It isn’t easy to overcome imposter syndrome, but it IS possible. If that’s something you’re trying to do, you’ve found the right post. ☺️
Imposter syndrome robs us of more than we think.
It’s the reason why we haven’t started our business yet, why we feel embarrassed for putting ourselves out into the world, and why we stay comfortable in jobs that we are miserable at.
Almost every entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur lets imposter syndrome take over, and it stops them from starting their business and living the life they’ve always dreamed of.
The good news?! You can stop it. You can re-wire your brain and tell imposter syndrome to kick rocks and take control of your thoughts.
So how exactly do we do that? Here are 7 ways you can overcome imposter syndrome:
1. Recognize your inner bully
Do you know that voice in your head that’s always telling you not to do something or not to take the risk? Even though DEEP DOWN you know it’s the best choice for you? That my friend, is imposter syndrome biggest fan, your inner bully.
Some people call it your inner mean girl or inner villain, but I prefer inner bully because a bully is someone who puts you down and makes you feel like you’re not good enough. That’s exactly what imposter syndrome does.
So let’s get to know this inner bully of ours. Most importantly, let’s recognize the story that our inner bully is telling us.
Is your inner bully telling you you’re unworthy, you’re not an expert enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re too fat, or you’re not qualified enough?
Next time you have one of those thoughts, label it as your inner bully. Say “ok, I see you inner bully. You’re telling me I don’t deserve to put myself out there and get paid. I hear you. But I’m not going to let you win.”
Recognizing who your inner bully is and what story they’re telling you is the first step to re-wiring your brain and overcoming imposter syndrome.
2. Hype up your inner hero
Now that we know who our inner bully is, it’s time to find our inner hero.
I want you to think back to when you were a kid. Let’s say you were on the 1st grade soccer team and you scored a goal, everyone was clapping like crazy and you felt like a million bucks. You kept saying, “yess!!! I did it!!!” in your head and felt like you could score 10 more goals.
That person who kept cheering for you internally, that’s your inner hero.
Your inner hero comes out when you feel confident and when you’ve done something that had a desirable outcome.
It’s important for us to lean in on that inner hero more than we lean into our inner bully.
When an opportunity presents itself, your inner hero is the one who tells you, “heck yes, we can do this!” But your inner bully comes in 10 times stronger and says, “oh nooooo…we’re not doing that. We don’t want you to grow so we’re going to stay right here in our state of misery.”
The more we re-wire our brain to channel our inner hero, the more successful we are in not letting imposter syndrome win.
3. Do something you’re afraid off
How do we channel this inner hero of ours more often? We go against our inner bully and do something we’re afraid of.
Here’s an example.
I am terrifying of driving. Like, absolutely terrified.
Back when I was a freshman in college, I was driving home on I95 and my tire blew. I didn’t have a computer system in my car to tell me that I had a low tire.
Before I knew it, I heard this loud pop and I was flying all around the highway. I went across all 4 lanes for what felt like an hour. I spun around once, spun around again, then flew off the highway on the side of my car.
By the grace of whoever was watching over me, I didn’t hit anyone and I came out without a scrape.
But it scarred me emotionally.
Right after that experience is when my anxiety kicked in.
I was so mad at myself and kept beating myself up that I should have known and stopped it.
I struggled to trust myself and refused to drive for the longest time.
The highway was the scariest place on earth in my eyes.
A few months later I almost failed out of college because I would get over 10 panic attacks a day and couldn’t go to class.
I lived in a constant state of panic for 6 months. Whenever I was in class I would get the fight or flight response and be covered in sweat. It was the most bizarre experience of my life. To this day I think it was some sort of chemical imbalance that was trigged. I wouldn’t sleep. It was AWFUL.
What do I do now? I push myself to drive at least once a day. Even if it’s just around the block because when I get home, I’ll like a million bucks because I pushed myself to do something that scares the 💩 out of me.
So now ask yourself. What is something your inner bully is begging you not to do today? Is it putting yourself on video? Is it writing out a roadmap for your business? Whatever it is, do it today and do it every.single.day to overcome imposter syndrome.
4. Do something that makes you feel confident
Another way to quiet that inner bully and re-wire your brain to bring out your inner hero is by doing something that makes you feel confident.
What makes you feel strong and sexy? Not just physically, but emotionally too.
Maybe it’s working out when your inner bully is telling you to stay on the couch and eat another bagel.
Or maybe it’s after you call someone you love and make them feel special.
Whatever it is that makes you feel on top of the world, do more of it and start doing less of what feeds your inner bully.
5. Talk to yourself in the mirror
I want you to think about the goal you’re trying to achieve, or the business you want to launch.
Let’s say you were a new mother who has dropped 40 pounds post-baby. You’ve always wanted to run your business and in a perfect world, you’d help other new mothers do the same. You haven’t started the business yet because you don’t feel qualified enough, and don’t feel worthy enough to get paid.
Now I want us to look at the story this woman is telling herself. Her inner bully is convincing herself that she’s unworthy and isn’t qualified. That’s the story she keeps telling herself. That’s why she hasn’t started this business.
She could be helping other women shed their baby weight and making them feel amazing in this new season of life, but she hasn’t because of the story she’s telling herself.
Here’s the advice I would this woman. I would tell her to look at herself in the mirror and tell herself this story because once you say it out loud, you’re like “hmmm, wait…that’s not true??”
Once we get the thoughts out of our head and into the universe, the universe reminds us that it isn’t true.
Here’s another example.
Someone close to me has been wanting to leave her job. She has a really stressful, high-paced job. It’s been getting the best of her and she’s ready for a change.
She’s been wanting to apply to a few other jobs that seem interesting to her, but she told me she was so scared to interview. She wanted to stay in this high-paced job where she’s running around for 12-hour shifts because she didn’t want to do an hour interview with someone.
I told her to tell herself her story in the mirror. “I want to leave the job that I’m miserable at so badly, but I’m scared to interview.”
Give it a try!
6. Get down to the facts
I’m a huge advocate for therapy.
My therapist Pam has helped me immensely and I think everyone in the world should have one.
Want to know the biggest thing my girl Pam has taught me? To remember the facts.
It’s so easy for our inner bully to tell us one thing, and we keep spiraling down the self-sabotage path. Next time this happens, I want for you to remember the facts of the situation at hand.
So let’s do this exercise with our friend that has lost the baby weight and wants to start her own online business helping other women to do the same. Here are her facts:
- She is a new mother and can sympathize with the emotions that new mothers go through.
- She found a healthy way to shed her post-baby weight and got herself results.
- Her friends that are now new mothers always ask her advice on how they can lose their baby weight.
But the story she’s telling herself that has prevented her from starting? She’s unworthy and unqualified to do this. She can’t get people results.
Facts are the inner bully’s worst nightmare because facts are the truth, the inner bully is not. When you remember the facts, you will overcome imposter syndrome.
7. Make it about helping others
I was really nervous to give a presentation once. I was scared I was going to mess up, sneeze, mumble, talk too fast, forget what I wanted to say, etc.
And here’s what someone said to me:
Take yourself out of it. Anxiety is your ego talking. Remove yourself and make it about helping others. Think about much the audience needs to hear what you’re going to say and the impact it’ll have on their lives.
I swear, I felt like a new woman after that.
Next time you find yourself going down the negative self-doubt rabbit hole about starting your online business or achieving your next goal, remove yourself and make it about helping others.
Think about the lives you can change with your story.