Experts estimate that up to 70% of entrepreneur’s struggle with the impostor syndrome at some point. I think it might even be higher than that, based on stories I have heard from thousands of coaches, consultants, and small business owners.
Here are signs that indicate you may be struggling with the impostor syndrome:
- You are constantly worried that you will be found out as a fraud
- You do not feel as if you deserve the success that you have achieved
- You criticize everything that you do and shrug it off like it was no big deal
- You do not believe that you are intelligent enough and your success was a fluke
- You constantly compare yourself to others
- You have difficulty accepting compliments about your accomplishments
- You are afraid to be too visible online in case someone that “knows you” can see it
It may be surprising to learn that many people that are admired for their brilliance and success have their own struggles with the impostor syndrome and also do not feel as good as most people assume they do.
Famous people speak about their own struggles with the Impostor Syndrome
- “I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m really not very good. It’s all been a big sham.” ~ Michelle Pfeifer
- “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” ~ Maya Angelou
- “The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Impostor Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.” ~ Neil Gaiman
- Every time I go to a game I always have that fear of losing or a sense of failure. You always have that fear of losing but you always have that confidence of winning. You never want to come off the field thinking you could have done more or given more.” ~ Darren Lockyer
Know that being wrong or making mistakes DOES NOT make you a fraud! You may struggle with this because you know all of your deep dark dirty secrets. You also know the ugly thoughts you have had and you know the mistakes you have made. All this does is make you human and it also makes you real.
4 Steps to Relinquish the Impostor Syndrome
- Reach out to a coach or mentor and discuss what you are feeling. Having one person that you can finally express your fears and doubts too, can go a long way in letting them go.
- Briefly, allow yourself to feel your feeling. You might even want to say out loud, “This is the impostor syndrome that I am feeling.”
- Get out a pen and paper and make a list of what role you played in your success. You did play a role. It could be that you chose to work versus watch television or that you were smart enough to say yes to an awesome opportunity.
- Furthermore… Reaffirm your value. Own your victories and take credit for your achievements. Think about kind and also uplifting things other people have told you about your work.
Take a deep breath, or three ….. now, start taking action with the knowledge that you are perfect just as you are and that your ideal clients are waiting for what you have to offer them.