I have been a serial entrepreneur all my working life and have run all sorts of different businesses in the past from MLM businesses, eBay businesses, a cleaning business and the list goes on…
But after the sale of what was supposed to be our dream forever business, I felt totally empty and lost. You see, that dream forever business had turned into a bit of a living nightmare and after a period of severe ill health over three months which culminated in a late miscarriage, a bout of pneumonia and an emergency operation to remove my gallbladder – we decided to throw in the towel and move on – this led me to believe that being in business was not for my husband and me after all – so with a heavy heart I admitted defeat and got a ‘proper job’
A job that I absolutely fell in love with, I had mapped out my dream and career goals and everything was set – although it was far from plain sailing my health suffered a lot, partly due to the health issues I had experienced at the pub I believe but I was sure that with hard work, I would be happy, even though deep down I knew that something was missing… and then came the redundancies and I stupidly thought I would be okay I was pregnant with my third child and redundancy was not even on my radar!
Stupidly, it was not on my radar because of course, I was made redundant along with quite a few of my fellow colleagues!
And redundancy hit me really hard, shortly after I had a newborn baby to deal with, no time to sit around and be depressed or trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life especially when I was so angry – now I recognise that I was angry at myself actually! The one thing I was certain about was that no one was ever going to be in control of my worth again but something just didn’t add up I was all of a sudden plagued by self-doubt and a little voice in my head telling me that I couldn’t do this or that now – every idea I came up with was torn to shreds and not by anyone else but by me!
You see at that point Imposter syndrome was something I had never heard of!
It never even occurred to me that what I was feeling actually had a name… that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that little voice on my shoulder, the self-doubt, the anxiety, the dread I was feeling every time I had to do something even remotely outside of my comfort zone had a name!
Imposter syndrome – jeez it even sounds harsh when you say it out loud.
You see once the things I was feeling after the redundancy had a name it became much more real – rather than just some random bunch of feelings that I just couldn’t quite put my finger on!
When I started to hang out in the online world and was able to put a label on it, this was when the hard work really started – because I knew that I had to beat it, I was ready to step into my light and wave goodbye to the self-talk fairy but boy oh boy is she persistent!
See this is something I know to be true, every time I uplevel in my business or in my personal life she is there once again waving at me and singing in my ear!
Who are you to do this?
You know it’s useless, no one will buy that?
NO one is coming along for the ride
Don’t be so ridiculous you are not qualified to do/say that
In the last few years I have gotten massively into self-development and now really understand the importance of mindset and how it is always a work in progress – never a goal to be reached or completed.
I was listening to a podcast recently and the lady being interviewed was talking about mindset in business and she was talking about another level, another devil and it got me thinking how true this is – every time I get that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach I know it’s time to uplevel again, we can peel back the layers to reveal the next step or we can cut through the pain that it brings even if that makes us cry for a little while, of course, that subsides and we get comfortable again. Our comfort zones always catch up in the end!
Imposter Syndrome is something that I know lots of people struggle with, and it manifests itself in ways that you would not even imagine… for the people that approach me for support it often shows up as the need for perfection, fear of embracing tech or hiding from being visible in their biz!!
Sometimes it is all about the baby steps that you have to take in order to move forwards
But after dealing with Imposter syndrome a lot in my business (usually every time I am ready to uplevel) here are the things I know to be true:
Recognise it for what it is – that little voice is just there to keep you safe, to keep you inside your comfort zone, where nothing ever grows by the way!
Decide if you are going to peel that layer slowly and sit with it for a while or just say no to listening to that little fairy and cut straight through to the next layer
Surround yourself with your cheerleaders – those people who cheer you on no matter what, those that call you out on your BS, those that don’t let you wallow – these are your cheerleaders and this is what I know to be true ~ it is these people that will totally help you to squash that self-talk and move you on to the next stage
Journal – for me this is a biggie. Journalling allows me to identify if that little doubt in my mind is actually real or is it my brain just trying to keep me stuck and therefore safe! For me, I was always telling myself that my business would never grow beyond a certain point because I don’t have a degree, so now I collect all those positive words from people and clients as an evidence base – I know now, that little piece of self-talk is an absolute crock of crap because I have the evidence to say otherwise – so if gathering evidence to prove something is a lie helps you then do it!
Know when to bring in the professionals – this could be in the shape of a business coach or someone in the medical field but know when you need more help that it is totally okay to ask! My anxiety at points has been crippling, to the point where I couldn’t even discuss the possibility of changing my business name, just the thought of it had me sobbing in a room full of women I had never met, luckily an amazing lady who has since become a wonderful friend helped me through that. But, at some points, I have needed medical intervention for anxiety and depression.
Mindset work really works – I promise! Working on your mindset is something that will massively help you to overcome Imposter syndrome. This may come in the form of reading self-help books, listening to podcasts, working with a coach who specialises in rapid transformation therapy.
Watch your words – Would you say the things you are saying to yourself to a friend, your children, your spouse or another family member – NO? Then why would you say them to yourself beautiful? Words can hold such power so please be careful with the words you are using to yourself – they really do have the ability to determine everything you believe in.
Now, I know many women suffer from imposter syndrome and it is something that seems to be much more common in women. And I really know what a struggle it can be when you are in the thick of that uncomfortable feeling but what I will say is that with a lot of hard work I have learned to get comfortable with that feeling and greet it like an old friend now when it arrives because I now know that it means that change and growth are just around the corner – and really when that finally happens, it is a wonderful thing and never something to be feared.
If only I had learned this back in my teens, my life would have been much easier and a lot less stressful – but now that is a whole different story!