Hey there. Have you ever felt like you don’t truly belong in the business world despite your achievements?
Or, felt that you should keep your wins to yourself so that others don’t think badly of you?
It’s called Imposter Syndrome, and I have felt it many times.
The very first time was when, just a year into starting my first business, a friend put me forward for a magazine story.
What? Me? In a magazine talking about my business? Surely not.
I didn’t feel worthy or ready to be put forward as a role model to ANYONE, let alone other women business owners.
Turns out that I’m not alone in feeling the ‘“Imposter Syndrome”. Many women business owners face this feeling as they become more successful.
We play down our wins.
We ‘hide our light under a bushel’.
We shrink ourselves so people don’t think we are ‘bragging’ or being ‘too big for our boots’.
What if we were to just look Imposter Syndrome in the eye and see it for what it is – just a feeling, not a truth?
The thing is, even the most accomplished business owners have experienced this feeling at some time.
For 20 years, we asked women in our Hall of Fame about this feeling of being an imposter, and they echoed that – YES – they too had times when they felt like they would ‘get found out’ – when in actuality they were SO deserving of the success and adoration they were receiving.
So how do you feel it and move forward anyway?
- Recognise the Feeling: Understand that this isn’t a sign of inadequacy but a common phenomenon, especially among high-achievers. And recognise that you may feel a twinge of it every time you up-level your business and results. Every. Time. Trust me. It doesn’t go away with time and 28 years on, I still feel it occasionally.
- Talk About It: Sharing how you feel with fellow women entrepreneurs can create a supportive community where you realise you aren’t alone. As a business owner, having a group of peers – other women in business makes this so much easier – you can share your wins and champion each other to keep growing and winning, unapologetically. Surround yourself with people who cheer you on when you win and when you level up and play a bigger game.
- Own Your Accomplishments: Set aside time each week or month to list all your achievements, big and small. Revisit this list when doubt creeps in. Whatever the truth about the progress you’ve made is true. Your achievements are yours. (This part is so important, so we regularly check in and report our wins inside the HerBusiness Network.) Your success results from your hard work, tenacity, and brilliance.
I know it can be hard. Having a supportive network of like-minded businesswomen makes success normal. That is what the HerBusiness Network is designed to do.
Here’s to feeling confident in your success.
PS Got the Imposter Syndrome feeling now? Pop the tips above by your desk to remind you that you are not alone.
PPS The image above is not the first publication I was in, but it is a super old one! Probably 2009? Yikes!