How to stop your fears from stopping your progress.
Have you ever experienced Imposter syndrome? That nagging feeling of inadequacy that pops up when you’re starting a new venture and you feel uncomfortable saying that you are now a Business owner, Yoga teacher, or Copywriter, when you’ve really just started.
This insecurity is a common feeling and yet, a lot of folks stay stuck in it and worry that it means that there’s something wrong with them. The climate of entrepreneurship has as much to do with this issue that you do. Part of the issue is the climate in the entrepreneurial space and part of the issue is your mindset and thoughts about the situation.
There is another field where imposter syndrome is a non-issue.
Years ago I was a high school teacher, right after I graduated college. I was four years older than the seniors who went to the school where I taught. I, the newbie, was teaching and being evaluated alongside veteran teachers. Here’s the difference in teaching vs the entrepreneurial world- No one in education expects any less from the new teachers than they do from the veteran teachers. Yes, sometimes your principal will give you “easier” classes to handle, but more often you get the “worst” classes with all the kids who don’t want to behave that the other teachers have pulled strings to get them out of their classes and into yours. Its a rough beginning!
However, the expectation in the classroom is whatever you don’t know, you’ll learn. You will make mistakes, learn from them and get better at that aspect of your work.
Teachers are committed and dedicated to the career- even in the beginning when they’re ignorant of the tricks and shortcuts that the veteran teachers know. There is no real exit strategy, and rarely do teachers quit during the school year, even if you have made a lot of mistakes and feel like quitting. When you’re a new teacher, everyone tells you that the first three years are the hardest and you just have to get through them.
But who tells people starting and running a business that? Very few business coaches and business books in my experience.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and Use it to Succeed
Overcoming imposter syndrome can be done by applying a growth mindset and a deep sense of commitment. When you take the feeling that until now you had been labeling as imposter syndrome and reframe it, you can actually use this instance as something that will help you succeed even greater.
In business, when and if you feel like an imposter, acknowledge the feeling and ask yourself if this information means that you are not interested in continuing this further- and therefore just “playing” at this venture, or if it means that you are committed, but still in the early stages of this venture. Of course, it is ok to play at something and it’s ok to be committed. The difference between the two is when you committed to something new, you suddenly have a lot more dedication to seeing it through successfully.
I actually don’t advocate using the phrase imposter syndrome in an on-going basis. It’s not positive self-talk, and it isn’t training your brain to see the problem in a constructive way.
You can however, reframe the self-talk so that you give your brain something productive to be focused on, which will support a growth mindset. Why not you reframe your self-talk and try telling yourself new thoughts? You can tell yourself “I’m a beginner. I don’t know everything. Whatever I don’t know I’m going to be open to and I”m going learn from.”
If you approach these new situations with the perspective that they are new, you are learning, and you are open to new experiences, you shift from feeling uncomfortable that you don’t “know everything” like an expert would here, and you move into a place of open observation. You can learn new things that the seasoned people might overlook, because you are new on the scene and seeing everything with new eyes.
You might still feel uncomfortable introducing yourself to others in your new role or navigating new tasks, but I want you to remember, this is not a time to start judging yourself and dwelling in feelings of inadequacy. This is the time to remember your commitment to your new role AND to remind yourself that you are a learner, a beginner and everything that you learn, you will apply to become even more successful and skilled at this new commitment.
If you want more support practicing productive self-talk and tapping into your own inner wisdom, connect with me and grab my free Take Action Guide. I work one-on-one with clients who break out of feeling stuck, maxed out for time, and lack of abundance and move into feeling confident, clear on your most important uses of time and empowered that you are bringing in more abundance. Connect for a free discovery call to get more help with imposter syndrome or what you’re currently struggling with today.