Entrepreneurs often go through an imposter syndrome phase. Imposter syndrome in entrepreneurs is where entrepreneurs think and feel that they are not worth it, do not have what it takes, are frauds, and feel like failures and let-downs. This causes self-doubt.
However, entrepreneurs could not be all this they think to be, but this stems from a drop or lack of confidence. At times, entrepreneurs underestimate their capabilities, skills, and knowledge, and this makes them feel inferior – hence the imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome may also stem from a feeling of insecurity, and this often works against the entrepreneur. The thing with imposter syndrome is that it can plague even the most experienced and seasoned entrepreneurs. i
There is no recipe or formula when it comes to entrepreneurship. It is an entirely fluid and ever-changing space. As new technologies, mechanisms, and ways of doing things come into existence, the business landscape changes. Adaptation is key, therefore. In the course of business, some of these changes could somewhat test you, and it is during such times that you might face the imposter syndrome.
Tackling the imposter syndrome requires taking steps including:
- Acknowledge and recognize the syndrome
- Get a business partner
- Work with feedback
- Keep forging ahead
- Focus on your unique skill-set and expertise
- Challenge yourself
- Lifelong learning
- Talk to other people
- Write down your achievements
- Think positively
- Take a break
- Ditch the perfectionist mentality
- Own your strengths and weaknesses
Table of Contents
Acknowledge and Recognize the Syndrome
Tackling any challenges or problems requires you to recognize and acknowledge that the problems indeed exist. This way, it becomes easier to chart a way forward. When you feel that you have the imposter syndrome, it is essential to acknowledge that you indeed have the syndrome and start taking action on it.
Since the imposter syndrome mainly brings about self-doubt and reduced confidence, it is important to note those areas that you think have witnessed confidence erosion. You can then start from these areas. Work on these areas. All actions and efforts that you take to beat imposter syndrome should relate to these areas.
Get a Business Partner
Being an entrepreneur means that you will have to make hard decisions over a long period. It also means that you will be responsible for anything that happens in the business. At times, you might feel that you are not executing well, and this is when you begin to doubt yourself.
This self-doubt could morph into a lack of confidence, and this could lead to other psychological issues. The imposter syndrome has a way of bleeding into your business, and this could be detrimental to your enterprise.
When you work with a business partner, it boosts your confidence since you know that you have somebody alongside you who is supporting you. Working with a partner who has complementary skills, knowledge, and expertise can help you navigate the imposter syndrome phase.
This is because such people can help to remind you of the progress you have made and the efforts you have put in. This can significantly assuage and eventually help you overcome any self-doubt that you may have regarding your capabilities.
Work With Feedback
The imposter syndrome is mostly an internal thing. It is something that comes from within. In this sense, it is more of a self or personal matter rather than an external thing. To get a clear and impartial picture, you might want to ask for reviews from your clients, your employees, or people you have worked with over time.
When you ask these people for their reviews, they will have independent opinions about your work. Going through these reviews can help to bring up some assertion that was chipping away. Most importantly, your clients will be in a better position to inform the decisions you have made as far as your enterprise goes.
In this sense, when you look at feedback to gauge your progress in your journey as an entrepreneur, you will find that you have made considerable progress. This feedback can help to restore your confidence, remove any self-doubts, and even revitalize your energy and resolve to move forward and make progress.
Keep Forging Ahead
No matter the imposter syndrome that you are going through, some facts remain. Like the fact that you have to ensure that you hold the ship together and keep affairs running at your enterprise. You are only going to move forward and make your company progress if you take active steps and put in the effort required day in day out.
Remember that you have set some goals that you intend to achieve after some time. The only surefire way to realize these goals is by creating and implementing short-term tactical strategies and long-term plans. Therefore, you need to ensure that day in day out; you put in the necessary effort.
In the event you oversee employees, then you might want to ensure that you do the oversight and supervision as usual. Otherwise, some things could go wrong and weigh in on your enterprise. There will be some satisfaction that will come as a result of the progress that you are making. Progress will help to alleviate the psychological situation that you are going through – the imposter syndrome – and will help you to get your confidence back.
Focus on Your Unique Skill-Set and Expertise
The imposter syndrome, in most cases, comes as a result of a feeling of inward insufficiency. This inner insufficiency could be skill insufficiency, lack of knowledge, and information about other areas. However, worth noting is that there is a lot of information to cover in the world today.
It is thus impossible to include all the information in your specific area or field of expertise. To beat the imposter syndrome, look inwards and focus on the things that you are good at. There is an array of things that you can do well and understand in depth.
What you need to do is ensure that you give these things the limelight. Amplify them. Work on them to improve yourself. This way, you can easily break that yolk of imposter syndrome, get back to your normal mentality, and forge ahead with your business.
When you are undergoing the imposter syndrome, it means that you doubt almost everything about yourself. You doubt your skills, knowledge, experience, and capabilities that you have gained over time. Essentially, you are re-looking into yourself, thinking that you are insufficient.
As an entrepreneur, the chances are high that you have faced a lot of challenges and successfully pulled through. Therefore, if you are looking to beat the imposter syndrome, taking on a new challenge might help to boost the confidence in you.
First, a new challenge means a new hurdle to jump. It tests you, your skills, capabilities, as well as your commitment. In the entrepreneurship world, taking on a new challenge could involve setting new goals, or even doing extra on top of what is currently on your plate. It could be a business expansion. It could be increasing sales.
It could be increasing output, or even developing a new product line. All these are challenges for you to choose from to kick out the imposter syndrome. When you challenge yourself, you test your limits and capabilities. Solving these challenges can help to reinvigorate the energy in you. It can help you regain the confidence that you had. In this regard, therefore, setting yourself up for a challenge could be the game-changer.
In the entrepreneurship world, things keep changing day in day out. There are no fixed operations or fixed environments. Disruption will always be there. The risk will always be there. The imposter syndrome makes doubt what you are, but you need to realize that you can beat it by constantly and continually improving yourself through lifelong learning.
The more knowledge you acquire in a particular area, the more your confidence increases. When your confidence increases, you will stand at a higher ground, and you will stop feeling like an imposter. For the entrepreneur, there is a lot to learn. You can learn more about how businesses in your area of focus have grown.
Their histories. How the significant players grew. You could also learn how business systems work and how they integrate and the role of your business or enterprises in your line of business in these business systems. There is always more to learn, and you can do yourself service by learning.
Learning will also help to shape your thoughts and ideas. It will also help you think from different perspectives and angles, and this can help improve your standing as an entrepreneur.
If you want to start now, you can check out our post on content marketing for startups to start learning.
Talk to Other People to Beat Imposter Syndrome
It is most likely that you are not the first person experiencing imposter syndrome in your circle. There is a good chance another person in your circle, and it could be an entrepreneur even, has been through imposter syndrome.
Talking and opening up to such folks helps you to learn from their experiences. Learning from people’s experiences can help you to take on the imposter syndrome. This is possible since you look at it from various dimensions and angles since you are factoring in the experiences of other people.
Further, when you talk to people who have been through it, they will throw in a technique or two on how to get over it. These tips could also help you to rebuild your confidence, reassure yourself of your abilities, and get yourself up and running again.
Write Down Your Achievements
As an entrepreneur, you have been through a lot of ups and downs. This is how it goes in the entrepreneurial world. There is a lot of risks that entrepreneurs take whenever they go out to conduct their business affairs. When you feel that you are experiencing imposter syndrome, then beating this syndrome might require some degree of internal convincing and reassertion.
When you write down your achievements, they help to remind you how far you have come and the kind of effort that you have invested along the way. This also helps to remind you of your worth. This can be a potent tool in rebuilding your confidence since you get assurances that you have been doing the appropriate things all along, and there are things and progress to show for it.
Think Positively to Beat Entrepreneur Imposter Syndrome
The imposter syndrome can only get the better of you when you overthink it. It is worth noting that your thoughts help to shape you up. Therefore, when you think that you cannot make it, then indeed, you will not make it. When you feel that you are not worth it, then this will weigh in on your value. Entertaining negative and imposter thoughts can erode your confidence to a high degree.
In this sense, therefore, you might want to embrace positive thoughts and discard negative thoughts that only work towards reducing your value or worth. If you want to stop feeling that you are an imposter, then it is all up to you. It starts with the thoughts that you conceive in your head. Stop thinking or harboring thoughts that you are an imposter if you want to kick out the imposter syndrome.
When you look at it closely, the imposter syndrome comes up at times that things have been flowing that you think it is too easy to pull off, and you are not any special. This means that you are getting things right. It also means that you are doing the right things as far as your business or company goes. Otherwise, if you were failing, you wouldn’t develop any self-doubt as you would be working day and night to get yourself ahead.
Take a Break
Taking breaks helps to give you a new or fresh perspective on various aspects. When you have self-doubts, you might want to take a step back and take a break. During this break, focus on other stuff that does not relate to the work that you do. Break the routine. Check out your bucket list and strike something off.
Catch up with some friends. It is amazing what these breaks can do to you physically and mentally, and you might want to try them and see their impact on your self-doubts.
Create an activity that interrupts the typical workflow that can help to reset things and get you back on track. These breaks not only help to re-energize and revitalize you, but they also help to shape your thinking.
Ditch the Perfectionist Mentality
At times, the imposter mentality comes as a result of trying to attain perfectionism in what you do. Therefore, you tend to continually review your work and rate it lower or below standards since you think that it is not perfect. This also leads to overthinking, and this is where you might end up with thoughts about how insufficient your abilities are.
Different folks in various areas routinely take breaks. These breaks are often periods to retool and further sharpen skills. From professional writers to sportspeople, these breaks come in handy in skill improvement.
Ditching perfectionism or the obsession about being perfect can help significantly in getting rid of the imposter syndrome. When you ditch any perfectionist thoughts, then it becomes clear to you that it is possible to bring ideas to fruition without necessarily perfecting everything. This can, in turn, help to boost your self-confidence and help get rid of any self-doubt.
Own Your Strengths and Weaknesses
A fundamental cause of imposter syndrome is self-doubt, insufficiency, and not realizing that there are limits and boundaries. Indeed, everyone has their strengths as well as their weaknesses. When the imposter syndrome comes as a result of you looking at your weaknesses, then you are doing a huge disservice to yourself.
You need to know that you cannot be strong in all areas and that you cannot be weak everywhere. It is thus crucial that you own your strengths and your weaknesses in equal measure, and accept yourself for the person that you are.
To sum this up, the imposter syndrome affects almost everyone regardless of their situation in life. Entrepreneurs are, therefore, not exempted. It is important to note that these self-doubts often come due to explainable and sometimes unexplainable reasons. Whatever the case, getting ahead of them will immensely help your entrepreneurship journey.
Beating imposter syndrome requires firm action from within and external help. Since the syndrome stems from doubts originating from oneself, you must reassure yourself based on past successes. Also, you might want to look forward to better stuff and shrug off any negative thoughts that may hold you back as far as self-confidence goes.
Daniela McVicker is a blogger and a freelance writer who works closely with B2B and B2C businesses providing blog writing, copywriting and ghostwriting services. When Daniela isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read romance and science fiction, and try new wines. You can check her last Trustmypaper review.