Impostor Syndrome

As a business owner who’s well-seasoned, open to learning, and intentional about the growth of your business, nothing can stop you on your path to success! But what if you get the recognition you deserve and feel like something isn’t right? That you don’t deserve everything you’re getting and you’re not good enough?

What you’re going through is known as Impostor Syndrome. It’s common among high-flyers and successful people. In this article, you will learn what Impostor Syndrome is, how to identify it, and how to overcome it as a business owner. Let’s dig in!

What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome, also known as the impostor phenomenon or perceived fraudulence, is a psychological condition whereby a person persistently doubts themselves and their achievements and strongly believes that they are not worthy of their successes.

It also comes with the feeling of being a fraud and deceiving others to a perceived level of knowledge, expertise, or experience that they are convinced they do not truly possess.

Signs that you may have Impostor Syndrome

Here are some signs that you may be experiencing Impostor Syndrome:

  • You feel like a fraud/scammer who tricked people into believing you’re what you’re not
  • You have a fear of being discovered as a phony
  • You don’t think you’re good enough for all the success you’ve made in your business
  • You cannot honestly acknowledge your expertise, skills, and competence
  • You attribute your success to luck and not hard work
  • You feel ashamed and panic when your achievements are being applauded
  • You think you’re not good enough and everyone is lying to you
  • You’re extremely critical of yourself because you feel inadequate


Causes of Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome is usually associated with anxiety and depression. Also, anyone suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) usually has Impostor Syndrome. However, there are other causes of Impostor Syndrome. They include:

  1. Family and Upbringing: Children raised by overprotective or abusive parents tend to develop Impostor Syndrome. This is because they were raised in an environment with high levels of conflict and criticism and low levels of love or encouragement.
  2. Entering into College or Graduate School: A college, university, or graduate school is a whole new world to a first-timer. Seeing all the people around you achieving great things can make you begin to feel like you don’t belong and that you don’t even deserve to be there.
  3. Social Anxiety: Social anxiety and Impostor Syndrome are both characterized by feelings of inadequacy, faked confidence, and persistent fear of being discovered as a faker and a fraud. Hence, people who suffer from social anxiety may also suffer from Impostor Syndrome and vice versa.
  4. Low Self-Esteem: Low self-esteem may also cause Impostor Syndrome. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it automatically sets the bar for feelings of inadequacy and phoniness to creep in and make you feel like you don’t deserve anything you have, because you have it by pity or luck.

Other causes include perfectionism and racial profiling.

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome as a Business Owner

As a business owner who has recorded success and massive business growth, it’s not uncommon for you to feel unworthy of all your achievements. However, if not nipped in the bud, Impostor Syndrome can hinder your productivity. Here are some tips for overcoming Impostor Syndrome:

  1. Acknowledge how you feel: The first step to overcoming Impostor Syndrome is to acknowledge your feelings and accept them. When you accept how you feel, you’ll achieve clarity that will allow you to work on eliminating self-doubts.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others: Comparison is the greatest leech of happiness. Avoid comparing yourself to other people. Your goals and objectives are different, and so are your results.
  3. Celebrate your successes: Every little success or achievement is a result of your hard work! Celebrate every milestone.
  4. Talk about it: Talk to your loved ones about your struggle with Impostor Syndrome. Talking about negative feelings helps to ease them off your mind. Talking to a therapist is also a viable option.
  5. Practice confidence and positive affirmations: Talk to yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself things you want to be, not the things that you think you are. If positive affirmations seem daunting, try neutral affirmations.
  6. Remember how far you’ve come: When you start to have feelings of inadequacy and phoniness, sit down and think about all the things you’ve achieved and all the hurdles you’ve scaled to bring your business to where it is. It would help you get things back in focus, and it would motivate you to do more.
  7. Don’t let it hold you back: Impostor Syndrome can be crippling. Sometimes, you feel like you want to give up because you don’t feel like you deserve it. However, if you give up, you have let those negative feelings win. Keep pushing!


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