Learn what is Impostor Syndrome, why it shows up, and how you can deal with it. Plus, discover why you're the perfect fit for your clients right now.
A couple of years into my freelance business, I had trouble taking the next big bold step to move my business forward because I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I needed to transition my freelance business into a creative agency and struggled with all sorts of Impostor Syndrome negative self-talk.
Some of the things that ran through my head were:
- Why would someone ever hire me when there are so many other people who are more talented and more experienced?
- What are other people going to think and say? Who does she think she is?
- I don’t know enough yet. I’m not good enough yet. I need to learn more first and achieve more first.
Does that any of that sound familiar? My internal self sabotage was trying to take over my mindset for success and use intimidation and fear to hold me back. But luckily, I didn’t listen because I had a champion in my corner (my husband Brian) who shared something with me that completely changed the way I think about myself and business.
“There will always be someone fatter than you and someone thinner than you. There will always be someone richer than you and poorer than you. There will always be someone better than you and worse than you. There will always be someone who knows more than you and less than you. GET OVER IT.”
— Brian Bourn
This statement changed everything and it’s something every freelancer needs to hear. We are our own worst critics and are so much harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else — and it is damaging to our mindset for success, sales, marketing, client attraction, and business ownership.
Impostor Syndrome And Self-Sabotage
Whether I’m working with a new freelancer who is just starting a business or a seasoned freelancer with years of experience, Impostor Syndrome is a reality that needs to be dealt with and managed to prevent self-sabotage and the procrastination of progress toward a goal.
Impostor Syndrome is something I continue to deal with every time I step into the spotlight, speak at an event, deliver a webinar, show up to deliver a training, or walk into a live event. But over the years, I’ve learned how to deal with it and recognize it for what it is: a test.
Impostor Syndrome is a sign of how much you want something and how much something matters to you.
This is why it shows up before you’re about to take big bold action, before you put yourself out there in a big way or step into the spotlight, and during important transformational work that moves you and/or your business to the next level. It’s why it shows up before you step into a conference room full of industry professionals, before you step on stage to speak, or before a big important meeting.
Impostor Syndrome keeps showing up every time you’re ready to level up as a test to see if you’re ready and willing to do the work needed.
The Truth About Impostor Syndrome
Many freelancers, self-taught professionals, and business owners shy away from claiming any type of expertise, calling themselves an expert, stepping into the spotlight, or owning their authority because they’re afraid…
- Afraid of judgement
- Afraid of what people will say
- Afraid of someone discovering they’re a fraud or an impostor
- Afraid of making a mistake
- Afraid of being called out by a “real expert”
Here’s the deal:
Most freelancers believe there can only be one person who reigns supreme as the number one most knowledgeable expert in an industry. But that’s not true. In every industry, there are experts at all skill and knowledge levels and you are one of those experts.
If you’re good at what you do and you know more about it than someone else, you have a greater level of expertise in that area than others and to those who know less than you, you’re an expert.
Claiming your expertise doesn’t mean you’re claiming to be the best in the world, the only expert that exists, or even the premiere expert in your industry, it simply means you’re claiming to have more knowledge on a particular topic than someone else.
A true expert:
- Understands their current knowledge and skill levels.
- Knows their audience and offers help.
- Constantly learns from those who know more and are further along the same path so they can continue to grow and improve.
- Acknowledges their Impostor Syndrome as a sign of bold action and an upleveling of themselves or their business and takes action anyway to avoid self-sabotage.
What’s amazing is that there is more than enough business to go around and there is more then enough room for multiple experts to exist on the same subject. The trick is learning to be comfortable with your expertise, finding your unique position in the market, and working together with other experts to improve your industry and your businesses collectively.
So don’t get frustrated or feel insecure because there are people who know more than you do or have more experience than you do. Don’t delay taking action to achieve your goals and bring your big vision to life because of fear. Instead, own the expertise you have right now and learn from those who are ahead of you.
- There will always be someone fatter than you and someone thinner than you.
- There will always be someone richer than you and poorer than you.
- There will always be someone better than you and worse than you.
- There will always be someone who knows more than you and less than you.
Get over it! The number one reason to ditch Impostor Syndrome is that you are a perfect match for your clients just the way you are with the knowledge and expertise you have right now.
You are exactly what they need and you’ve got this.
Plus, I guarantee, while you look at other leaders or authority figures and feel Impostor Syndrome kicking in, someone else is looking at you and feeling the exact same way.