Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern that manifests when a person doubts his or her accomplishments, fearing that their accomplishments are false or fraudulent. It is internalized as a fear of being “found out” for being a fake. According to Clare Josa, the author of Ditching Impostor Syndrome, women tend to give in to these self-doubts more than men.
However, those who suffer from impostor syndrome may be able to turn those lemons into lemonade: impostor syndrome, when looked at from the right perspective, can actually become an advantage.
If you suffer from impostor syndrome, here are a few tips to turn it from a detriment into something positive!
1. Turn the question from, “Am I a fraud?” to “What can I bring to the table that no one else can?” Ask how your individual experiences make you stand out from others. In the entrepreneurial space, you will always be growing and learning new things, so just shift your perspective to focus on what you CAN do, and not what you CAN’T!
2. Be curious. If you hear yourself engaging in negative self-talk, ask yourself why? Where does that voice come from? Ask yourself questions which may lead you to see your circumstances more objectively. Remember that being curious is part of having a growth mindset, so even if you fail, you will have learned something along the way. Failure is part of the process of becoming a successful businesswoman!
3. Speak up. As an entrepreneur, remember to speak up and voice your opinions. You have ideas and they are valid. If you feel like you are a fraud, remember that you got yourself here. People care what you have to say. Sometimes you may even be the only reasonable voice!
4. Fake it until you make it. Sometimes you need to pretend in order for something to become a reality. For instance, studies show if you fake a smile, the act of smiling sends signals to your brain to feel endorphins—the “happy” hormone. In the case of impostor syndrome, pretending you are a rockstar will eventually send that signal to your brain that you ARE a rock star…well, because it IS the truth! You are already successful, but sometimes you just need to believe it for yourself!
With some of these tips, you can hopefully turn your impostor syndrome into a competitive advantage! If you find yourself still fighting the thoughts in your head that are telling you you’re a fraud, well, you’re far from alone. Sign up for Tuesdays with Teri and join a group of women who either are or have at one point felt the same way you’re feeling. We meet every Tuesday at 9am MT to bounce ideas off of each other, discuss what’s working in our businesses (and what’s not) and lend a shoulder to our fellow female entrepreneurs when we all need it the most!
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