Newcomers to the entrepreneurial race are self-diagnosing themselves with impostor syndrome day in and day out. Feelings of doubt, inferiority, and fear of putting themselves are key elements to the impostor syndrome “epidemic.”
Fear is inevitable when starting a business or passion project, but we shouldn’t pay so much (if any) attention to the feelings of impostor syndrome. It’s ruining amazing ideas and killing confidence and startups left and right. There are tons of blogs and social media pages that are telling us to fake it till we make it, and this isn’t necessarily what we should be doing. There’s no authenticity in faking, so seeking or pretending to portray yourself as something you’re not, you will definitely feel like an imposter. So to erase any confusion, here’s how you fight against feeling like an impostor.
1. Stop classifying yourself as an impostor
Ask yourself this question, who called me an impostor? More than likely is answer is yourself, which is absurd. How you decide to portray yourself in public or on social media is solely up to you, but it is vital that you always put your best self front and center. However, we’re not always at our best, and that’s why we may feel like impostors, but simply doing what you can is far from anything inauthentic. There’s nothing fake about going after your dreams, its only becomes that way when you try to become another person while doing it. If I had a dream of becoming a famous singer and I decide to pursue it doesn’t make me an impostor, just someone who decided to go for it! You’re already WHO you need to be from day one, you may not be where you want to be but who you are is totally capable of getting there.
2. Mimicking is never the way into success
We often look up to other influencers in our fields on social media that appear to have the complete package. And we sometimes seek to mimic their success story. When we don’t get it right, we feel like impostors. That’s because in that case, you are. Yes, your role models may have given you the boost you needed to fulfill your passions, but that doesn’t mean desperately trying to copy their quotes, aesthetic, or business plans. You will ultimately fail from just the feeling of inadequacy. You aren’t traveling the same road as someone else, so what works for them won’t always work for you.
3. DO NOT (by any means) pretend
Early in my freelance career, I wanted to do it all and ended up being called out for lack of knowledge in a skill I claimed myself to be an expert in. I was embarrassed and slightly upset. Even though the fault was all mine. There’s a difference between fearing that you are an impostor, and BEING an impostor. It’s like telling a lie to cover up other lies, and it’s exhausting (trust me, two revisions in and I was done). Your authenticity will bleed out whether you like it or not. By all means, do what you know you’re great at and learn about your other interests along the way. If you’re good at singing but suck at songwriting, stick with singing until you’ve gotten good at song writing.
4. Just be who you are and build on that
The key to not being an imposter is building confidence in yourself, not conforming to what you think you should be. Do your own thing and ask questions along the way. Build your confidence organically. This takes time as you figure out what works vs what doesn’t in YOUR business, constantly getting better at craft and doing things that you may feel you’re incapable of. The more you prove to yourself that you can do something, the better. Evolving takes time, so be patient with yourself during the early stages. Shift your mind away from fear and focus on the authentic growth that is sure to bloom from the ground up.