Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe, sometimes. Have you ever been just a little bit too hard on yourself? Probably. Impostor syndrome is not an easy thing to overcome, especially when you are relatively new in business. Many people around us, whether we know it or not, suffer from these feelings of doubt and low self-esteem on a regular basis because we don’t think we know enough or have done enough to deserve success.
No matter how you might feel right now, there is a way to restore your confidence and feel confident from the very beginning. In this post, I’ll be breaking down a few ways I’ve learned to stop feeling like a fraud and how these lessons can help you be confident from the start.
How To Stop Feeling Like A Fraud And Be Confident In Your Abilities
1. Recognize That You Have A Role In Your Success
One day I was going for a walk around my island while listening to “She Means Business” by Carrie Green. In her book, Carie explains her journey to creating the wildly successful online business she has today.
One of the things Carrie spoke about was the fact that she didn’t feel like she deserved some of the success she had earlier on. Why was this though? She realized that there was plenty of circumstances that she had been blessed with in her life and that is why she was successful. It wasn’t because of her skills, talents or gifts. It was due to her having the right connections and opportunities.
This was a classic case of impostor syndrome.
The idea of being a coach and helping other people succeed was daunting, to say the least. I didn’t think I had what it took to actually produce results for other people, and I didn’t believe that even if my clients succeeded that I would have anything to do with it.
We tend to feel like frauds because we can’t seem to accept our success especially if someone helped us along the way. Many times we feel like had we not had rich parents or had we not had various opportunities then we would never have succeeded.
Coming to and living in Japan was an experience many would never have gotten. And I can definitely say had I not come here I would never have gotten into coaching and would probably still be working in a desk job building someone else’s dreams and not my own.
The thing is that no matter how privileged we might be, that privilege doesn’t guarantee our success.
This might be an unpopular opinion but I think that Kylie Jenner is a great businesswoman. She was able to use the exposure given to her by her family to create and market her very own incredibly successful business.
Some of you might say, that she benefited from her family being on reality television, and while that is true, that didn’t guarantee that she would have made it this far; look at her brother Rob Kardashian.
Life isn’t fair and everyone doesn’t start on an even playing field. But no matter how much of a head-start you were given you still did something to contribute to your success. You still worked your butt off every night, and you still put in the time and effort that not many others put in.
2. Learn How To Handle Receiving Constructive Criticism
For many of us, when we feel like we aren’t good enough, taking criticism from other people becomes harder and harder. We feel like every word, every statement is a personal attack against us because it’s a telltale sign that we are actually inadequate.
One of the best things we can do to stop being crushed by the feedback we receive is to go on the offensive and purposefully expose ourselves to more constructive feedback.
Though you might not be comfortable with what random strangers might say to or about you, you should be okay starting with the people closest to you.
Spend your time looking for opportunities to present yourself and your business then receive helpful feedback in return. This might take the form of sitting down with a family member on the phone and giving your elevator pitch then asking them for their opinions.
You might also decide to gather a few of your fellow entrepreneurs and create a sort of mini-mastermind where you can support each other as you become better and better at your craft. To do this, you could do mini workshops where you teach the other attendees a new tip or lesson each meeting, or you could do practice sales call etc.
I’ve done this a number of times and have received amazing feedback in return which has helped me to not only improve but also stop feeling like I’m putting on an act all the time. When doing this, ensure that you state exactly what areas you want to improve and that honest but constructive feedback is important.
3. Remind Yourself That You’re Great At What You Do
Struggling with impostor syndrome makes you live with constant self-doubt and wavering self-esteem. Because of that, you might not be feeling very good right now, especially when those feelings of doubt and fear start to really overwhelm you.
The best thing you can do in this situation to get over those feelings of impostor syndrome is to remind yourself that you are pretty darn good at what you do. You have been doing a pretty good job in your business and it’s time you started acknowledging that.
Even if you aren’t an expert in your field or the most well-known person, (and trust that you don’t need to be), you can still recognize all the lives you’ve changed, all the advances you’ve made and the people you have helped along the way. Whether it’s through your blog posts, facebook lives, email newsletters, online course etc. you are doing amazing things.
Whatever medium you use to provide value to people on a daily basis is proof that you are good at what you do. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of that. I try to remind myself of that fact everyday especially when I feel like I’m not making progress or I’m not where I think I should be.
It’s important to remember that though you aren’t an expert and though you might not be perfect this does not make you a fake in any way, shape or form. You are doing better than you think you are and you’ve helped more than you believe you have.
4. Focus On Providing Value For Your Customers
Every time I sat down and thought about all the clients I didn’t have or how much money I wasn’t making, I felt like a complete and total fraud. Who was I to think that I could make a profit with this business? And why would I even believe that other people would buy from me, the underdog?
The more I obsessed over making money and turning over as high a profit as possible, the more inadequate I felt as an entrepreneur. I felt like an impostor because if I knew as much as I claimed I did, then wouldn’t I have more clients? Wouldn’t I have more money?
Instead of spending your time focusing on the small stuff and thinking about “me, me, me”, invest your time trying to help someone else. Commit to helping one person each day to make their lives better and those feelings of inadequacy will fade.
This wasn’t an easy thing for me to do because I was terrified about what other people would think about my effort to try to help. Would they hate what I had to say or would they make fun of me for how I looked? Those feelings kept me stuck for a longer time than I like to admit.
But the more Facebook lives I did and the more blog posts I wrote, the happier I started feeling on the inside. There is nothing like the genuine warmth you feel in your heart when you’ve made another person’s day. This feeling also becomes magnified when the person you’ve helped sends you an email or a little note of appreciation or thanks.
The more I help people, the less I feel like a fraud and the better able I am to keep on providing even more value.
5. Treat Your Business As A Learning Experience
When I first got into business, my main goal was to try to help as many people as I could while making as much money as I could as quickly as I could.
This put overwhelming pressure on me to do all and be all. I had to be all the things and once I fell below that mark or couldn’t juggle it all, I started feeling like a fake person.
Why should anyone wanna work with me when I can’t even get my own stuff together? Who was I to think that I could impact the lives of millions?
For months, those thoughts haunted me until I couldn’t focus on anything else. I was a complete fraud as far as I knew and everyone else around me knew it too. It wasn’t until I had a talk with a friend of mine that I started seeing things in a whole new light.
“Treat your business as a learning experience,” she said, “and that way you’ll never feel like an impostor.” She was right. The more you treat your business as a learning experience, the less you feel as though you don’t deserve the success you have.
You stop setting unrealistic expectations for yourself because you realize that the whole point of what you’re doing is to learn as much as possible instead of trying to be someone you’re not.
You no longer see shortcomings as proof that you’re an impostor. You see them as proof that you’re trying.
6. Stop Comparing Yourself To That Person In Your Industry
We all have that one person in our industry who we like to compare ourselves to. Whether it’s how far they’ve come in such a short time or how many more followers they have on Facebook.
I’ve written countless times about how much I have struggled with this feeling of inferiority myself because I was so focused on how much better someone else was doing. “Look! Melissa just released a new online course”, or “Wow! Ell just gained 5000 new subscribers.” In my mind, there was absolutely no reason for anyone to think of me as an authority because I hadn’t accomplished anything close to what these other bloggers and savvy women had.
In the world that we live in, there will always be someone better than you. Someone who has achieved more knows more or has worked harder than you have, and that is okay.
Even if I haven’t achieved all the amazing feats they have or have won the awards/accolades they have attached to their name, I have something special to offer to the world. There are people out there who are waiting for the answer that only I can give them. And the same goes for you.
You can stop feeling like an impostor and a fraud by quitting comparing yourself to that person. Put down your phone. Unfollow them on social media and start doing things your own way.
This life that you have been given wasn’t given so you could spend all your time trying to be better than someone else, or feeling like a failure because you aren’t someone else. Give up on the need to scroll through Facebook obsessing over other people’s accomplishments and start recognizing your own, no matter how big or small.
Regardless of what your bank account or your follower count might say, you are not a failure and you are not a fraud. You are your own person and someone else’s existence can’t undermine that fact.
7. Let Go Of The Need To Be Perfect All The Time
Let’s be really honest for a moment. One of the reasons so many of us experience impostor syndrome is because we are perfectionists. We have this innate desire to be perfect in everything we do.
This means that when we miss the mark by even an inch, we begin to feel like frauds and failures. Perfectionism can be a terrible trap to fall into because it tells us that no matter how successful we are or how much we have actually done in our business, we should never be satisfied.
We should never appreciate our accomplishments because we could have done better. To combat this need to be perfect, try going a bit easier on yourself and give yourself a break.
Start setting realistic but challenging goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. If you do then that’s great, but if you don’t achieve the goals you’ve set then that’s also great too.
Temporary setbacks or “failures” are great opportunities to learn, evolve and grow. Plus our journey as entrepreneurs is just that; a journey.
This means that instead of focusing on being perfect all at once, we need to pride ourselves on the daily progress we’re making. Consistent improvement is much better than delayed perfection.
No-one Belongs Where You Are More Than You Do
No matter what you might be thinking about yourself, you are not an impostor. You are not a fraud. Sometimes you might feel like you should be living a specific kind of life and because you aren’t doing that then you don’t deserve all you have, but that’s not true.
Everything you’ve accomplished up until this point in time is due to your hard work and you do deserve it. You belong right here and you need to remember that. That sale you just closed? You deserve to feel good about it.
All those positive things people have ever said about your business? Look at them every day and smile because you’re changing lives. Impostor syndrome is just a smokescreen standing between you and genuine confidence.
Don’t listen to it because, again, no-one belongs where you are more than you do.
Ready to stop feeling like a fraud and build the confidence you need to fearlessly share your products, services and business with others?? Get my FREE Guide below and join all the amazing women who are building confidence every day and becoming unstoppable in their BIZ!
Ready To Increase Your Speaking Confidence?
join the community
Learn the 5 strategies you need to build your speaking confidence, attract more clients and grow your business!
You might also enjoy:
- How To Speak With More Confidence And Authority As A New Entrepreneur
- 5 Powerful Ways To Overcome Self-Doubt And Boost Your Self-Esteem
- How To Build True, Lasting Confidence In 5 Proven Ways
- How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome And Stop Feeling Like A Fraud
- How To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone And Start Living Your Life