How I learned to recognize the damaging effects of Imposter Syndrome

How I Learned to Recognize the Damaging Effects of Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever doubt your abilities or fear that you won’t live up to peoples’ expectations? You might be experiencing a common case of imposter syndrome!

Imposter syndrome stems from self-doubt. Those who experience this, might feel like a fraud in their business, or fear that they will be “found out” as an imposter. Imposter Syndrome can make you feel insignificant to your customers, clients, colleagues, and even family.

What does Imposter Syndrome Look Like?

Imposter syndrome can show up in different ways. For some, it can be so debilitating, that you have trouble just getting started. People feel that they are constantly striving to gain more experience or education to feel worthy of their title. You might hear “I’ll start after…” or “I’ll be ready once I …”. For some, that might be getting a degree, or certificate. For others, it might be waiting for life to settle down a little bit.

As someone who has experienced this, I am here to challenge you. First, I want to tell you, that there will NEVER be a perfect time to start. Actually, I take that back. There will never be a more perfect time to start than right now. If you start right now, think of all of the extra experience that you gather. It goes back to the basic principle that you probably learned in elementary school: practice makes perfect! Persistence is one of the best qualities that someone can have if they want to be successful. If you ask any successful business owner how they got to be where they are, they will probably tell you that they failed many times, and never gave up!

Another common imposter syndrome feeling is the fear that you are under qualified. There are always going to be people more qualified AND less qualified than you, no matter how much education and experience you might gain.

Am I Qualified?

If your fear is that someone is already doing what you want to do, just look at Apple and Microsoft! Two very successful companies in the same field, seemingly doing the same thing, each with their own dedicated set of customers. This isn’t just with giant tech companies either. This concept trickles all the way down into the smallest one person businesses! Most industries are going to seem oversaturated, so figuring out what YOU bring to the table that’s different will be your special secret to success! It’s always good to remember to be yourself. You’ll start attracting the right clients that way. Don’t be afraid if what you have to offer isn’t for everyone. Being polarizing gives you the chance to repel those who don’t fit in with your style, and attract those who do! I’ll give you an example.

As a yoga teacher, I have dedicated students who come to my class each week, as well as some random drop ins. My first year, I tried to please everyone. As a result, I took every piece of feedback and planned my classes to suit everyone’s needs. I heard everything from “it’s too hard”, to “it’s too easy”, and from “can we slow it down”, to “I want to sweat more”. It ended up being exhausting and just plain confusing. After I decided that I was going to teach how I felt the most comfortable, I was able to accurately market my classes and my dedicated students were happy with the consistency!

How to Combat Imposter Syndrome

If you’re feeling this way, there is good news! You CAN overcome this! Everyone will go about this in their own way, but first, just have a conversation with yourself. We are our biggest critics, so it’s important that you acknowledge this in order to breakthrough. Be honest with yourself! As soon as you recognize this, you’ll be able to pave a different path. One that doesn’t hold you back or limit you! Try visualizing success and write a new script for your life or career goals.

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