Does running your business make you feel like a fraud?
While on the outside (and on social media) it seems like you have it all figured out, on the inside, you live in terror of being “found out.”
You feel like you are pulling one over on your customers because you feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing.
No matter how many certifications, degrees, or successful students you have.
You are quick to deflect praise and credit your success to luck, charm, or being in the right place at the right time.
You fear success because you feel like it's only a matter of time until someone realizes the empress has no clothes.
Even when things are going well, you can’t help but compare yourself to others.
While you feel like you have lucked into all of your success, you assume everyone else has earned everything they have.
You think about how much smarter, more original, or harder working others are.
You feel like you are overworked to the verge of a nervous breakdown and also not working hard enough at the same time.
You feel like you are not enough.
If you found yourself saying yes over and over as you read the above, you are suffering from what’s known as Imposter Syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud."
Approximately 70% of all people experience Imposter Syndrome at least once in their life, with entrepreneurs and experts experiencing it at much higher levels.
Why Does Imposter Syndrome Affect Mompreneurs?
Imposter Syndrome affects Mompreneurs more than almost any other group of entrepreneurs and it’s not hard to figure out why.
First, Mompreneurs have impossible standards they are expected to live up to.
Mompreneurs are expected to run a successful business, cook healthy, nutritious yet delicious meals for their family, spend romantic time with their partner, be super moms to their kids and somehow find the time to go to the gym and see their friends.
Another reason that Imposter Syndrome affects Mompreneurs is guilt.
Many mompreneurs report constant feelings of guilt.
You feel guilty about neglecting your business when you are with your family.
And feel guilty about neglecting your family when you work on your business.
This guilt plays right into Imposter Syndrome.
You ask yourself “Why am I taking time away from my family for this business I’m not even successful at?”
You might even question why you started at all.
In order to deal with Imposter Syndrome, you have to first recognize what type of Imposter Syndrome you have, then start taking the daily steps to address it.
The 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome:
In her book, “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It”, Dr. Valerie Young, the world’s foremost expert on Imposter Syndrome breaks down imposter syndrome into 5 types.
Perhaps you’ll see yourself in one of these types.
- The Perfectionist. The perfectionist sets impossible goals for herself, then uses failing to live up to them as proof that she is a fraud. Even when perfectionists have success, they can’t enjoy it because they are always focused on what they could have done better, or what they could improve next time.
- The Superwoman. The superwoman feels like she has to be more than human. Superwomen feel like they have to work harder, achieve more, and be strong and positive the entire way. Superwomen tend to be workaholics who feel intense pressure to “have it all.”
- The Natural Genius. The natural genius believes that they should be good at everything they try. Right away. Like the perfectionist or the superwoman, the natural genius sets unrealistic goals or standards but with the added wrinkle of expecting immediate success. Natural geniuses tend to have a history of success, like getting straight As or being designated as “gifted” their whole life.
- The Soloist. The soloist feels like she has to do everything on her own and that asking for help is a sign of weakness which reveals their fraudulence. The soloist’s mantra is “Ok, I’ll do it.”
- The Expert. The expert has defined her identity with what she knows. The expert is a learning junkie always chasing new degrees, certifications, and ideas to justify her status. The expert feels like her entire life is invalidated if she doesn’t know the answer to a question or have a solution for a problem.
Now that you have a better idea of what type of Imposter Syndrome you are experiencing, it’s time to come up with a plan to face it head-on!
5 Steps To Dealing With Your Imposter Syndrome As a Mompreneur
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Imposter Syndrome.
The bad news is that you’re not going to finish this article and instantly never feel like an imposter ever again.
But the good news is that if you follow these steps, you will build your confidence and eventually will stop feeling the icy grip of Imposter Syndrome.
1. Quiet the mind.
The first step to dealing with Imposter Syndrome is to quiet your mind. Imposter syndrome can feel like someone screaming that you aren’t good enough inside your own mind. Adopting an activity to help you calm your mind at the beginning of your day or anytime you need it will help you deal with Imposter’s Syndrome. Two of the best ways to quiet your mind are meditation, and journaling. In the book “The Artist’s Way” author Julia Cameron describes her “morning pages” exercise where you write uninterrupted without censoring for 20 minutes. Now as a mompreneur you might not have 20 uninterrupted minutes in the morning (or ever), but even 5 minutes of uninterrupted writing can be enough to see results! Morning pages are a great way to quiet the mind, and see how silly the inner dialogue of Imposter Syndrome is when it’s written out in front of you. Meditation is another great way to quiet your mind and has a host of scientifically proven benefits from reduced stress, to increased kindness. Meditation apps like Insight Timer and Yoga Glo can help you fit meditating into your busy life.
2. Recognize when feeling fraudulent is normal and when it isn’t.
The second step to dealing with Imposter Syndrome is to recognize when it is normal to feel like a fraud and when it isn’t. If you’re just trying something for the first time or stretching for a big goal, you might feel like a fraud and that’s ok. When you’re not an expert or trying something new it’s ok to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. And it might even help to tell someone how you feel. On the other hand, when you are doing something you have succeeded with before, or are competent at there is no reason to feel like a fraud. By making the distinction between when you should and should not feel like a fraud, you can take back your power over those feelings.
3. Adopt a growth mindset.
One of the underlying mechanisms that drive Imposter Syndrome is the fear of failure. When you fail, you have to figure out why you failed. And one of the things women with Imposter Syndrome do is assume that because they failed once, they are in fact failures. I failed becomes I am a failure. Instead of looking at everything in terms of failure or success, you want to adopt what Stanford researcher and author of the book “Mindset” Carol Dweck calls a “Growth” mindset. With a growth mindset, you believe that you are capable of learning or doing anything even if you don’t know how to do it right now. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset which says that things like ability are constant and can’t ever change. With a growth mindset, there is no such thing as failure, there is only learning and growing.
4. Accept it’s ok to not know the answer.
When you have Imposter Syndrome, not knowing the answer to a question, especially in a high-pressure environment like a speech or sales call, can be devastating. But it doesn’t have to be. Saying “I’m not sure.” or “Let me check and get back to you” can actually build your credibility with your audience. We all know it’s not realistic to expect one person to have all the answers. By giving yourself permission to say I don’t know, you build trust with your audience because they know that you will tell them when you know something and when you don’t. Next time you are asked a question you don’t know in a high-pressure situation, say “I’m not sure” and watch how quickly people move on.
5. Act as if.
Finally, when you are feeling especially imposter-y it can be helpful to act as if you are confident. One way to do this is to pick a confident mentor and then ask yourself what she would do in this situation. Because you feel like an imposter, you assume that everyone else thinks that you are as well. But this is not true! In fact, most people are more concerned about what you think of them than they are with figuring out if you are an imposter or not. Nine times out of ten if you act confident, people will assume you are confident. Even if you are shaking on the inside.
Imposter syndrome is a real problem!
Especially for Mompreneurs who already feel guilty about splitting their time between business and family.
If you find yourself deflecting praise, discounting your success, and feeling like you are not enough, you might suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
In this article, we looked at what Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud."
Then we talked about why Mompreneurs are especially susceptible to Imposter syndrome because they already have impossible standards to live up to and feel guilty about splitting time between your family and your business.
Then we looked at the 5 types of Imposter Syndrome:
The Perfectionist. The perfectionist sets impossible goals for herself, then uses failing to live up to them as proof that she is a fraud.
The Superwoman. The superwoman feels like she has to be more than human. Super Woman feel like they have to work harder, achieve more, and be strong and positive the entire way.
The Natural Genius. The natural genius believes that they should be good at everything they try right away.
The Soloist. The soloist feels like she has to do everything on her own and that asking for help is a sign of weakness which reveals their fraud.
The Expert. The expert has defined her identity by what she knows.
Finally, we went through 5 ways you can deal with Imposter Syndrome from quieting the mind to acting as if.
Dealing with Imposter Syndrome is a process.
But if you stick to the steps we shared with you in this article, you will be able to quiet that little voice that says you’re a fraud once and for all.
How Can We Help?
Technology can cause a lot of Imposter Syndrome for Mompreneurs.
Not knowing how to do things like create web pages, design marketing funnels and creating an online course can make you feel like a complete fraud.
Even worse it can keep you from starting.
That’s why we designed Kajabi to be easy to understand and use.
We want you to understand how everything in your business works!
Even if you don’t have any background in technology and have tried and failed with other systems.
But we don’t stop there!
Because we want you to be successful we also offer 24/7 customer support from our award-winning team of customer success experts.
We also give you a step by step plan for going from an idea to making your first $1,000.
We call it the 28-day challenge and you can try it out for free.
With the 28-day challenge, we will show you EXACTLY how to create a website, a product and a marketing funnel so you’ll be ready to go in just 28 days.
Check out the 28-day challenge, and see how easy it can be to master Kajabi and feel confident about your business!
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