If you’re an online business owner or want to create your own business, you must be well familiar with the good old impostor syndrome. It’s that nagging feeling that says YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, along with things like “it’s not ready yet”, “what do you even know…” and similar. So how to overcome impostor syndrome in online business and truly succeed?
Ironically, I kept this blog post in drafts for around a year because I felt like it’s never quite ready… So let’s talk about impostor syndrome, shall we?
I started working online when I was 19 and I had no previous knowledge of what I did. Talk about feeling like a fraud!
Anyhow, I always had my best intentions to learn, improve, always give my best. And that’s what kept me going.
From the smallest tasks for the lowest pay to big projects. From working for clients to my passive income. Step by step.
Feeling like a fraud or dealing with impostor syndrome is very common for online entrepreneurs (but not only). The feeling might come when you’re writing a blog post and thinking, will anyone ever really find it useful?! It can approach you before creating your course or product, and all the way through. BIG TIME.
It can quietly judge you no matter what you do, what’s your experience or level of the knowledge. Everybody feels it.
I even feel it when writing this post. I’m by no means the expert in impostor syndrome. I’m just sharing my thoughts and ideas that someone might find helpful. However, I still feel a bit like a fraud…
What is impostor syndrome?
As Wikipedia explains, “Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”
As I already mentioned – it’s literally the voice in your head, trying to convince you that you’re not good enough, no one will care, you can’t provide enough value and you must do better…
And these days it’s not only a very common but also quite challenging problem.
Especially in online business, there are more and more people following the path of location independent income and the field is getting crowded. The constant need to stand out, offer unique and high-quality service is slowly but surely demotivating us.
How to overcome impostor syndrome in online business?
In all honesty, I don’t think there’s any quick fix or anything that could just “turn it off”.
But several things have helped me to overcome impostor syndrome and here are some of them!
TIP #1 Accept that everyone feels like an impostor
At the end of the day, we’re all just people, we all struggle to do the best we can.
From Beyonce to Barack Obama. From the local gardener to your old teachers. From your favorite blogger to the biggest Youtube star.
Here are some entrepreneur stories just to prove my point!
“I started my business on a bit of a whim, being fed up feeling absolutely useless and not contributing towards the household. I have 3 children, 2 who were very young so going out to work wasn’t an option. I often think now “what the hell am I doing, what right do I have to run a business with no experience! In moments of clarity I think “omg, I’ve come so far and taught myself absolutely everything from scratch, I’m so proud of myself!” But most of the time I feel like a massive fraud, running my business and all aspects of it completely by myself. And I wonder what my customers would think knowing that it’s just me. Self-doubt is the devil!”
Gemma from Little Gem Moments
“I’ve recently done some research around Imposter Syndrome and found that, whereas Self-Doubt is about what you think about what you can do, Imposter Syndrome is about who you think you are. It’s wrapped up in our identity. And the biggest trigger for Imposter Syndrome is Comparison with others. Thinking that others have all their shit figured out, when we don’t know what we’re doing, so we believe we’re less qualified, intelligent, worthy etc. Meanwhile everyone’s dealing with their own imposter syndrome simultaneously. So if we just dropped the comparison, there would be no need or space for the imposter to show up in the first place. Keep our focus on our own growth journey, on our own expansion and acknowledge that we’re never going to have all the answers, and that’s beautiful! There’s always more to learn!”
Abigail from Confident Creative Academy
Once you understand that you’re not the only one feeling this way, you can admit imposter syndrome for what it is – a feeling, thoughts, our own created reality.
No one has told you YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
(Even if they have, well, screw them).
Mostly, impostor syndrome comes from ourselves and our own doubts. We tend to compare ourselves to others and we miss the point. We forget our uniqueness and end up feeling bad.
Once in a while, make sure to remind yourself that your coworker, your favorite blogger or the latest Youtube star sometimes also thinks “damn, how did I even get here?! I can’t live up to other people’s expectations!!”
TIP #2 Be honest to yourself
Others will always think what they want to think. You have no power to change that. However, you can always do your best to be as honest as possible with yourself and it will help you to overcome impostor syndrome.
Take a page and write down all the good things you know and can do. Then, add another list of things you’re still learning or should improve. Remember to BE HONEST.
No one is expected to do 100% best. Life doesn’t work that way.
You already have the skills, more or less, you have the experience, the knowledge. And there always are many more things to learn.
Acknowledge yourself for what you can. Admit your flaws.
Writing it all down might seem like a silly thing to do but it’s one of the best ways to bring some mindfulness into your own life.
TIP #3 Focus on the value you give
Once you have figured out the things you CAN already do, learn to focus on the value you give.
- Don’t get stuck on things others can and you can’t.
- Don’t overthink your own mistakes.
- And stop running for more.
For now, to overcome impostor syndrome, truly FOCUS on the actual value you give.
You can look back at the list of things you wrote in the previous tip and dive deep into each one of these skills.
For example, as an online course creator, I help my clients to bring their knowledge online. I support them along the way with the experience and skillset I have. Since most of my clients have been in a traditional business so far, they have little or no knowledge of the things they seek help with.
Even though I’m by no means THE best in what I do, I always try MY best and provide unique, effective solutions. And I see when my clients appreciate me!
I focus on the value I can give and do my best to improve it. Which leads us to the next point.
TIP #4 Always seek to improve
The last but not least tip to overcome impostor syndrome is to always seek ways to improve.
While no one can know it all or have an endless experience, as long as you are eager to improve and learn, you will survive, no matter what field are you in.
Online business owners are under a lot of pressure. With everchanging trends in all of our business aspects, it’s now harder than ever to stay on top of everything.
But taking step by step is the only way to do this. And if you do something to improve yourself and your skillset every day, step by step is how you get better.
Anyone can start a new career and build a business out of nothing. However, it takes more than just getting started to keep the ball rolling! Staying on top of your goals and dealing with impostor syndrome is just a part of running a successful business!
Are you finding it hard to overcome impostor syndrome? Feel free to share your experience in the comments and remember – you’re not alone in this!