Feel Like a Fake? Coping with Impostor Syndrome

Courage is the resistance to fear, not the absence of fear.
— Mark Twain

Believing that you’re really not good enough or smart enough to do your job is called Impostor Syndrome. For business owners, this means we can feel like a fake- as if we aren’t really “expert enough” to be doing the job we are doing. And, this feeling keeps us from promoting ourselves and our business the way we should. Impostor Syndrome is -ironically- found most often in people who’ve had great success,  but it isn’t uncommon in those just starting out in their field, either.

The key to coping with Impostor Syndrome is to realize that the temptation to believe that you’re not good enough may pop in your mind on occasion, but the feeling doesn’t have to rule your behavior, especially when it comes to growing your business. As you confront those feelings, they’ll diminish with time.

First, ask yourself, “Do I have the tools I need to reach new clients?” If the answer is no, you need to know where to go to get those tools. In our coaching and classes, we give all the tools a business owner needs to reach clients with persistence and dignity. Find out what you need and go get it! If the answer to this question is that you do have the tools, remind yourself of that fact and get these items in front of you before you reach out to potential customers.

Second, remind yourself of true things. Impostor Syndrome would have you believe lies that you’re not qualified enough in your professional field. Read through the testimonials or reviews you’ve received from clients thanking you for your help. Focus on the fact that what you do has helped people achieve their goals. If you don’t have those testimonials in one place, gathering them would be a good weekend project. What you offer is valuable, and you are capable!

Impostor Syndrome would have you attribute all your success to chance or luck. The reality is more likely that you worked hard for the things you’ve achieved, that you apply what you know with skill and wisdom. Don’t sell yourself short. The people on the other end of the phone or email need what you have to offer them, so don’t let fears of being a fake hold you back from reaching out. Don’t give up too soon on trying to reach that next customer!