Impostor syndrome affects many, if not nearly all, entrepreneurs. It makes us doubt our choices, our skills, and ourselves in general. It undermines our confidence and hinders us in achieving our goals…
This syndrome manifests itself in various forms:
- We do not feel legitimate or qualified enough;
- We work a lot and feel guilty once we take a break;
- We attribute all our successes to luck.
- We wait for everything to be perfect before we act;
- We are afraid of not achieving our goals.
How to overcome this syndrome and act confidently? By developing true self-confidence. By showing him that it is you who decides and that you did not become an entrepreneur to sort lentils. Don’t panic, I will help you.
In the following lines, I will show you the method I put in place to dare to advance myself and express myself. The purpose of this method is simple. Succeed in moving from inaction to action. From “I can’t” to “I trust and allow myself”. How do ? By creating a solid resource base that you can rely on in times of uncertainty. let’s go ?
Step 1: Set goals that make sense to you
Many entrepreneurs set goals that are not their own. And when we look at the current trend, we can understand it. Personal development books that tell us we need to think bigger. Facebook ads that promise to be a millionaire in six months.
We end up telling ourselves that these benchmarks are average and that if we don’t hit them, we’re losers. We leave paid work to get rid of social pressure and surprise! It is found in entrepreneurship.
These standards that come out of nowhere reduce and frustrate us. We set ourselves unattainable goals, develop a short-term business vision and, above all, connect our human value directly to our income.
This is exactly what I did when I started. I joined a program whose motto was: “You must earn at least ten thousand euros per month”. It was in a way the standard of success for coaches. As if all their clients could achieve the same goal. And you know what? I didn’t get to them. At the time, I had never sold before and didn’t feel like I could earn that much. I started getting nervous and ended up not acting anymore for fear of not succeeding.
It is natural to want to earn more to develop your business and improve your quality of life. But be realistic about the timing of your goals and the energy it takes to achieve them. Want to proceed? So stop comparing yourself and set your own goals.
Here are the two steps to take to set your goals:
- Know the value behind the goal
Let’s imagine that you want to earn ten thousand euros a month. To achieve this goal, you must know why it is important to you. Traveling with family? Staying in the most beautiful palaces? Buying a luxury sedan? Invest in a cause dear to you? The reason does not matter as long as it is up to you.
Here are the steps to help you
- Determine your goal (social, sports, financial, etc.);
- Ask yourself: Why is this important to me?
- Answer, then repeat until you always get the same answer.
Suppose the value that stands out is freedom. What is freedom for you? Living in luxury? Going to raise goats in Larzac? It is up to you to decide.
It is essential to know the value behind your goals and the meaning they hold for you. This is what motivates you to get up every morning and persevere even in difficult times.
- Finding a crossroads between realism and ambition
When we don’t truly believe in our abilities, setting big goals can be cause for concern and paralyzing us. Your goals should align with your current level of belief. You don’t learn to run before you can walk.
Here are two questions to ask yourself after setting a goal:
- Am I completely convinced that I can achieve this goal?
- Would I feel proud if I reached it?
The goal at the moment is not to blow up your glass ceilings. Simply allowing yourself to take action to prove to yourself that you are capable. This will increase your confidence level and allow you to set higher goals. Do not underestimate your actions and assume that “one is better than zero”. Every action, no matter how small, will have a big impact over time.
Step 2: Find the people you do business with
When making decisions is a challenge, surrounding yourself with people you trust is essential. They will give you the confidence you need to overcome your doubts and take action. Here are the two criteria that must be met for this to be effective:
Look for constructive advice, not external validation
External validation reassures us, but prevents us from moving forward. When we are only looking for comfort, we tend to turn to our loved ones. The problem is that they are not in the best position to give us relevant or sound advice. Either because they don’t know our business or because they are afraid of us in some cases.
One day, I asked my color-blind dad what he thought of my painting charter. Why did you come to such an absurd situation? Because his answer is not what piqued my interest. I just need to check to feel reassured.
To use the need for validation to your advantage, look at people at the same level or even more advanced than you. The people who will have the power to make you take a step back and see things from a new perspective. You will then have a relevant opinion as well as an external validation.
Heres how to do it:
- Make a list of every topic you currently suspect to make a decision and act on;
- List three relatives or “mentors” on social networks who can help you find an answer and walk away.
You now have a group of experienced people to support you in times of fear, doubt and indecision. But you still have one important step.
Get rid of doubts the “one in every place” way
When decision-making is an ordeal, it is necessary to limit information as much as possible. why ? So that we don’t feed our doubts and stop ourselves from acting. I’ll explain.
Think of two experts you absolutely trust in a field. Now imagine that they have a completely opposing opinion of a topic, and that you are relying on them to make a decision in your business. If you both have very good arguments, making the decision will seem insurmountable and you’ll be right back at the starting point. So you should limit your information sources.
This is what the list of people I’m following looks like at the moment: 2 life coaches (both from Davids), personal branding expert, Instagram coach, marketing expert. That’s it !
Review the list of experienced people and keep only one for each topic. Here are two criteria to help you choose:
Trust is built on experience. If it’s someone you follow on networks, ask yourself the questions: What added value do you bring in their content? Does it have customer testimonials? Does it look nice to me?
If it is a relative of mine, ask yourself: How can he help me or give me an answer related to this topic?
Preference is played on the feeling with a loved one, and on the character if it is a person on networks.
You now have a strong circle of people ready to guide you and answer your questions. The goal is not to make you a follower, but to allow you to take action to gain confidence and separate yourself where validation is needed.
Step 3: Use your personal power
You will now identify the resources that will help you develop your confidence level each day.
Sow your victories
Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down ten things you have accomplished that you are proud of:
- Personal plan: sports performance, nutrition, driver’s license, etc. ;
- Professional plan: diploma, retraining, getting a job, etc. ;
- Social level: marital relationship, overcoming fear of approaching, etc.
Don’t limit yourself, there are no big or small gains. Review this list every day to remind yourself of what you can do.
Choose your beliefs
Find a belief that is currently limiting you. For example, “My article is not complete enough, I cannot publish it”. Then he turned it into an auxiliary belief. For example, “I allow myself to post incomplete posts.”
Your new faith should speak to you and resonate with you when you talk about it. Reread it morning and evening to anchor it in your subconscious mind and forget the old one.
If you’re hard on yourself and find it hard to let go, try statements that begin with “I agree” or “I allow myself.” These are the ones I favored and believe me, they work miracles.
justify your concerns
Projecting a pessimistic picture of our future based on the failures of our past. This is what happens when you are afraid. We make movies, we imagine a worst-case scenario, and we’re stuck.
The best way to reduce your fears is to write them down on paper:
- Write in detail what prevents you from taking action;
- Write down the worst thing that could happen if you performed this action;
- Add the benefits it can bring to you.
Putting your fears on paper will help you justify them and realize that you are safe most of the time.
This is how I put it to develop my confidence and dare to reveal myself on the networks in just three weeks. Keep in mind that you are not alone and this syndrome affects the majority of entrepreneurs. Avoid putting pressure on yourself and be patient. See this as a challenge and an essential step in your development.
About the author
Kevin Petott: Entrepreneur Coach. I accompany life coaches embarking on entrepreneurship to find their first clients by helping them articulate their strategy (consulting) and develop their confidence (coaching).