How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome In Business
Let's talk about a dirty truth that affects all great entrepreneurs, creatives, and business owners… are you ready for it? Let’s talk about impostor syndrome.
First, let's define impostor syndrome for this blog post because there are many definitions. Impostor syndrome is defined as someone who is starting a business, or starting something new, and fears that someone or something will expose them for the lack of knowledge or not truly being exactly what they are portraying.
Now that we have that out of the way, let me start off by saying that if you are feeling or have felt impostor syndrome please know that you are not alone. Actually, you are in great company. 99% of business owners at some point in time have felt impostor syndrome. It is the perfect storm of fear, self-doubt, and not valuing qualifications and values within yourself. These insecurities build up so much to where you look in the mirror and cannot identify yourself.
Look, even our girl Beyoncé has suffered with impostor syndrome and if I am being honest so have I! I have struggled with impostor syndrome creeping up during the beginning of each of my new projects. We all have that negative voice that says, “you are not good enough”, “you don’t know enough”, “who are you to…” etc.
You can either allow impostor syndrome to hold you back, or you can embrace it and make it your strength. For instance, Beyoncé created her alter-ego Sasha Fierce when she first came to the industry. Beyoncé was uncomfortable with fame, skimpy outfits, risky language or dance moves, but Sasha wasn’t. Sometimes we forget that before Beyoncé was “Beyoncé” she was a normal girl from Texas. She had to create another personality that could conquer all the things her normal self was scared of doing. It helped because recently, Beyoncé has said in interviews she no longer needs Sasha Fierce and the power the alter-ego had created for her.
See, we all have the ability to create our own Sasha Fierce. We can create our own alter-ego to combat the dreaded impostor syndrome. That is exactly what I did and what you can do too. I can teach you how in just a couple of simple steps.
Step 1: Spark Confidence
For this exercise to work you must find a person, ideal, super hero or fictional character that just sparks so much confidence within you. Think about that thing that just makes you feel invincible. Is it Superwoman? Beyoncé? Your Grandma? Batman? What? It has to be something that really speaks to you.
You might be wondering what my own person/ideal is. Well, I like to use my future self. Corny? I know! But it works for me and it triggers something so powerful within me. When I was younger, and I was scared or nervous, I would always tell myself to not worry because Future Breeya has our back. I created my alter-ego by being the hero of my story.
Whenever impostor syndrome would come over me, I would embody Future Breeya. She was the one that knew exactly what to do, a genius full of confidence who never ever feared any situation. Future Breeya is my alter-ego, what is yours?
Step 2: Physical Touch
Let’s take this one step further and really drive it home. It is one thing to feel as though you have embodied your alter-ego within your mind, but it is another to truly feel connected with that alter-ego in the physical. To do this you need triggers. Did I lose some of you?
That’s okay just hang in there with me!
Triggers are something I use to remind myself of the emotion and the feeling of being my alter-ego. For Beyoncé it could be her fan mail, pictures of her performances, outfits, etc. For me it is a bit different. I like to wear a gold watch that makes me feel connected with my alter-ego. To me the watch symbolizes strength, power, business, confidence and success which helps me to physically feel the presence of my alter-ego.
I also use a photo of my younger self, the younger me that would look up to Future Breeya. This photo triggers so many emotions and reminds me of my beliefs. What reminds you of your alter-ego? What can connect you more with that physical feeling of you alter-ego?
These are the two steps that have helped me with my feelings of impostor syndrome. This exercise will work but, you have to be able to dig deep within you and find what really motivates and sparks that confidence within you.
If you need more help digging deeper, please download my free workbook. This workbook will guide you through the process of discovering your alter-ego and finally combat that horrible feeling of impostor syndrome.