imposter syndrome

Is self doubt holding you back from setting up your own business?

How do you overcome self limiting beliefs when trying to go out on your own? How do you stop feeling like you are an imposter? It takes work practice and sometimes working with someone to break through self limiting beliefs. 

Lets take your career to date as an example. I recently had a conversation with a client. They had just been promoted in a global tech company, twice in a very short space of time. And she had just been informed that another promotion was going to happen next week. She wanted to set up her own business but didn’t feel she was good enough. 

Rather than be proud of her achievements and allow herself to realise that she was getting promotions because she was good, all she could think of was; everyone will be passing comment on why on earth she would get the promotion? What did she do that deserved it? She clearly wasn’t as talented as others at that level. There were other people who had been in the role for 10 years that should have been better qualified. She didn’t have the gravitas in meetings that others did. This is what she thought. 

The facts however were different to her perception. The facts were this. She had been promoted twice and was awaiting another. They had actively moved the job from one country to another to secure her in the position. She has years of experience. Her boss told her that she had been operating at the new level for some time and this was just formalising it. She had all the abilities in the world necessary to set up her own online service business. 

Most people that suffer from imposter syndrome are highly successful and high performing individuals. 

So how do we address the disconnect between fact and beliefs? 

One thing we can  do is identify which of your successes you are not owning. Write down the facts. Did you achieve XY or Z? If the answer is yes, then it is a fact. Write it down. Next up, write down a personal success inventory. What skills do you have that allowed you to achieve that? What personal qualities do you possess that enabled you to make that happen? Write them down. 

Next up, you need to ask yourself the question, which of your successes have you been passing on to to other people or things, as though you have achieved none of it? Write down how you can bring this back to you and say I achieved X. I achieved Y. And I achieved Z. What you will find is that your list is actually quite long. 

What you can also do is observe your beliefs. Every time you tell yourself something self limiting internally, stop and think. Is that a fact or is just your belief? If it is just a belief, challenge it. Why do you think that? Is there another perspective? Is there another belief that may serve you better?

Over time, as you write these beliefs down, categorise them into beliefs that support you and beliefs that do not support you. Then delete the beliefs that do not. 

Another thing you can do is write down 5 times your performance was excellent. How did it feel? What did you do that allowed you to get that feeling? What strengths did you pull on? And how can you draw on those strengths every day in your new online service business?

Another thing you can do is identify if the thoughts are yours or if someone else projected those thoughts on to you. If internal, write down the facts versus opinion. If projected by someone else, analyse where they were coming from, perhaps they are a negative person, perhaps they are jealous, perhaps they were having a rough day. There is always a reason. 

One last thing you can do is build a support network around you of people who believe in you and where you are headed. When you doubt yourself, draw on their support and guidance until you break through to a place of true self belief again. Do it again and again and eventually your self belief will be real. 

Often what we find is that the overwhelming evidence is in favour of your performance and all that is lacking is your self belief. So work through these tips to see if they help you truly understand what you are capable of when setting up your own online service business. 

To Your Success!