What is imposter syndrome, and why is it a problem?
If you are starting a business, building an empire, launching a website, etc... then you are likely doing something that not many people around you have done before.
And when you are moving your life in a different direction than normal, and trying to accomplish and experience things that your family, friends, and coworkers have never done before... you are going to encounter some resistance.
And this resistance can sometimes cause you to fear that you are not smart enough, that you don't belong, that you are not the right type of person to do what you want to do, and more
This is called impostor syndrome, and it is actually really common among people who are embracing new fears, and taking big steps in their life or career to become the person they truly want to be.
In this post, you are going to learn the 5 steps that I have used in my life to overcome impostor syndrome,
Let's dive in and talk about it.
What Does Imposter Syndrome Feel Like?
Impostor syndrome basically makes you feel like a fraud.
I recently did a video on this, so feel free to check that out if you want to hear me discuss it that way.
Regardless of what you are trying to accomplish, whether it means going to college, starting out on a different career path, leaving school, starting a digital marketing business, etc., there are going to be times when you will battle fraudulent feelings.
One of my favorite definitions for Impostor Syndrome is actually this one...
"A collection of feelings of inadequacy that persists despite evident success."
Another really good definition for the term is this...
"An internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be."
These definitions really hit the nail on the head.
If you are leveling up your life, but also facing great feelings of doubt and fear, then you may feel like you are an imposter who is incapable of accomplishing what you wish to do.
The bad thing about this is that it can cause you to quit at something that you really love to do.
Or worse yet, it can cause you to talk yourself out of even starting in the first place!
External And Internal Resistance
Impostor Syndrome is generally accompanied and fortified by two different types of resistances...
- External Resistance
- Internal Resistance
External resistance comes from outside influences. This might be a friend, your parents, faculty at your school, or other people you talk to.
They might seriously doubt this new path that you are on, and may advise you to do the 'normal thing,' which looks something like...
- Getting a 'normal' job
- Sticking to a 9 to 5 career
- Not rocking the boat in your life
- Playing it super safe to avoid hardship and failure
This can obviously create a lot of pressure, and can cause you to wonder if you are actually doing the right thing.
Internal resistance, however, comes from inside of us.
It is our own self doubt. We talk to ourselves, telling ourselves that we are not enough... that we do not have what it takes to get the results we want in life.
Your internal fear mechanism may tell you that you feel like a fraud because you ARE a fraud.
You will be tempted to play it safe, to set up a 'normal' life and be done with it.
Don't level up. You're not a natural genius. You are vain and foolish to think that these feelings, ideas, or ambitions will lead to anything worthwhile! Be safe, get a safe job, and don’t take risks! That’s how you get ahead in life!
Of course, this is all nonsense.
The truth is that you ARE good enough to achieve the life you want.
If you have the ambition to achieve something greater in your life, and feel like you just don't belong in the normal 9 to 5 career path that other people have chosen... there is nothing wrong with that!
But defeating impostor syndrome is easier said than done!
How Do You Know If You Have Imposter Syndrome?
You will know if you have impostor syndrome because it will cause you to doubt that you are capable of doing something bigger than what you are doing right now.
For example. When I first started my internet business, a little voice inside my head told me that I wasn't smart enough or good enough to do this.
This little voice said all kinds of rude things... but in reality, this was just my fear.
Fear is a natural thing. But if we allow it to stifle us, we will lose.
The truth was that I was absolutely smart enough, good enough, and hard-working enough to successfully start my own business.
But if I would have listened to that little internal voice that tried to tell me I wasn't... well, I never would have made it!
Is Imposter Syndrome A Mental Illness?
Impostor Syndrome has been discussed at great length by the mental health community.
While it is true that Imposter Syndrome and social anxiety tend to have some overlap in the ‘mental health’ department, it is actually not a mental illness as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
But it is a phenomenon that many people deal with.
In fact, it is estimated that as many as 70% of people will deal with it at some point in their lives.
Why Do You Feel Like An Imposter?
Why does imposter syndrome make you to feel like an imposter?
It really all boils down to feelings of fear.
Maybe you lack the experience of doing this 'thing' that you want to do, and your fear is trying to tell you that there is no way it is going to work.
Maybe you've read books about it, or read tutorials, but have never tried it in practice.
Your fear might be telling you that you are a nobody who could never possibly amount to anything greater than ‘normal.’
Shooting Big, Vs. Playing It Safe
We really have two choices in life. We can either shoot big, or we can play it safe.
Sure, there are some risks involved with shooting big... but there is an even bigger risk when you choose to play it safe.
Because when you shoot big and go for what you really want, you will have the full strength of your passion and willpower behind you.
This will make you that much more likely to succeed!
But if you always just play it safe, there is a 100% chance that you will miss out on what could be your big life purpose!
(“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” -Quote by Wayne Gretzky)
I absolutely believe that we all have a purpose in this life.
But what if you allow the fear inside of you to keep you from realizing that purpose?
How Do You Treat Imposter Syndrome?
The best way to treat impostor syndrome is with these 5 steps.
These steps have all done wonders in my life to help me overcome these feelings of internal inadequacy.
And I am 100% sure that they can also help you!
How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome - 5 Tips To Crush It And Get Back To Work!
These tips are simple, straightforward, and easy to remember.
So next time you start feeling those feelings of fear, inadequacy, or inferiority, execute on these steps to banish them!
The steps are…
- Stay Focused On Who You Are Becoming
- Realize That Successful People Fail More Than Unsuccessful People
- Realize At A Deep Level That Honesty And Authenticity Build Trust, And That Trust Builds Businesses
- Subconscious Reprogramming
- Go All-In On Creating For Your Audience
Stay Focused On Who You Are Becoming
Who do you truly want to become?
When I first started making my videos, I realized that I was frustrated with how fake a lot of other digital marketers were.
So I wanted to create something different... something down to earth and real.
And through that frustration I felt, I found my true calling and purpose.
I was focused on who I wanted to become... the most helpful internet marketer online, period.
At the end of the day, nobody can take this passion away from you.
If you can internalize a vision of what you want to become, and turn that vision into raw hard work and dedication... then nobody can stop you.
Realize That Successful People Fail More Than Unsuccessful People
It is easy to succeed every day if you never take a chance.
But at the same time, those who never take chances rarely level up in their lives.
And when they do, those level-ups are usually smaller and more incremental.
Successful people, on the other hand, take chances all the time. They do, and do, and do... and fail, and fail, and fail.
And in all of that trial and error, they find small things that do work.
And then they focus in on those things... and crush it!
("I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Quote by Thomas Edison)
So do not fear failure, my friends. Just start doing what you are passionate about.
Throw a bunch of stuff onto the wall and see what sticks.
Then, when you find what works, keep doing it over and over again.
Realize At A Deep Level That Honesty And Authenticity Build Trust, And That Trust Builds Businesses
This is a big-time key to success!
Sometimes, we feel like we need to be an amazing, successful guru to be effective at what we want to achieve.
But I can tell you from experience that this is not true!
In truth, we need to be honest about our struggles, honest about what we are going through, and honest about where we are in life.
You don’t have to be an expert.
Start where you are, and teach as you learn.
This honesty and integrity will make you so much more relatable and authentic.
And you will find that this kind of mindset will absolutely skyrocket your odds of success.
You don't have to be a guru to succeed. You don't have to have it all figured out right now.
You need to just get started.
Start taking action, start overcoming your fear, and have faith that you can do whatever you set your mind to if you will just work hard for it, stay dedicated, and adapt to challenges.
That's literally it. That's the whole process!
Many people believe that our subconscious minds are programmed with many beliefs about the world by the time we are six years old.
I think that this is 100% true.
When you grow up hearing that you should get a 'normal job,' that 'there isn't any money to be made on the internet,' that 'having a million dollar business isn't for real folks...' all of these things can really have an impact on your psychological programming!
You can grow up believing these things subconsciously, just because you've been exposed to them your entire life.
So the key here is to reprogram yourself.
There are many ways to do this. You can read good books, listen to good speakers, be honest with yourself about the programming you received as a child, etc.
Personally, my favorite way to reprogram is through meditations with affirmations!
Keep chasing that positive mindset every day. And over time, you'll notice that your mindset will slowly but surely begin to change.
Go All-In On Creating For Your Audience
When you stop focusing on you, and start focusing on your audience and the people around you, you will start to notice a big shift in your mindset.
Your fear causes you to focus 100% on yourself.
- You will fail
- You aren't good enough
- What if you do it wrong?
- You aren't smart enough to do this
- Who do you think you are?
These are all imposter syndrome thoughts.
But by focusing instead on your mission, your audience, and your purpose, you can really help to silence this negative self-talk.
Focus On How To Be Of Service, And Things Will Fall Into Place
One of the best first-steps to getting your focus off of you and onto the people around you is to just start helping people.
For me, I started helping people who wanted to do internet marketing.
I started making YouTube videos, started answering questions, and really just jumped into the trenches and got to the front-lines of what I was passionate about.
This does two things.
Firstly, it helps you to prove to yourself that you are not an imposter.
And secondly, it gets your focus onto people who need your help.
And that is where the real magic starts to happen!
I hope that this post has been helpful.
Please don't let the negative self talk keep you down!
Imposter syndrome can be difficult to beat. But you are bigger, better, and stronger than the fearful thoughts you think about yourself!
Please leave me a comment and let me know how your mindset is.
Are you having fears about your business? Are you having doubts? If so, drop a line and let's discuss it!
I always love to keep the conversation going!
See you on the next one!
-Miles "here to help" Beckler!