When it comes to thriving in the online entrepreneurship space, I believe it comes down to our sense of inner well-being and confidence. Once we have this, we really can do anything.
This is one of the most underrated things about online business, when in reality, to make sales and confidently sell your programs and services, you have to feel good internally.
When you’re caught up in imposter syndrome, it doesn’t feel good and certainly doesn’t help with this sense of inner knowing and confidence.
I speak from experience. I remember the first time I even heard about ‘imposter syndrome’ that I felt validated to know it was a “real thing.” It felt for a while that I was making something out of nothing when in reality I’d fallen into something many entrepreneurs face: imposter syndrome. I felt like a fraud in calling myself a designer, let alone a business owner! It wasn’t until I realized that no one would give me the permission or validation I was craving, I knew I had to give it to myself.
Imposter syndrome simply refers to those feelings of being an imposter or a fraud at what you do and feeling like you’re not the expert that others see you as. Those feelings like… you have no business doing what you do… and who could trust you to do it… (Sound a little too familiar? Trust me; I get it.)
Imposter syndrome disproportionately impacts high-achieving people who struggle to own and accept their achievements. There are also countless high-achieving celebrities and business experts who struggle with imposter syndrome, so just know that this is real and you’re definitely not alone!
In this post, I share 12 of my greatest lessons for how to overcome imposter syndrome as an online business owner. Let’s dive in…
When was the last time you took a step back and truly admired yourself and everything you’ve accomplished? This is especially important for us creatives!
I know that I don’t take a look and admire my work until way after it’s done (and honestly, sometimes I forget to admire it entirely, which I’m working to change!)
If I’m feeling uninspired, rather than pulling out social media and spiralling into looking and consuming what everyone else is doing, I’ll switch it up and admire my own work.
This inspires me, but it also proves to myself that I can handle what I’m currently working on (and struggling with.) There’s also something so magical and validating about returning to your work later on with fresh eyes.
The thing with imposter syndrome is that it often comes out when comparing ourselves to others. That’s why it’s important not to turn to social media or mass media in moments of needing to break free from your imposter syndrome. Instead, talk to someone who knows you and just gets it.
Ask for their feedback; sometimes, feedback from a dear friend is like a mirror reflecting what you cannot even see in yourself.
One powerful way to break a pattern is to disrupt it with a more empowering thought. When you fall into the feelings of imposter syndrome, you’re falling into a familiar and comfortable way your brain has gotten used to. So let’s change the narrative!
The next time you’re caught up in disempowering imposter syndrome thoughts and internal narrative, gently replace the idea with a more empowering one!
Here are a few affirmations you can try!
✨I am a badass entrepreneur
✨I’m good at what I do
✨I’m an expert actively sought-out in my field
Take the time to journal when you’re actually feeling these thoughts so that you can break down the validity of them and the facts. Sometimes when you simply put pen to paper, you realize just how absurd or untrue the narrative you’ve been playing out in your head actually is!
Your journal is also a great place to practice more empowering affirmations when you catch yourself caught up in the imposter syndrome thoughts.
One thing that’s important in breaking free and overcoming imposter syndrome is to shift away from judging yourself for these thoughts. Let me tell you now; this judgment will never help things. It will only make you feel worse.
Instead, gently observe and correct the thought, release, and move forward.
When you catch yourself slipping into imposter syndrome or other disempowering thoughts, turn to your journal (or mentally do this exercise), and list everything that you’re grateful for in that moment. No matter how big or how small. It could be anything from the fresh hot cup of coffee beside you right now to the love of your life sitting in the next room.
The shift into gratitude mode really puts our thoughts into perspective, especially limiting imposter syndrome beliefs.
Like I said, imposter syndrome usually comes out to play when you’re comparing yourself to others. You must take the time to consider who you’re comparing yourself to. The only useful comparison is the comparison of our current self to our past self. This is your only competition. When you begin to see that, the imposter syndrome and jealousy will with time become less significant in your brain space.
Alongside imposter syndrome often comes those feelings of scarcity… those thoughts like “I’m no good at what I do. There are countless other experts out there, who will get hired before me, and I won’t make any money.”
In these moments, it’s important to reframe for abundance. To remind yourself that there is plenty to go around. That there are more than enough clients to go around.
I know, especially when you’re a new online business owner this can be hard to believe. But it’s a mindset choice to believe that we live in an abundant universe, and one that’s important to remind yourself of when you’re caught up in comparisons and jealous that come along with imposter syndrome.
One of the best and most effective ways of overcoming imposter syndrome is to lovingly STOP putting people on a pedestal! This happens so frequently in the online space, and it’s time to put it to a halt! One way I see this happen alot is in follower counts… which mean nothing, my friends! Just because someone has 10K followers does not mean a thing to their business. I know entrepreneurs with a fraction of that follower size, abundantly happy and successful, so please avoid putting others on a pedestal just because of something like this!
This is just one small example, but when you catch yourself in comparisons or feeling imposter syndrome, consider if you’ve been putting someone you admire in the online space upon a pedestal. Lovingly release that pedestal and remember that we’re all humans just trying to figure life out!
What even is failure? If you ask 20 people, they’ll all give you a different answer. So what does this mean? It’s an idea, it’s not necessarily real.
“Failure” is something that happens to all of us, and it’s said that the only real difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that those who are successful bounce back from failure quicker. They don’t not fail. To thrive… to live a life of adventure and difference… you will fail. It’s inevitable, not evil or wrong!
There’s something I tell myself in these moments, and I welcome you to try it too: “I fear regret, not failure.”
Entrepreneurship is tough! And so are these uncomfortable feelings like imposter syndrome that come along with it. No one tells you about this side of owning a business… I know I certainly wasn’t expecting these types of feelings to arise.
But when I learned I wasn’t alone and began to break free from alot of these feelings, I began to learn that self-care is absolutely essential to being a business owner. Time to be present with ourselves and heal through these uncomfortable emotions is essential. Above all else, be your best friend and you’ll have what it takes to be resilient in the entrepreneurial world!
There’s this raw grit and toughness to the new entrepreneur, where they feel like they have to do it all themselves. I’ve been there. Let me tell you right now: It is beautiful and strong to ask for help when you need it.
I know for me, a significant act of self-love for my business was actually outsourcing some of the work that didn’t bring me joy or took me too long to complete, that it was taking time away from my business and doing what I love in my personal life. We didn’t become entrepreneurs to spend our entire lives working!
If design is one of those things that is taking too much energy and stress for you and your business, I would love to support you.