- Self-doubt fuels imposter syndrome, and women entrepreneurs experience these feelings more than any other group.
- Much of imposter syndrome is rooted in the desire to be perfect and a fear of failure.
- We often compare ourselves to others, which is unrealistic and a sure-fire way to increase self-doubt and imposter syndrome
You’ve probably heard the term ‘fake it til’ you make it’ before. When it comes to business, this can be valuable advice when you first start out. But for many, the feeling of ‘faking it’ carries on far too long and can be detrimental to one’s success. Imposter syndrome can deeply affect your business or career progression; women entrepreneurs around the world have reported feeling like an ‘imposter’ more than ever.
The concept of imposter syndrome was first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, and there has been ample research on the topic. Imposter syndrome can be extremely detrimental for women entrepreneurs, and it thrives in self-doubt. Imposter syndrome is based on the limiting self-belief that any success one has achieved is due to luck rather than skill. It shows up in women entrepreneurs frequently, and it’s a huge roadblock on the path to success. The good news is you can overcome imposter syndrome. I’ve compiled 7 tips to overcome self-doubt or imposter syndrome.
1. Practice affirmations
Self-doubt fuels imposter syndrome, and women entrepreneurs experience these feelings more than any other group. If you’re feeling alone in your thoughts, remember that every successful entrepreneur has experienced self-doubt at some point in their life – we all have! The key is knowing how to overcome it.
Practicing positive affirmations is an incredible way to shift your mindset, and it has to become a daily routine in order to be effective. Affirmations are a great way to reprogram your mind to believe you deserve all the amazing things in your life. You deserve to be a successful entrepreneur, and you truly are worthy! To create affirmations that work for you, take some time to reflect upon what limiting beliefs you hold. What are the beliefs you have to overcome in order to release the feelings of self-doubt? Turn those beliefs into positive statements and write them down. Get into the habit of repeating them throughout the entire day. For example, if you believe you aren’t worthy of a successful business and you doubt your ability to become a successful entrepreneur, a positive affirmation maybe something like this:
“I deserve to achieve my dreams.”
“I am talented, confident, and an exceptional leader.”
“I have what it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur.”
Your affirmations will be unique to you and will help address limiting beliefs that may be running through your mind, affecting your self-confidence!
2. Create daily, weekly, monthly goals and celebrate often
Achieving goals, no matter how big or small they may be is something to be celebrated! Too often, women entrepreneurs hit milestones with little acknowledgment or celebration, and this lack of acknowledgment can illicit feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt and can be a contributing factor to imposter syndrome. Write down your goals or create a to-do list. Celebrate and acknowledge when you hit these goals and accomplish key tasks throughout your day.
When you begin to celebrate and acknowledge your achievements, you will get in the habit of recognizing how much you are capable of. At the end of the day, week, or month, review your accomplishments and acknowledge everything YOU did to get there.
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3. Find a mentor or support group
Imposter syndrome can be incredibly isolating, and it can be difficult to recognize truth from fiction when it comes to our own beliefs. A mentor or support group can be effective for women entrepreneurs looking to overcome imposter syndrome, as it will encourage authenticity, mutual support, and an objective point of view. Finding a mentor and sharing your thoughts and experiences with them can help you recognize your thought patterns while also recognizing you aren’t alone in these thoughts. Talking candidly about your struggles with impostor syndrome will give you a more objective point of view and make you better equipped to deal with imposter syndrome when it comes up.
The best mentors are open to authentic conversation and will be honest and transparent about their struggles, mistakes, and challenges they have made in their careers. You may learn helpful tips and resources by leaning on others through your entrepreneurial journey.
4. Shift your perspective on setbacks
How do you view setbacks? What is your view on failure? Much of imposter syndrome is rooted in the desire to be perfect and a fear of failure. The desire to be perfect can be a roadblock to women entrepreneurs and makes it challenging to overcome imposter syndrome. Those who suffer from imposter syndrome are most likely to be high achievers with very high-performance standards. When you are committed to doing your best, achieving your dreams, and become a successful female entrepreneur, you may experience the classic symptoms of imposter syndrome – feeling like a fraud, afraid of failure, and feelings of self-doubt.
Shift your perspective on setbacks, and remember that every successful entrepreneur faced setbacks in their career. It is simply impossible to achieve great success without failure. How you view these challenges will shape how you respond, and ultimately, shape the outcome.
When you experience a setback in your business, take the necessary time to reflect on it. You may need a few minutes of mindfulness or journaling. Uncover the feelings around this setback and ask yourself: how do I feel about this challenge? How can I move forward and learn from it?
While striving for perfection can fuel your business, it’s not realistic long-term. Setbacks will happen, and shifting your mindset around them will help you overcome imposter syndrome.
5. Accept positive feedback and write it down
How well do you accept compliments? Do you tend to remember criticism more than you remember positive feedback? Learning to accept positive feedback is one of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome and succeed in business. If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome and self-doubt, you might attribute success to luck or others’ hard work. But in fact, it was your efforts, knowledge, talent, and preparation that deserved the recognition. Create a “positive feedback folder” and keep notes of all the compliments and feedback you receive. When you’re feeling like an imposter, review the feedback and read the compliments you’ve received over a period of time.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
They say comparison is the thief of joy. This couldn’t be truer, however, it’s also the thief of confidence. We often compare ourselves to others, which is unrealistic and a sure-fire way to increase self-doubt and imposter syndrome. The truth is everyone has their struggles. Everyone has a unique set of talents, skills, and factors that have contributed to their success. The only person you should compare yourself to is you! Becoming mindful of your comparison habit is an effective way to shift your mindset and overcome imposter syndrome. When you see someone successful with a business you desire – use this as fuel, but never as a comparison tool!
7. Work with a coach
Imposter Syndrome is not something you can overcome in a day. In fact, it’s something many people struggle with throughout their entire careers! Working with a coach can help you address your habits, beliefs, and patterns and support your journey to overcoming self-doubt. Women entrepreneurs who work with coaches often report increased feelings of self-confidence and feel more prepared to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. The unique perspective of a coach can support your journey to overcoming imposter syndrome.
In addition to the above tips to help overcome imposter syndrome, there are many effective ways to help you succeed in business as a woman entrepreneur. If you’re a woman entrepreneur struggling with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, here are 10 business tips to succeed.
10 Business Success Tips For Women Entrepreneurs
1. Be committed to your own growth
Invest in yourself and your self-development. When you invest in yourself, you are investing in your business! Women entrepreneurs that are committed to self-improvement will be more resilient and better equipped to tackle challenges when they arise.
2. Ask for help
You don’t have to go it alone! Ask for help when you need it. An entrepreneur who can identify when and where support is needed will see greater success than when they go alone.
3. Be proud of your achievements
Be proud of your achievements! Update your resume, LinkedIn, or website to reflect all your achievements in business. You don’t need to play small when it comes to business.
Networking is an effective way to get your name and business out there. It’s also a great way to learn from others and create a support group in your industry. Put yourself out there!
5. Let go of the need to be perfect
Perfectionists have high standards, which can lead to many great achievements. However, it can also kill productivity and increase feelings of self-doubt. Let go of the need to be perfect and see your confidence and productivity rise!
6. Learn from mistakes
We all make mistakes, but what will set you apart is how you deal with them. Take a lesson from your setbacks, learn from your mistakes. Commit to moving forward with new knowledge that will set you up for success in the future and take your business to the next level.
7. Set goals and celebrate them
Setting goals creates a path and goal line for your business. As you check off milestones, remember to celebrate your achievements along the way.
8. Learn to say no
Succeeding in business will require you to say no – and it’s not always as easy as it sounds! Have the confidence to know your boundaries and know when it’s time to say no. Declining bad offers, bad clients, or bad relationships will give you the time and energy to dedicate to the ones that matter!
9. Be flexible
Flexibility is crucial in business, and learning to pivot is an important skill to harness as a female entrepreneur. Everything will not always go to plan, and being flexible will help you succeed despite challenges thrown your way.
10. Be consistent
Consistency is key and an important tip for succeeding in any business. Women entrepreneurs that are consistent in how they show up for their business will reap the rewards of their commitment.
Women entrepreneurs have unique challenges in the world of business, and imposter syndrome is one of them. The good news is, there are many effective ways to shift your mindset and become a confident entrepreneur ready to take on the world! You deserve to achieve your dreams, don’t let self-doubt stand in the way. You got this!