Defeating the Imposter in Your Head
Do you ever feel like you’re just not good enough?
I know. That’s a really deep thought, but I want you to pinpoint all of the outstanding accomplishments in your life and ask yourself: are you unworthy of praise and accolades? Do you feel like you’re faking it in your business?
If you answered “yes,” let’s talk. You might be battling something called “imposter syndrome.” It’s a real thing and it’s a mindset I’ve personally experienced. I’ll share my story in a second, but first, let’s dig into what makes imposter syndrome tick.
This psychological pattern fills your mind with inadequacy and self-doubt, despite actual evidence of your competence or accomplishments. You might have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud or you might feel you don’t deserve your achievements.
Imposter Syndrome Warning Signs
- Fear of Failure
- Discounting Praise
- Attributing Success to External Factors (Luck, Timing, etc.)
If you’ve ever faced these feelings, know you’re not alone. A recent KPMG study suggests 75% of executive women report having personally experienced imposter syndrome at certain points in their career. I’m one of them. But I’m here to adjust your crown and help you realize: you, Queen, are worthy of ALL THE THINGS: in your business, at home, and in all aspects of your life. You just need to find your confidence.
Giving it the Old College Try
In case you needed a refresher course, I am the founder and CEO of Raney Day Design, a creative digital marketing company that I started back in 2011. I’m a business mentor and coach for Agency Mavericks. I’m also a wife and mama of two sweet kiddos. I have the experience and a proven track record. So why did I initially question my success story?
One thing you may not know about me is that I never finished college. I was accepted into the University of Southern Indiana (Go Screaming Eagles)! I planned to study business, specifically marketing, but life got in the way. Both of my parents battled health issues and I left school to help with their recoveries. I later enrolled at other schools and gave higher education a second (and third) try, but some of my credits didn’t transfer and I struggled to get back on track.
Despite my bumpy collegiate ride, I found my place working for a not-for-profit organization, where I gained the experience needed to eventually launch my own company.
In the beginning stages of Raney Day Design, when I’d be giving presentations or meeting with networking groups, a tiny voice would sometimes pop into my head, questioning “who do you think you are, standing up there? What do YOU know?” It filled my brain with self-doubt.
Turns out, it was a case of imposter syndrome! I had to trample those nasty lies and focus on God and His promise. The Bible says we were made on purpose. We were born for a reason. This particular verse keeps me going:
“We all know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28
This was the path God laid out for me. Sure, it may have been untraditional, but that’s okay! I believe in my business and what it has become. I was made for this.
Taking the Hits
When you think about it, when do we grow the most? Oftentimes, it’s immediately after hitting a pain point. Right when you feel like you’re going to break and that adrenaline kicks in. You’re stretched so thin you have to dig in and figure out how to fail and then rise up and conquer your goals. There’s a great quote from the 2006 movie “Rocky Balboa” that is incredibly motivating:
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”Rocky Balboa
We often talk in business about growing pains. Maybe you’re tapped out at work, but you don’t have the team to lighten the load. Maybe you have a great staff, but you don’t have a solid process in place. You have to fight through the pain in order to grow and come out on top.
Here’s a confidence booster I used during a women’s networking event. I had participants stand up tall and pose like a superhero! Try it now. Rise up and strike your favorite superhero pose. There’s actual science behind it! A Harvard study suggests that speakers who held an open power pose before their event received high marks compared to those who held a closed posture.
Defeat the Doubt
If you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome, there are several strategies you can try to help overcome it.
- Recognize and Challenge Negative Thoughts
I want you to replace self-doubt with positive affirmations and remind yourself of your accomplishments and capabilities. You got this!
- Embrace Failure
That’s right. Look at it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Remember: everyone makes mistakes. Everyone falls sometimes. Errors don’t define your worth.
- Separate Feelings from Fact
Write down all of your achievements, no matter the size. That’s all the proof you need.
- Seek Support
Find your people. Talk to trusted friends, family or mentors. They can provide reassurance, perspective and support.
- Set Realistic Goals
Avoid perfectionism and set achievable goals. Don’t forget to celebrate small wins along the way!
- Give Yourself Some Grace
Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Be as compassionate to yourself as you would be to a friend facing similar challenges. Sometimes, I even write encouraging messages on sticky notes for motivation. The one below says “progress over perfection.”
If imposter syndrome persists and significantly affects your well-being or daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs. They can help you explore the underlying causes of imposter syndrome and develop strategies to overcome it.
Don’t let imposter syndrome become an excuse in your business. Contact me today to schedule an appointment and get your confidence back!