Here’s what to do when you are stretching out of your comfort zone to grow your business… and start feeling like a fraud.
We all start our businesses counting on ourselves to step up, conquer our doubts, and do what it takes to succeed.
We picture ourselves standing tall, with many happy clients. Enjoying the time, money and lifestyle freedom that comes with it.
We know there’ll be challenges and look forward to the satisfaction and rewards meeting them will bring.
It’s only when we actually open for business, or try to scale to the next level, that we see all that’s involved to be profitable.
Each marker of growth tests us, opens us to new perspectives and changes our character.
Some challenges are relatively straightforward, just requiring focus and energy. Others cut to the bone of our identity. Uncomfortably illuminating our inadequacies and limiting beliefs from angles we’ve never seen before.
Growth can be a messy process, especially on a steep learning curve. At those times, the fear of failure can be overwhelming.
That’s why so many entrepreneurs, who tend to be highly capable people, suffer with impostor syndrome during periods of growth, and often get stuck. They feel like an impostor, having to act like an expert to come across as credible.
Loosely defined, impostor syndrome is the belief that you’re in over your head, or that you don’t belong, and worrying that people will find out.
Taken at face value, it can make you feel isolated and cause you to shrink inward, creating an illusion there’s something wrong or missing within you.
If it isn’t dealt with proactively to build momentum, it will affect your mental health and erode your self esteem. Becoming invisible instead of the impactful leader you are striving to be.
Here are three steps to transform impostor syndrome and how to thrive in spite of not quite having all the skills yet. They empower you to ground into your authenticity and natural genius while you develop your skills.
1. Reframe Impostor Syndrome As A Good Omen For Your Growth
Impostor syndrome is a natural by-product of growth, as is the fear of failure. They caution us to tread carefully, because we are in new territory.
Problems arise when we are so focused on the world around us and what people think, we confuse the phenomena. Mutating the experience by twisting it into a source of embarrassment and shame.
It’s easy to do, especially for entrepreneurs, because our business success depends on our credibility.
If you could peek into the secret thoughts of successful entrepreneurs, you will see we all experience impostor syndrome at some time. Especially in the beginning, before navigating it a few times, and accepting ongoing growth and change as an integral aspect of the journey.
The first step is to identify it, own it – and be gentle with yourself. Accept the simple fact that you are stepping into a bigger version of you, “your bigger self”.
This simple, little reframe can keep you proactively building momentum. Making an otherwise messy growth process seem relatively straightforward. To learn more about impostor syndrome’s messy growth processes – read: How To Liberate Yourself From Fear And Procrastination
With practice, and by visualizing what your successful transformation looks like, you can embrace the challenge, not unlike a professional athlete. Which brings us to the next step…
2. “Train” Your Brain To Be More Adaptable To Change
By definition entrepreneurs are “creating something of value out of nothing”. This is why we are on a path of constant change. Actually, you could say the only constant we can rely on is constant change.
Every stage of growth requires not only new skills. It requires a new persona… we reframe our beliefs, values and behaviors as we rise to each new challenge.
To navigate change efficiently, we need to be adaptable, agile and responsive, without being too flexible or rigid, too strong or soft, too hasty or methodic.
It’s valuable to understand how your brain works, since your success is tied to maximizing results with an economy of motion.
We need to zoom-out to our “big selves” and higher objectives daily to stay on track, and keep “our little selves” in check so we don’t get entangled in little admin tasks.
We need to zoom-in to the details to see projects through to completion to leverage our results. Cultivating the right balance between strength and flexibility (yin and yang) in any given situation is a core skill that becomes more of an art form as your business interests evolve.
My SMART Entrepreneur Empowerment System uses 5 steps to optimize your brain performance to be more resilient and adaptable to change (available in the complimentary 3 Gates To Self Mastery Masterclass)…
Overarching these 5 steps are 2 methods that equip you to rewire your brain.
2 Methods To Rewire Your Brain
- Hardware method
- Using strategic movements that soften old neural networks, create new ones and activate dormant regions of your brain: They widen your range of motion and condition your body and brain to a flexible, toned and resilient state of functionality
Using currents of energy to do the same as above. Energy exists in 3 forms: Light, sound & vibration. Light includes shape and color. Sound includes the rhythm, tone and beat. Vibration includes a variation in frequency.
Using introspection and contemplation to formulate answers, which empowers you to choose your identity and decide how you will show up in the world.
Determining what external information or old internal information to accept and reject. This activates your brain to support your new identity to help it manifest
Used together these two methods empower you to reinvent yourself based on your own decisions (not others expectations).
3. Accept Your Vulnerability To Rally Support
People who experience impostor syndrome often make the mistake of armoring up with false bravado. This usually brings less than desirable results… turning most people off, or at best, leaving them cold.
You will get further and feel lighter by embracing the opportunity to learn and grow. Doing your best to get it right, while humanizing your slip ups and mistakes to shrug them off and take them in stride.
Getting clear and realistic about your self-expectations and realm of expertise also helps. For example, if you’re a graphic artist and you need to hire a support team to grow your business to the next level, you can expect a few hiccups before delegating effectively or emanating a leadership persona. You can also expect some turnover as you optimize your systems.
Don’t let impostor syndrome or other normal feelings that come with growth, prevent you from moving forward.
Claim your square with self compassion and grace. Be curious… get strategic, and find ways to create a warm connection. You can construct subtle ways to humanize sticky situations to enlist the support of others, including your clients, team, peers and mentors.
Giving people the opportunity to relate to you on a human level can be highly effective, at drawing support.
Want to stand tall, build a business that you’re proud of?
Self Mastery Creates Success In Life And Business!