5 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Entrepreneurs today are working harder than ever. But when they do finally see some level of success, many of them suddenly feel they don’t deserve it; that they’ve had a “stroke of good luck.” As if they think their newfound success is an illusion and may come to an end at any moment.

What is Imposter Syndrome, exactly? Have you ever felt you somehow don’t deserve the success you’re experiencing? That perhaps you were simply at the right place at the right time, a stroke of dumb luck? That someone somewhere will “find out what really happened?”

This is full on imposter syndrome. The feeling of inadequacy or feeling like you are a fraud in your current position, despite the fact that you worked hard to get here. It is the almost constant fear that your efforts will be thwarted and everything you’ve done was contrived in some way. But there are ways to combat this negative thinking.

Be Honest (with Yourself and Others)

Do you have a mentor, a co-worker, a friend, or family member you can talk to? The vast majority of us need a sounding board – a confidant, someone we can speak freely to and reach out to for guidance. Ask them to talk you through how they view you as a professional. It will give you a different perspective on how you view yourself, which will almost always be more favorable. Talking with a co-worker is often better because they have seen your day-to-day professional actions, and they themselves have likely gone through similar struggles.

Go Through a SWOT Analysis

This is an objective analysis that defines your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and can offer valuable insight into your capabilities, as well as areas where you might improve. There are many useful SWOT analysis templates online. Once you’ve conducted your personal SWOT analysis, match your strengths and opportunities to uncover areas where you can take some action. Likewise, match your weaknesses and threats to find areas you need to improve or to do away with altogethe

Celebrate Your Successes

Make a list of all the accomplishments you’ve enjoyed and post it on your desk, or anywhere you frequent. Sometimes all it takes is that little daily reminder of everything wonderful you’ve done. A secret to successful entrepreneurs is recognizing their successes and acknowledging them by celebrating in their own way. Whether that is giving themselves a raise, having a special dinner out with friends and loved ones, or simply doing small affirmations on a regular basis. Remembering your successes is a key to moving forward.

Embrace Failure

To be successful and overcome Imposter Syndrome, you should be willing to take risks and embrace inevitable failures along the way. When you do fail, recognize why; this is a major key to growth. A little resilience will go a long way to help you and your business recover and move along. But instead of dwelling on what went wrong, instead ask yourself what lessons you learned from it. Use this to change course when you encounter a similar situation down the road.

Visualize Your Success

Many accomplished business owners routinely practice techniques to envision victory. It is a key characteristic among successful people in that they do this on a weekly or even daily basis, By visualizing where you want to be, you plant the seeds in your mind of ways to achieve it. Little by little, you’ll recognize that visualization becoming reality. In this way, you break through any negative thoughts surrounding yourself and your business.