Think about it. Imposter syndrome can call in all shapes and sizes! I’ve put together a few of the top identities that you may relate to.
“Dear Impostor, you are good enough just as you are. You are smart, capable, and worthy of respect.”
The term first used by psychologists Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance in the 1970s, imposter syndrome is an internal experience and belief that you are not as superb as others around you. Connected to both feeling like a fraud and awkward in social situations, it can also relate to the way that you run your business. It can lead to those roadblocks that seem nearly impossible to overcome. I know I am not the only person who experiences this!
The Soloist – You want to do everything alone for the most amount of control. Instead, include others for tasks that you aren’t familiar with, you may put yourself through misery to feel that you are the “owner” of everything. AKA me.
The Compartmentalizer – You try to separate each task that you want to accomplish. As a result, it can be complicated to see what direction you are headed. From there, It can be incredibly helpful to focus on a common goal and breakdown of the subtasks that are required to get there.
The Fortune Teller – You might be too focused on what’s ahead, instead of what is currently going on. To keep moving forward, it will be super helpful to breakdown your goals + realize what is important to do today to take baby steps towards what you want to accomplish.
The Soccer Mom – You are the juggler of it all. This role frequently appears when you have launched multiple services and you are making a sizeable income from your work. To help manage your “mom” inner self, it can be super beneficial to outsource some of your work. I know that social media management can be super tricky + draining, so I’m here to support you with that, too!
Just like any other emotion, you should not suppress imposter syndrome. Over time, psychologists have found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its core meaning can help us manage these feelings. To keep it simple and not over psychoanalyze you (cause we’re here to grow our biz – not go to therapy!), we will focus on one aspect of CBT: cognitive distortions.
Overgeneralizations are one type of common cognitive distortion. With this, we draw a very broad conclusion from one limited occurrence. An example of this is that when you mess up a piece of art once, you believe that you are a bad artist. If you are stuck on this thought, think about what the likely scenario is. Will you grow as an artist from your mistake? If you believe that, give it a try! You should allow yourself to bring it into reality.
Magical thinking is the belief that acts have an influence on situations that aren’t related. An example of this is believing that because your business is bad, it will not attract the good clients that you are after. Think if this is an exaggeration of what is actually true. Is there something on a deeper level that isn’t attracting the right clients? Are you not positioning yourself nicely? You may also feel lost in your brand identity (here’s a fun exercise to help!), and you would benefit from a refresh.
“Should” statements are beliefs that your actions should be a particular way. An example of this is that it is expected you succeed in the first month after launching. Instead, think about what is realistic. If this is your first launch, there will typically be large up-front costs and unavoidable obstacles that get in your way. To take it a step further, remember that nobody is perfect and the goal is to learn for improvement. Give yourself grace!
Feeling like an imposter isn’t a weakness, it is a strength. It means you believe in yourself, and that you always aim higher than where you currently stand. With each new challenge, you understand that the only risk is doing nothing. You were meant to be here. You belong. Embrace it, own it, and thrive in the experience.
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