Ideas + Insights

Overcoming imposter syndrome.

Tess Robinson

Let’s start with a family-friendly game of Yes/No. Everyone got their paddles at the ready?

Do you spend countless hours scrolling through Instagram, unproductively? Do you find yourself constantly comparing your work to others in your industry? Are you are putting off creating something new because you are scared others are doing it better? Do you feel inferior?

If you’re playing along at home, holding up yes to all these questions, you are in fine company, my friend. Imposter syndrome does not discriminate, there are plenty of other fish out there who feel exactly the same. In a world where we are more connected than ever, constantly sharing our ‘highlight reel’ it is no surprise that our emotions can often feel like being pulled in each and every direction.

At its core, imposter syndrome is our fear of failure. Anytime we enter a new lane – whether it’s launching a product, returning to work after having a baby, or the emotional toll of creating a new piece of work, for some of us, fear shows up.

Imposter syndrome plagues even the most accomplished of folks. It changes your inner dialog making it easy for us to fall into the pity party trap and mourn over our ‘horrible lives’ without giving much thought to how blessed we really are. Our minds get so oversaturated with other’s work, lives, creativity, and successes that we can easily lose track of what it is we actually want to be doing. It’s distracting as hell and extremely unproductive. That’s why my mantra for this year and every year is ‘stay in your own g-damn lane’.

It’s a very common feeling like an imposter when starting anything new but we aren’t about to let this stop us. So, we are here to make sure you nib that green-eyed monster right in the butt to ensure you succeed in that next life venture – be it in business or otherwise.

  1. There’s no such thing as perfect
    Obsessive perfectionism is the arch-nemesis of productivity, second only to that pesking app on your phone that leaves you scrolling for hours. There is always room for growth and evolution but you won’t get the chance if you’re stuck in the ‘this isn’t good enough’ stage. So, just start and do what you can with what you’ve got. If you spend too much time overdoing everything to ensure it’s exactly right, you’ll never launch that product, write that blog post and you’ll certainly never enter your next face of business.
  2. Change your narrative
    You can’t blame Mercury in retrograde forever. It’s time to smarten up and reframe your mindset – redirect that negative attitude elsewhere. We tend to fall into a pattern of ‘what if’ scenarios rather than focusing on the potential of something. There’s some pretty powerful force behind manifesting – bare with us on this. When asking our mind to believe we’ve already achieved our goals and desires, our energy attracts its likeness – meaning we are then able to attract this goal or desire into our reality. Over the years, I’ve learned to tune out the noise and take leaps ahead anyway. This will allow you to approach things with a growth mindset and let me tell you, that will set your soul (and business) on fire.
  3. Create before you consume
    When you are stuck in other people’s thoughts, it’s hard to get clarity on your own. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing but self-doubt is the sinister art of putting things on the back burner and the more you consume the more you second guess yourself. It’s a vicious little cycle. So, just get all your ideas down without being swayed by others work. Own your seat at the table, stop comparing yourself to others and stay on your own highway.
  4. You do you
    When it comes to putting your work out in the world, usually, it’s ego and self-doubt that get in the way of kicking major goals. But when we focus on our own process, we aren’t as bothered or distracted by what others are doing. Who cares if your competitor launches that same new service as you, or writes a similar blog. Look to your own work as a benchmark of progress and growth and feel confident in the work you are putting out there without worrying about others. As long as you know you’re doing the best you can and that is good enough, so go easy on yourself.
  5. Keep learning, keep growing, keep investing
    It’s time to get comfortable in the uncomfortable and embrace every opportunity with a grain of salt. Without continual growth you become stagnant — so ask for that feedback, make some changes, improve your skill set, learn, grow, repeat. Invest time in your creativity and building your confidence. And leaders, the same go for your staff. Empower them and allow them to grow, because let me tell ya – when they thrive, your business thrives #simples.
  6. Find inspiration in all aspects of life
    It’s time to get re-inspired. Get off social media and into something worthwhile. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break from whatever hole you feel stuck in. If this is the case, take time out for yourself and immerse in things that will inspire and refresh you. Trawl through Pinterest, read a new book, listen to a podcast, get outside. You’d be surprised how much you can create and conceptualise when you’re left alone with your thoughts.
  7. Accept what you cannot control
    When you are faced with that little hint of imposter syndrome, accept that this is often just a sign of growth, stepping out of your comfort zone and leveling up. And surrendering to it can be liberating. Everyone is working on their own clock and as much as you’ll want to look to others for inspiration, your path and pace is entirely your own. So, when the going gets tough, just remember you are going to step out the other side of your metamorphosis, leaving your cocoon to fly will levels of confidence that rival the likes of Kanye. Go and get, my friends.

Image credit: Michele Salati

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