Do you ever feel like you’re “faking it” in your business, and that eventually everyone will discover you don’t really know what you’re doing?
If yes, you’re probably struggling with imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a common problem for my clients, so I went live on Instagram to talk about why it can be so limiting, and what you can do to get beyond it so you can accomplish the great work you are meant to do in the world.
Here are the highlights in the video:
Imposter syndrome is an internal feeling of believing that you’re not as competent, intelligent, or successful as people perceive you to be. This common affliction can make you feel like you will eventually be discovered as a fraud – or that any of your past successes have just been lucky flukes.
The fears and self-doubts of imposter syndrome stop many of my students and clients from launching new offerings, taking speaking engagements, growing their platforms, or other important business-building actions.
They constantly sign up for new programs or online courses, feeling like they just need to learn a little more, or get another certification, or complete another training, and then they will feel confident enough to move forward. It puts them in a cycle of constantly needing to learn the next thing, and the next, and the next – all the time feeling like they’re never ready and never qualified to act on what they’re learning.
It is possible to overcome imposter syndrome so you can move beyond your fears and build a sustainable business. Here is my 5-step process for slaying imposter syndrome for good.
To do any kind of self work, the foundation is thought monitoring. Observe your thoughts as a non-judgmental, neutral witness. This is a great practice during meditation.
As a thought comes into your mind, name it by saying to yourself, “That’s an insecure thought,” or “That’s an anxious thought,” or even “I’m planning what to make for dinner tonight.”
As you practice thought monitoring, you will start to recognize patterns – and noticing the types of thoughts that frequently come up in your mind will start to take away some of their power over you.
As you’re monitoring, notice the fearful thoughts that stem from imposter syndrome, and just name them. You can say “That’s a fearful thought,” or “That’s self-doubt.”
Once you plug into your Shakti and remember who you really are, it makes it easier to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Everyone feels scared sometimes, but to reach your goals, you can learn to act in spite of your fear. It doesn’t make fears and doubts disappear, but accessing your inner CEO or priestess lets you take action imperfectly, instead of being paralyzed by fear. And every time you act in spite of your fears, you get better at it.
So if you’re holding back from launching your online course, or if you’re scared to teach yoga or submit articles to popular blogs, try taking a step even if you feel uncomfortable or feel like you’re not ready or qualified.
And as for those online courses and programs you constantly sign up for? Remember that there’s nothing wrong with being a lifelong learner. I love taking courses myself – but the only way to become more proficient in our business is by getting out of our comfort zone and taking action. The more we do that, the more comfortable we’re going to feel and the easier it will get.
Remember, perfection is NOT the goal. There is no such thing as perfection. We learn by living!
In this step, we want to start noticing which characters are running the show.
We all have different archetypes or characters in our minds, and many of them are universal. We might have a petulant teenager, a jokester or trickster, an inner child who throws tantrums – and we also have a higher mind that is our wise one, sage, or guru. Use whatever imagery works for you.
As you’re noticing thoughts, get specific about them. Give them character names like Doubtful Debbie or Nervous Nellie, and get to know these characters. Start talking to them and getting to know them. What are their needs and wants? How do they act and sound within your mind?
Connect the dots if this reminds you of a certain part of your life, incidence, role that you played out, past Creative Monster.
These archetypes are not our authentic, higher mind. They’re not our wisdom voice, or the representation of our autonomy and authenticity, The higher mind is the true voice of the soul, so we want to give it more time on stage and give less time to the bit players who undermine us and keep us stuck.
Think about someone you look up to or admire, it doesn’t have to be someone you know personally.
Then imagine what THEY would do. In order to get to where they are, they have to conquer their own fears and insecurities.
Use this as a filter for your actions. Choose your actions based on the type of person you want to become, based on the qualities and skills you want to build.
No one gets to massive success without the skills, fierce level of commitment, and facing their own demons.
When you are stuck. try this. Imagine someone you admire/look up to, then ask yourself:
You are a soul having a human experience. You are the trillions of atoms spinning through space. You are made of the same material as the sunset, of the cosmos, and of whirling galaxies. You’re made of the same material as the trees and flowers that bloom every single year with their innate wisdom.
Every one of the yoga practices – mantra, myth, and prana – plug us back into that universal consciousness – and that connection is one of the biggest things that can help you overcome imposter syndrome.
Whenever you feel insecure or like you’re not good enough, tapping into the great wellspring of Shakti will help you realize that you are exactly where you’re meant to be.
When you feel self-doubt, remember why you’re running your business or working with clients. Your motivation can trump your feelings of being an imposter.
There are people out there who need what you’re providing, and you’re here to serve them. If imposter syndrome keeps you locked in its grip and you don’t take action, those people will miss out.
Get clear on your ideal client avatar (ICA) and who you’re here to serve. Get as specific as you can. Who are the people you’re helping? What do they need, and how does you business make a difference to them?
Instead of dwelling on imposter syndrome questions like “Am I ready? Am I good enough?” remember that people have never needed your work more than they do right now on this planet.
We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and a historic economic downturn, and many people are suffering. Get out there and do your thing, so you can help as many people as possible.
When you’re stuck in the throes of self-doubt (and let’s face it, we all feel that way sometimes) remember these five steps for slaying imposter syndrome.
There is no reason your insecurity should run the show. Your CEO, priestess, queen, or guru can take the reins and give you the boost of confidence you need to take action in spite of your fears.
And every time you say “no” to imposter syndrome and move past your fears, it will build those confidence muscles so it will be a little easier next time.
Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? Let us know in the comments below.