How to Not Let Impostor Syndrome Sabotage Your Worth

Whether we choose to indulge it substantially or not, a sense of not being quite enough in our profession virtually all entrepreneurs have felt to some degree. It creeps up unexpectedly, and all of a sudden you’re stuck in mindset mired in thoughts like, “I don’t how I got here… don’t know where I’m headed,” and worst of all, “I feel like a fraud. What if someone finds me out?!”

Our new era of hybrid working world has exacerbated this. You might have returned to the office recently and forgotten how to interact with peers face to face. Perhaps you might have on-boarded a member of staff (or been on-boarded yourself) from behind a screen, or might have found it hard to strike the right work-life balance, and thus feel inadequate as a result of being spread so thinly.

While we’ve all been similarly tested mentally over the past year or so, it’s vital to be reminded that this so-called Impostor Syndrome is, in fact, not a mental disorder, but by letting it take hold too long, it has the power to stall us in our tracks, sabotaging worth and a capacity to invite success.

Isn’t this just the same as feeling anxious?

We’ve all felt flashes of anxiety — most likely at the last moment and/or the brink of something important. That pause before presenting (whether on screen on in person); that second before sending a business-critical email; that rush before accepting a well-earned promotion. To feel nervous is to be human (it’s how we’re wired). But Impostor Syndrome goes beyond any butterflies-in-the-belly feeling — it can be a persisted negative voice you indulge no matter how much colleagues, friends and family might try to dissuade you.

What are the tell-tale symptoms?

Picture the last time you succeeded or were praised for something. You’ll know you’re experiencing Impostor Syndrome to some degree if your response ticks any of these boxes:

• “I just got lucky that time”.

• “I had the right connections”.

• “I had a lot of help with that one”.

• “I made it up as I went along”.

• “They were just being polite”.

• “If I can do it, so can pretty much anyone”.

Sound familiar?

Those experiencing bouts of the syndrome feel compelled to work harder in order to cover up a perception of failure or other conjured inadequacy. Perhaps you feel the need to make up for a perceived lack of intelligence, or are working day and night in order to be deemed “worthy” of your job title. The process can devolve into one in which you are perpetually trying to seal cracks so as not to be viewed as a failure for making the odd (and inevitable) mistake.

For me, the biggest component of Impostor Syndrome was the fear of failure. The fear of losing was so all-consuming that it felt like my professional journey was at and end. Yet, in time, and with effort, not only did I find myself ignoring those voices and choosing success, but I found myself living that choice. The impostor had well and truly left the building, and it can for you, too.

Needed Steps to Take

Plaguing thoughts of self-doubt are complex beasts, and are often triggered as a result of multiple causes, but there are actions that can help take back control.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others

Focus on your own triumphs (no matter how big or small) and not the achievements of those around you. There will always be someone better off (and worse off). The only person you can control in just about any scenario is you, and you alone.

2. Sift feelings from facts

When Impostor Syndrome strikes, to acknowledge it is also to remind yourself that it is just an illusion. While you may suddenly think yourself unworthy of success, that does not make it the truth. Remember your journey, and logically trace steps back to how you got here. Take a deep breath, and acknowledge and respect everything you have achieved up until this point.

3. Start talking

Whether with friends, family or a therapist, speaking your thoughts out loud can help you realize that this syndrome is not based in reality, and is also perfectly normal. Sharing experiences in this way is not only cathartic, but can encourage others to come out of their shell, should they be feeling the same.

4. Recognize why you’re feeling this

At the end of the day, feelings of illegitimacy are commonly felt among high-achieving people, so don’t be so hard on yourself; the fact of the matter is, real impostors will never experience this feeling at all.

It may take days, weeks or months to rid yourself of stifling self-doubt, but try to consider addressing it as a crucial learning experience. To admit there’s a problem takes courage, and to act on it more courage, still. Be proud that you’ve committed yourself to a positive change, and celebrate the steps you take to do it.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


How to Craft Corporate Culture in a Remote World

In March 2020, companies around the world were forced to rapidly shift to remote operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. And while the pandemic wreaked havoc on life as ... Read more »

What Motherhood Taught Me About Perfecting a Business Pitch

I’ve worn many different hats in my lifetime: Silicon Valley tech executive, business founder, single mom and CEO, but no matter the role, effective communication is a skill that proves ... Read more »

The Myth of the 'Overnight Success' and How Brilliant Ideas Actually Emerge

Anecdotally, Jerry Seinfeld’s pitch for one of the most famous sitcoms of all time starts with this phrase: “I have an idea for a show.” The notion that all it takes is ... Read more »

Putting People First in Your Business

Behind the Review host and Yelp’s Small Business Expert, Emily Washcovick, shares a look at this week’s episode of the podcast. A business is more than just brick and mortar and a few products. It’s ... Read more »

The United States will maintain restrictions for people vaccinated with Sputnik V, according to WP

Although previously the United States (EU) received foreigners vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, recently, the North American country did not modify these rules and now receives only vaccinated foreigners. But ... Read more »

6 Reasons Why Some Experts Say Owning a Home Messes Up Your Finances

You’ve heard it: “You throw your money away when you rent.” contributor/ – MarketBeat Whether the advice came from your grandmother or it came directly from a financial professional, ... Read more »

10 Things Every Woman Should Remember for Maximum Personal and Professional Success

Working women in all different professional facets are faced with the task to do it all under more pressure than our male counterparts. Especially as a woman who works in ... Read more »

These Are the Biggest Blind Spots in Diversity Initiatives, According to 8 Women Experts

“The murder of Mr. George Floyd was a tipping point for corporate America. But diverse people in general, and Black people in particular, are still having to deal with racism ... Read more »

Why Servant Leadership is Becoming the Leadership Style of the Future

Many people hear of transformative leadership, which sees people’s needs as a means to an end. Transformative leadership believes that fulfilling people’s needs will bring a positive change in them. ... Read more »

Her Low-Income Patients Were Labeled 'Noncompliant and Defiant.' So She Raised $500 Million to Build a Healthcare Company That Put Them First.

When Toyin Ajayi, MD, began practicing family medicine in Boston, she cared for a patient for several years. “She had a number of chronic physical health diagnoses and a long ... Read more »

How to Lead With Your Values, Regardless of Industry

What are your company’s most basic ethical and societal principles? If you can rattle them off without checking your website, well done. Even if you can’t, what matters far more ... Read more »

100 Women of Impact In 2021

Welcome to Entrepreneur’s annual 100 Women list! When deciding who (among the many incredible women we reviewed) to highlight this year, we asked one question: Who is making an impact? In the pages ... Read more »

Imposter Syndrome in the Boardroom: How Executives Handle Self-Doubt

Imposter syndrome occurs when people don’t believe they deserve respect or rewards for their accomplishments. They live in fear that their accomplishments have been a fluke and they will be ... Read more »

The Right People in the Right Seats Means the Difference Between Success and Failure

Entrepreneurs know that building a business can be frustrating at times, but many don’t expect a top source of that frustration to be their employees. Founders love building businesses innovating, and ... Read more »

The Importance of Returning to the Office After Remote Working

Remote working took most companies by surprise in early 2020. Finding a way to navigate expectations and work trends throughout the pandemic was unique for each company, primarily thanks to ... Read more »

Pressure to Succeed Translates into Stress for Entrepreneurs

There has been a growing focus on mental health and work – but this has been restricted to start-ups, and mental health at the workplace. We have conversations about employee ... Read more »

What a Sock Company Can Teach Us About Purpose-Driven Business

Socks.  Are they useful? Absolutely. Inspiring? Not to most people.  Read more »

Use These 2 Strategies to Unlock Your Greatest Leadership Potential

The hot and cold approach to growth as a leader is not sustainable and leads to burnout. Successful leaders understand the key to accomplishing their goals, and living a rich ... Read more »

How 8 Women Investors Are Fixing the Shocking Lack of Funding For Women-Led Startups

“VC firms need to promote women. As of February 2020, only 13 percent of decision-makers were female. Women investors are more likely to invest in female founders, and data shows ... Read more »

If You Cringe at the Thought of Talking to Your Co-Workers, Follow These 5 Steps for Better Conversations

Conversations at work are a tricky prospect: On the one hand, they involve regular interactions with people we (mostly) know, talking about subjects we ought to be familiar with. Then why ... Read more »

A Disability Ended My Corporate Career, But It Pushed Me to Build the Life I Really Wanted

I was killing it in Silicon Valley as one of the top producers at a computer-consulting firm at the age of 22. I brought in more than $2 million in ... Read more »

5 Reasons Why Leaders Fail

Leading is hard. In today’s volatile world, the pressure to perform and execute has never been greater. Imposter syndrome can set in, causing leaders to question whether they have what it ... Read more »

4 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From a Roman Emperor

When we are young, the word “leader” is influenced by the stories of mythological gods, comic book heroes and athletes splashed across Wheaties boxes and Olympic podiums. As our minds ... Read more »

8 Women Stars of the Tech World on How the Pandemic Changed Everything

“The pandemic showed us the power of community, and our ability to shift from in-person to digital and social engagement. Digital community accelerates the flywheel of education, facilitates fast information ... Read more »

Lauren Simmons Breaks Retail-Investing Barriers in New Docuseries, 'Going Public'

Lauren Simmons is in the business of shattering glass ceilings and helping companies raise capital in untraditional ways. At just 27 years old, she’s already made waves as the youngest ... Read more »

How to Draft an Effective Founders' Agreement

Things can move very quickly when you’re a startup. There are big decisions to be made every day, and it’s tempting to cut corners before the groundwork has been laid. There ... Read more »

Her Mother Was Killed by a Drunk Driver. Now She's CEO of a Powerful Alcohol Company. Here's What Made Her 'Walk Into the Fire.'

A lot of people ask me, ‘Why would you be the CEO of an alcohol company?’” Ann Mukherjee says. It’s a fair question. Mukherjee, 56, is the chairman and CEO ... Read more »

She Was Homeless. Now She Runs a $25 Million Investment Fund for Women of Color.

In college, Arian Simone launched a clothing boutique in a mall in Jacksonville, Florida — but when she went to raise capital for it, she realized there were very few ... Read more »

8 Women Founders Talk About the Biggest Missed Opportunities in Retail

“Gone are the days of ‘retail’ or ‘e-commerce’ shopping. Soon enough, if you see it, you can buy it — from scanning a sweater on a friend’s back to texting ... Read more »

Remote Team Management: 7 Best Practices

Business owners accustomed to monitoring productivity based on pure worker visibility can easily struggle with remote employee management. Employees, too, may feel out of sorts in the beginning while they ... Read more »

3 Signs You're an Entrepreneur at Heart

These days, anyone can become an entrepreneur thanks to all the digital resources available at your fingertips. However, what many entrepreneurs soon learn after taking the leap into owning their ... Read more »

How Diversity Helped Bring My Company Together

Diversity, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, “is the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations.”  ... Read more »

How to form a successful work team?

Forming a successful and committed work team is one of the most important challenges that can exist in a company. Every organization must ensure that it has professionals in the ... Read more »

From Marketing Professional to Founder and CEO: How Other Leaders Can Find and Share Their Voice

I never thought my passion for marketing would translate into my role as CEO and co-founder of my own company. I have always been driven by engaging with others and ... Read more »

6 Critical Considerations Before Relocating Your Business to Another City

Moving your business to a new city can sound like a desirable prospect at first glance. There might be better opportunities, better living conditions, or perhaps the city may be ... Read more »

4 Things I Learned From My Ecommerce Business in the First Year

When I started my floral venture, I was well aware that I was entering a territory where business usually passed on from generation to generation. Floral executives tend to be ... Read more »

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Company

The year 2020 was a washout — and we’d all like to forget it. But despite the chaos and uncertainty, despite the misery, fear and tension, businesses flourished; 2020 may have been ... Read more »

How Having Entrepreneurial Parents Refined My Own Business Acumen

My parents were a bit unconventional growing up. To start with, my mom worked. For perspective, in the 1970s, she was the only working mom I knew — none of my ... Read more »

How to Become a Coach That Makes a Real Difference

As a young person, I was fascinated by entrepreneurship. Gradually, I learned that being an entrepreneur was about identifying a need in the market and creating a solution to meet ... Read more »

Launch an Amazon Side Hustle Today

The side hustle is on the rise and showing no signs of stopping. After a third of Americans reported having a side hustle at the beginning of the year, the ... Read more »