down a negative self sabotage and rabbit hole that isn’t going to serve you in your growth.
So, if you’re an entrepreneur and a leader who knows that they’re made for something beyond where they are today aka if you’re ready for another level, but you can’t seem to breakthrough, keep reading! I have some tips to help you overcome imposter syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is that feeling of inadequacy or self doubt that makes you question your accomplishments and your success despite having evidence to the contrary.
Most successful entrepreneurs struggle with feeling like they’re a fraud, especially when it’s time to break into something new or when it’s time to try to break into another level.
So, have you ever felt that you lack confidence in your abilities?
Those negative thoughts and feelings can have a pretty significant impact on your business and your mindset, and it’s a vicious cycle. Some symptoms that might bubble up when you’re facing something like imposter syndrome are: anxiety, self doubt, and downplaying or dismissing your successes. So if any of these tend to pop up for you, you have to be self aware enough to realize that this can be something that you can break through, but not without great intention.
When you’re breaking into a new space or a new level, you need time to build that up and get it off the ground. You need to get proof of concept and all these things and it’s totally understandable that you don’t want to go through the suffering that comes with doing something new, especially as someone who has already found success. Because when you’re brand new and you experience failures, or you’re brand new and you experience the mistakes, it’s part of the course. But when you’ve had success, and then you try to break into something new, or you try to do something that forces you to grow into your next level, and you have setbacks, you start to place those losses on your past wins and start to negate your past wins. We tell ourselves this nonsense story that everything we’ve done before really doesn’t measure up to what we thought it measured up to. Because right now in real time, we’re experiencing these losses or these struggles and it’s taking away from our previous wins. Then our ego jumps in and tries to keep us safe from this feeling of not being good enough, so we either don’t do the thing, or we don’t try to grow because it’s safe here. It’s safe here in this success we’re in right now, instead of trying to break through to the next level of success.
This is why a lot of entrepreneurs stay in that comfort zone and don’t break through to the levels of success of those handful of people that we truly admire. Because those handful of people that we truly admire, they were willing to innovate. They were willing to take those risks. They were willing to allow themselves to get bruised and battered and not let it define them or define their past. And that’s how you grow.
Identify What Triggers Imposter Syndrome
It’s so important to identify the things that trigger imposter syndrome for you. Because once you have that self awareness, you’ll be able to recognize certain patterns and work your way through it, instead of letting it take over.
So, what are the things that trigger you?
There might be certain situations or circumstances that trigger feelings of inadequacy for you. For me, it’s usually based on metrics. If I don’t hit a certain number, that’s where imposter syndrome really starts to come in because in my mind, my trajectory should always be upward. And when I have something that doesn’t go according to plan or doesn’t hit those numbers, I start to feel like I’m not good enough.
Another common trigger for people is fear of failure. Many entrepreneurs put this pressure on themselves to succeed constantly, which is not how entrepreneurship works. This causes them to feel like they’re not living up to their own expectations or the expectations of other people. And that can really be fueled by comparing yourself to others in your industry, which then leads to inferiority complex or self doubt.
Another big trigger are your thought patterns. It’s important to not only be aware of what triggers the imposter syndrome, but what are the patterns of thought or practice of that. Because that is not just something that happens to you, it’s something that you’re practicing. What do you focus on when those triggers hit? Do you tend to focus on your perceived weaknesses or failures? Do you discount your previous successes or downplay your achievements? By recognizing these patterns, and these thoughts that you allow to loop, you can start to change them and you can start to challenge them and reframe them in a more constructive way for you. So, identify those triggers, recognize those patterns in your thinking and then start to develop the strategies to overcome imposter syndrome.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
On top of self awareness, another key piece in fighting imposter syndrome or working through it is reframing the way you think.
This has been huge for me, and the way I do it is by asking myself one simple question:
What meaning am I giving this situation?
When something happens that leaves me feeling like I’m not enough, I ask myself that question. This allows me to learn from those situations and do things better next time. This is why there are certain people who find levels of success that other people just can’t get to – it’s because those people who get to those levels of success, don’t allow the failures to have so much power and meaning behind them. They just take the lessons from it, and then apply it to the next time and realize that everything in business is cumulative, you just freakin’ keep going. Do it the next time. And the next time, and the next time.
When it comes to reframing the way you think, it helps if you do it from an evidence standpoint. If I have solid, continual evidence as to why I’m capable then it makes the whole process that much easier. I do this by making deposits in my confidence bank – I have a little section of my phone where I keep testimonials that some of my clients have shared that have led to big transformation for them, some of the wins that we’ve had as a team, how far we’ve come as a family, etc. And these deposits don’t have to always be about the individual thing you did successfully, it might be just something you’ve learned that qualifies you. But gaining that evidence is so important because it’s really easy to make deposits into something that strips our confidence and leads us into imposter syndrome, so I’m asking you to tip that scale by making deposits consciously and intentionally into the confidence bank with evidence.
Importance of Support Systems
Another piece is really leveraging your support systems. When I’m having that doubt, and I can’t really see clearly, I need the people in my life that can speak truth into me. Because when I’m doubting myself, and when I’m telling myself a story that isn’t true, and I’m really feeding that narrative, because I’m believing it at that moment, that’s when I go to my people – mentors, peers, friends and family. These are the people who know my heart, believe in me and remind me what I’m capable of. And this has been so huge for our growth as a company, for my growth personally, and it’s something I keep coming back to over and over.
That additional support is the primary focus of our masterminds and the reason why so many of our clients see breakthroughs that go beyond just the next offer and really take them into their next level of potential and possibility. So if you’re seeking something like that, make sure you go https://luminaryleadershipco.com/mastermind to see if this is the right fit.
How to Get Clarity
And then finally, I think taking action is a great way to pull yourself out of imposter syndrome. Now, the disclaimer I’ll put on that is I think sometimes we take frantic action, because it feels good, because productivity feels good, and it makes us feel purposeful. But that’s not what I’m suggesting. When I say action, I’m talking about taking the time to contemplate and think about what are the right actions that are going to take you into that next level and serve the long term growth.
One key action that I think is so huge is getting clarity. A lot of times imposter syndrome stems from lack of clarity because lack of clarity leads to lack of confidence, and a lack of confidence leads to really a lack of our growth, because we don’t know what the right plan is to break into the next level. When I struggle with that, I come back to the tools that allow me to take the right action by first getting the clarity. So, today I want to gift you one such tool that I use for myself and for my clients because I want you to have something in your back pocket you can use over and over and over. I call it Focused Entrepreneur because it gets you laser focused and gives you a ton of clarity. Go to luminaryleadershipco.com/focused to grab this amazing tool that is going to deeply support your breakthrough when you’re feeling imposter syndrome.
Remember, imposter syndrome can be evidence of the fact that you’re on the cusp of a breakthrough. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not evidence that you are not capable, it’s not evidence that you are not ready, it’s not evidence that you’re not good enough or smart enough or whatever story you might tell yourself. But if you are not intentional, if you don’t have clarity, if you don’t know and are aware of what’s triggering you and how to reframe those thoughts and what to lean into, you’ll stay in it for longer than you need to.
- If you are ready for your breakthrough and are seeking additional support, check out: https://luminaryleadershipco.com/mastermind
- If you are ready to get laser focused with tons of clarity, grab this amazing tool: https://luminaryleadershipco.com/focused
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