Embracing the Discomfort of Success: Imposter Syndrome is the feeling or belief that you are not as intelligent, competent, or talented as you actually are, ultimately leading you to feel undeserving of your success, or chalking it up to luck, timing, or other external factors. No matter how decorated or accomplished a person is in their field, these imposturous feelings and self-doubt can be intrusive and have negative effects on your mental health and productivity if not addressed properly.
While Imposter Syndrome can happen to anyone, entrepreneurs are especially susceptible. Entrepreneurs must attempt new challenges and test new waters in order to create and grow a business with success. Because those are so difficult and new it’s common for many entrepreneurs to have imposter-like feelings of inadequacy, leaving them to question their worth and achievements, or convince them that they are undeserving of the success they have achieved.
In order to take control of your imposter syndrome, it is imperative to recognize that the key to stop feeling like an imposter, is to stop thinking like one. Here are 3 ways to tame your secret thoughts of self-doubt and embrace your success as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Recognize Imposturous Thoughts
Many times, these thoughts seem to creep up out of nowhere. Maybe it’s after a staff meeting or when you’re drawing up a new proposal. If you catch yourself feeling unworthy, take note and remind yourself these are just imposter syndrome thoughts. You are where you are because you deserve to be there, you’ve put in the time and worked hard for it. You, yourself are your biggest critic.
Separate Feelings From Fact
When dealing with imposter syndrome, you need to be able to differentiate between feelings and facts. You may feel like you just got into your position by luck and good timing but in reality, while those are always important factors, you had to be prepared to take advantage of those opportunities when they came along. Your preparation may have included the long hours put into mastering your craft, those extra courses to expand your knowledge, the time and effort spent on market research. You are in the position you are today because all the decisions you’ve made in your life have prepared you for these great opportunities.
Review Your Achievements
If you are prone to thoughts in line with those of imposter syndrome it may be beneficial to keep close to you an inventory of your progress and successes. It could be a degree, certificate, testimonials, awards, messages from colleagues, friends, or family, or pictures of significant accomplishments. Keeping them around you will help to solidify your achievements.
The good news about impostor syndrome is that if you’re feeling it, you’re most likely reaching outside your comfort zone and embracing the discomfort of success. Good for you! When you take a leap and get yourself in over your head, celebrate your courage, keep swimming, ask for help, and do your best.