How imposter syndrome stops many freelancers and small business owners from reaching their full potential in business
How a broken shoe got me caught up in imposter syndrome that made me doubt my self-worth. Here are the 3 methods I use to overcome fear
Oh goodness, Yep, so I broke my shoe, and the worst part is not the broken shoe, that was pretty bad, but I actually .. actually, I was considering walking through the office with the broken shoe.
So it really got me thinking as to why would I do that? Why do we do that? Or am I alone, am I the only weirdo that had that thought that “Oh my broken shoe” so you can show people, “look here. My shoes broken. I’m not faking it. I can afford shoes”
Even though you’ve been there every day for you know, however long, and they’ve seen you with shoes before, BUT you have to show them each day and it’s like you have to re-prove that you’ve got shoes.
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So I thought about this, the reason why this thought occurred was that I needed to just show up with like a broken shoe and like it hit me, it’s impostor syndrome
So impostor syndrome is simply where you feel like you don’t actually know what you’re doing, but you’re pretending like you do, you know you are posing. This is this is a big thing with entrepreneurs or business builders. Everyone that I met, that’s busy building a business at some point, is going through some form of impostor syndrome.
So when I broke my shoe, Impostor Syndrome hit me.
And so if you’re freelancing reading this, I really want to talk to you about how you can manage imposter syndrome and how you can potentially not worry about walking around in the office with a broken shoe. (By now the broke shoe represents the monster of doubt you have of your ability, no matter how great you are – there’s always doubt!)
So one of the things I did when I got the business going from an idea to when I mentally took it seriously and said,
“OK, cool, I’m not just a side hustler’rer, anymore. I’m actually going to start.
This is a business.
For me, this is my main Income
I’m going to make a living, I’m gonna build this fantastic organisation. I’m gonna sell it one day for billions and billions of rands and that almost happened actually no.”
But I did end up building a decent sized business and employed over 30 people and have been running the business for 14 years. I reached the point of Impostor burnout, maybe?
Being able to build the business at the size that I did, I did a couple of things right, but the number one thing that I felt that was really winning was
I surrounded myself with a network that I could trust.
Surround yourself with peers
No matter how smart you are if you take another smart person and the two of you have a conversation, the level of smarts rises because you will learn from each other rather than just trying to learn everything on your own.
The reason why you want to surround yourself with other peers who can share stories with you is that they may have gone through what you just going through at this point in time, and may be able to advise you.
So that advice will help you get out of the impostor syndrome. So you feel a little bit more confident and not walk around the office with a broken shoe. How silly is that.
One of the other things that you also want to do is you want to tap into your past experiences.
So I found this also works.
Great when I am about to face a challenge that feels overwhelming.
I kind of got to know myself a little bit now. These things just feel overwhelming. They’re not actually overwhelming, they just feel like it at this point in time and I have to reflect back to other times when I felt like this and go, well, you did those things. You know, surely you can handle this.
I’ve overcome many things so why not a broken sandle
Recalling past events, that have some similar thread, and in this case, a difficult situation, you can use that as fuel for going forward with a little bit more confidence than you had going in.
Believe in yourself
If you don’t have a peer group and you don’t have any past experiences to call upon, then this is a great time for you to see what you are made of, to go forward and see what it’s like.
Scary, I know.
But that’s what being a freelancer and business builder is all about.
You didn’t just happen into this (or maybe you did) but you actually believe that you can do it, and that’s an important thing to remember. So maybe, it’s to go forward with that situation because you believe that you can. That’s the best advice I can give you is either you. Believe in yourself
So in summary, my advice on how to tackle imposter syndrome and come out winning is to do these things
- Have a Peer network and if you don’t have one then join one – you can join mine if you’re interested
- Recall past events that also challenged you and use that to grow in confidence that you’ve already made it through challenges, maybe not gracefully but you made it and that’s all that matter. So you will make it through this.
- Believe in yourself. Become your greatest cheerleader on this journey of freelancing and business building because you want this to be the rest of your life. You want it to mean something and so you’ve got to show up and make it work!
So those are new tools that you can use just to help you in this situation, so you feel that you’ve got impostor syndrome. What are your tools that you’re using to overcome doubt and imposter syndrome in your daily life?
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