Do you doubt yourself?
Do you find yourself thinking ‘Who am I to be doing what I’m doing’, ‘I’m not good enough’, or ‘there are so many people out there who are better at this than me…’
You may be experiencing imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is where you doubt your skills, accomplishments or talents and may feel fearful of being exposed as a “fraud” or essentially an “imposter” in your business.
Because it’s not well talked about, a lot of people don’t know that imposter syndrome is what they may be experiencing. Therefore, you may believe that what you’re thinking is true, and this can have detrimental effects on your business.
If you feel you are experiencing imposter syndrome, here are some tips to work through it:
1) Be aware of it. On the bad days where niggly thoughts are appearing, realise that they are only thoughts – they are not real. Separate the facts from your feelings.
2) Failure is a normal part of starting business. Develop healthy responses to your failures, use it as a steppingstone to pivot, learn and grow from your mistakes.
3) Write down the negative thoughts – are they limiting beliefs that you may need to work through and let go?
4) Be kind and gentle on yourself – look at your wins, your strengths and accomplishments and be proud of how far you have come.
5) Have a good support network where you can share your concerns.
6) Keep going! Many people experience negative thoughts and doubts in the business start-up process or at times when business is booming or not growing as you would like. Consistency is the game changer.
Fear of Failure
One of the main limiting beliefs people carry is the fear of failure. This is what stops A LOT of people going into business in the first place.
Fear is a healthy and important part of life. We grow from pushing through the fear and out of our comfort zone.
And failure is not as bad as you think. Failure shows you are pushing forward – you are putting yourself out there. It helps you to grow your business.
If you experience failure its normal to feel defeated for a bit but use the feedback that comes from the failure to change and pivot your business to what people want. Failure provides the best feedback for success!
If you are finding the fear crippling and it’s stopping you from pushing forward with your business here are some questions you can ask yourself to break it down:
1) What is the worst thing that could happen if you move forward?
2) If the worst thing happened, how would you deal with it? Put a plan in place.
3) On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst thing that could ever happen and 1 being the least), rate your fear.
4) What is the best thing that could happen if you push through your fear?
5) How would you feel when this happens?
You’ll be able to see from your answers that even if the worst thing happened, you will be able to deal with it and you will be okay. And when you succeed, you’ll feel AMAZING, and your business will keep growing.
Overwhelming Thoughts – Postponing Worry
A common obstacle that business owners have is overthinking. There are so many things to think about when in business and especially if you are running it on your own – it can be hard to keep up, right?
However, it’s important to acknowledge that overthinking is not productive at the best of times… One of the most effective tools is an exercise called postponing worry. This is used for general worry but also in anxiety.
Allocate a dedicated time slot per day for 30 minutes. This is your ‘worry’ period. You can worry all you like in these 30 minutes.
If you find yourself worrying about something during the day, make a quick note of it and tell yourself I’ll worry about this in my allocated worry time. By doing this you’re acknowledging the concern and it allows you to know it will be dealt with, but it won’t stop you from being productive now.
Most of the time you may get to your worry period and the overthinking has subsided and the issue that you thought was huge a few hours ago has diminished.
Your Inner Critic
Are you aware of your inner critic?
Your inner critic is that little voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something, or that its going to be too hard etc. Everyone has an inner critic and unfortunately in general the way we talk to ourselves is a lot harsher than how we would talk to a friend or someone else.
Becoming aware of your inner critic and the way you speak to yourself can be lifechanging.
Some people even like to label their inner critic to help distinguish that they are only thoughts and not real. It’s always easier to tell ‘Steve to shut up’ rather than yourself.
Awareness allows you to tap into parts of your belief system. Are you constantly telling yourself ‘I’m not enough’ or ‘everyone else could do this better’ for example? By jotting down your thoughts, you can work out if anything else needs to be worked through. It gives a good indication of your limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs can be debilitating at times but the good news is they can be changed and realigned to the you that you are now, not the one from 20 or 30 years ago.
The above tips will inadvertently help with general confidence but if you find your confidence is lacking and this is stopping you from pushing your business then here are some extra tips:
1) Think big but start small. You don’t need to have it all figured out today. Plan and aim to achieve three to four things per week. Once those things have been achieved – celebrate them! Be proud of yourself.
2) Be consistent. The most solid, secure businesses are not the ones who tried to do everything in one go, they are the ones that just started and slowly built and evolved their business with the use of their failures and client feedback.
3) Surround yourself with positive people who are backing you, support your ideas and what you are trying to achieve.
4) Step outside your comfort zone. While this can seem scary at first this is the ultimate area of growth. The thing that scares you the most is where you need to go and once it’s done and you realise it wasn’t that scary – guess what increases – CONFIDENCE.
5) Work with a life coach or business mentor. Someone who can keep you accountable and believe in you especially on those days where it can all seem too hard.
6) Use positive affirmations. Your thoughts are only thoughts, they are not real. If you find yourself with your inner critic (Steve) speaking negatively, turn that thought around and tell yourself you can do this. Positive affirmations are effective when incorporated into your everyday life and repeated often. Put them in your phone, write them on your mirror, put them in your diary or use post it notes around your office and home.
7) Look after yourself. When starting a business it’s easy to spend every hour on it as there is a lot to do. BUT if you don’t look after yourself with rest, sleep, exercise and eating well it can lead to burnout. By looking after yourself you support your health and wellbeing which leads to increased energy and confidence. The take on the world feeling.
Cassandra is a certified, professional mindset and business coach at Fontein Coaching. She helps women live their best life while running their own business. Check out here website HERE.