Have you ever struggled with the imposter syndrome? I have never related to that phrase but the question came up in my most recent 30-day program: BIG Shifts Jumpstart. As I considered it, I realized that I had definitely experienced elements of it on my own business building adventure.
Everyone on the entrepreneurial adventure meets this clever character. It shows up in subtle ways:
- staying silent on a webinar when a thought popped up that you quickly shut down because it was so different from what others said
- turning down a collaboration opportunity because you don't want to risk overexposure to scrutiny
- keeping to your safe circle of operation and putting off an opening to a new way of doing things
It doesn't always show up as crippling self-doubt. Sometimes it's okay to be in the background, partly in the shadows, the secret of a special few who get it.
I've been there and done that. Here's what I've discovered: It's a mental construct that limits your brilliance. You don't get to meet the daring dancer that lives within. You don't go beyond being the belle of your own ball.
There is so much more!
I remember this way of being. This back and forth, and yes and no. It's a place of grind the gears. It leads nowhere delicious.
You have a choice. You always have a choice. You choose how to craft the adventure.
Life is infinitely creative and so are you. You can choose right now to dance this into its most brilliant next!
4 Ways to Get Past the Imposter Syndrome
Are you ready to move past this quirky character? You might as well add this to your done list. This one tends to be a frequent flyer, especially when you're up to something fabulous!
Here are 4 strategies to move you past this less than game:
- Get Feedback. The reason you feel like an imposter is that you haven't articulated how you are uniquely equipped to do the thing you think you're not qualified enough to do. The stumbling block is the enough piece. Consider what that is for you. Is it about your ability to deliver the transformation needed or about your perceived ability by potential clients? Here's how to handle this immediately: Get feedback from people you know and trust. You can do this by email, text, or even phone calls. Ask one question: “I'm looking for feedback on my strengths, skills, and talents. What's my biggest gift?” You can even say it's homework for a class you're in. This will give you a solid ground from which to build your credibility and confidence. It all begins with you.
- Ask for Testimonials. Nothing will clarify your mastery and expertise like feedback from the people who purchase your products and services. Make this a routine part of your business: get testimonials! The next time you launch a program or product, while you're developing the ecourse and curriculum, create a quick feedback survey on Google Forms. This will give you specifics on what's brilliant about you, your product or program, and your delivery. Plus, it invites ways for you to make it even better! Here's an example from one of my writing circles.
- Dialogue with Your Imposter. Do this as a writing exercise. You may want to include it in your journal. Capture your thoughts and feelings about being an imposter. Do a brain dump. For 5 minutes write. Let it all out onto the page: every ridiculous thought and derogatory detail that arises. Keep writing until you've emptied every inane idea that crosses your mind. Now go back and re-read it 3 times. Imagine that one of your brilliant friends wrote this and compose a response. You may not even get to that. If you start laughing hysterically you know you're complete for now.
- Find Your Circle. This is your circle of like-minded adventurers. These folks are on for you being your brilliant self. They see you. They know you. They love you! I host my own version of this in my Wild Creatrix Writing Circles. I've been doing this co-creative dance for 15 years. Here are 7 Benefits of Sacred Sisterhood I've experienced from participating in writing circles.
These four practices should keep the Imposter Syndrome at bay. It is a practice. The world at large will often invite you to this not-enoughness. Pay no attention to the external voices and carry on.
Spoiler Alert! The Imposter Syndrome takes center stage every time you go outside your comfort zone. The next big thing you're going for will bring our friend back into action. You now know how to navigate this dance.