It’s so easy to scroll through Instagram and feel comparisonitis or imposter syndrome start to creep in.
Have you ever been at en event and felt like you didn’t fit in, or maybe you made an effort to blend into the background because you didn’t think anyone would want to hear what you had to say.
Have you ever felt that way? I know I’ve felt it at times, feeling nervous of putting photos of myself out there, wondering “will anyone want to hear what I have to share?
But if you’ve ever felt like an imposter too, you’re not alone… it affects around 70% of us at one time or another, according to the International Journal of Behavioural Science.
So how can you help keep imposter syndrome at bay?
Remind yourself what makes you different, catch your negative thoughts, celebrate your wins, and stop comparing (sounds simple, right?!).
1. Put yourself up on a pedestal.
We tend to play down our own talents and strengths, but knowing what makes you special can give you a big confidence boost when you need it.
We all have superpowers. You might be a good listener, or instil confidence in others, you might be funny and keep your friends and family in good spirits. Not sure what yours are? Ask! It might seem nerve wracking, but ask your friends and family how they would describe you.
Keep a list that you can look back at when you need a boost. Also check in with your branding, are you infusing your personality into your messaging?
2. Use your own voice and story.
Maybe you look up to other brands and you like the way they communicate, and that’s fine. Being inspired by others is a positive thing. But if you don’t feel like you’re standing out online, maybe you’re trying too hard to blend in?
Go back to our first point, are you letting your personality shine through? When you write a post on social media or a blog, does it really sound like something you would say in person? Does it align with your personality?
You may not think you have an interesting story to tell, but I bet your audience would disagree.
Using your unique story is a sure fire way to stand out. No two stories are the same, and yours will help you connect with your audience in an authentic way.
Why did you start in your business? Often, for service providers, we were once in the same position our ideal client is now. We had that same problem to solve or struggle and once we found that solution, we wanted to share it.
Perhaps you arrived at your business via a different route? What was your experience, what made you want to offer the service or solutions that you do? Why does that matter to you?
When you feel confident sharing your story, you’re less likely to compare your messaging with others.
3. Catch your negative thoughts.
When someone congratulates you, do you play it down as just a bit of luck rather than the culmination of all your hard work?
When someone gives you a compliment, do you bat it away?
If this sounds like you, it’s time to start reminding yourself of your worth.
Mantras are a great way to change your thought patterns. They might sound a little bit woo for some of you, but they do work. They reprogram your mind to think in a different way.
Next time you’re in a meeting feeling like no one will want to hear what you have to say, use a mantra like “I have valuable comments to share.”
Or when someone pays you a compliment, say thank you, rather than playing it down. Take the compliment, and repeat it to yourself, for example “I created a great website” or “I delivered amazing memories of their wedding in the photos I took”, whatever applies to you.
4. Celebrate your wins.
Make a point of celebrating when you achieve something in your day, congratulate yourself like you would a friend. It doesn’t matter whether its a small win or a big milestone, that sense of achievement will help keep you feeling confident in your success.
5 Make a brag sheet.
Don’t worry, it can be our little secret! Keep a list of your achievements and successes, to remind yourself just how qualified you are when you start to feel self doubt creeping in. Add to it whenever you achieve something you’re proud of.
6. Don’t fear failure.
Remember that your failures are evidence that you’re taking action and pushing your boundaries. You will learn so from each and every one of them and become more successful in the long run. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t growing!
Above all, keep on going. Every step you take will make you feel more confident. Don’t let imposter syndrome rob you of opportunities and experiences, or stop you from enjoying those big wins along the way. You are worthy, you bring value, and you are uniquely able to help the people you serve. Being authentically you is what makes you so wonderful!