So you’ve got started on this exciting journey of building your own Business. You’ve been making some sales, you’re getting some engagement on Social Media and everything seems to be lovely jubbly…….
The sales stop. The Social Media engagement goes down. And the panic sets in.
Then you hear buzz words like ‘Imposter Syndrome’ thrown around and you wonder if that’s what you have.
& there’s a good chance that you do. Not because you’re not good enough, or because you’re too old or stupid or not experienced enough, but just because ‘Imposter Syndrome’ affects pretty much all Women in Business at some point.
So, now that you know it’s perfectly normal to suffer from self doubt and fear, here are 6 ways to know for sure whether you’re experiencing that dreaded ‘Imposter Syndrome’ (Number 4 will definitely be blocking your income!). I’ll also introduce you to The Inner Critics. I’m pretty sure you’ll have at least one of these girls hanging around in your brain at the moment...
Imposter Syndrome Sign No. 1
You regularly ask yourself questions like ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Do I know enough?’ ‘Can I actually do this?’, ‘Am I experienced enough?’.
Perhaps you think you should be doing more Live videos on Social Media as you’ve heard that builds a real connection with your potential customers but worry that you don’t know enough to appear the ‘Expert’.
Or maybe you’ve had an idea for a new product but just before you hit send on the email to tell people about it, you stop yourself, asking whether you should add more to it, is it valuable enough?
Or you’re setting your Goals for the next few months but when looking at them written down you just don’t really believe that you’ll be able to achieve them.
If any of these sound familiar then let me introduce you to your Inner Critic - Doubtful Donna
Imposter Syndrome Sign No. 2
You find yourself scrolling through Social Media looking at what everyone else is doing (even those not in your Industry or with completely different audiences and potential clients and customers).
You waste hours looking at your competition, seeing how many Followers they have, how pretty their photos are, you then click through to their website and wow it’s so professional! Yours could never look like that. And you feel pretty fed up so turn the computer off after an hour and look for the biscuits…..
You might also be feeling that it’s not fair that other people are luckier than you or just seem to ‘get it’ when you can’t.
If that’s the case, let me introduce you to another of The Inner Critics - Comparison Carla
Imposter Syndrome Sign No. 3
You worry about what people think pretty much most of the time. ‘Will they think this is good?’, ‘What if they don’t like it?’, ‘Will they think it’s too expensive?’, ‘Should I lower my prices?’, ‘What if they say something mean?’.
You want to make everyone happy because you can’t stand the idea of them thinking badly of you or maybe you just hate letting them down by saying no (even if it’s to something that doesn’t benefit you and your Business).
You agree to things and offer to help everyone else out even though your own business isn’t making the money you want it to.
You probably also don’t like making yourself too visible (i.e. going Live on Social Media, seeking out PR opportunities, setting up a Public Business Page…) because you hate the idea of feeling judged.
If this is you, then let me introduce you to your Inner Critic - People Pleaser Penny
You might want to note that when People Pleaser Penny shows up for you, she’s often followed by Doubtful Donna and Discount Debbie (see Imposter Syndrome Sign No.4)
Imposter Syndrome Sign No.4
You undercharge, discount and give stuff away.
You’ve created this beautiful product, course or program, put lots of love, time and hours into creating it and then it comes to putting a price on it to sell it. And you come up with an idea of a price (or, worse, you look at what others charge for similar things) and then feel that it’s probably too high for YOUR particular thing because you don’t have a qualification or you’ve only been running your business for a year and what if people can’t afford it and you could really do with the money coming in so if you make it much less you’ll have lots more people buying it….. And then feel a bit sick when you start promoting it anyway as you’re worried that people will still think it’s too high and so when you haven’t made a sale in the first day you assume it’s too expensive and offer a ‘flash sale’ out of panic.
Sound familiar? Let me introduce you to another of The Inner Critics - Discount Debbie
By the way, when you have Discount Debbie rattling around in your Brain, Doubtful Donna usually makes an appearance fairly quickly too.
Imposter Syndrome Sign No. 5
You’re easily distracted, you don’t finish projects or see things through.
You’ve had a great idea for a new product, course or program. You’re excited, you take action and then…..something distracts you. There’s something else to be done. You start to question whether now is the right time. Maybe this other thing is more important and then you’ll come back to it. But you never quite do…
Or maybe you feel like you need to do ‘all the things’ but are so worried about whether they’ll all be perfect that you flit between tasks, decide that you probably need to read another book first or watch another training before taking action on them and they get added to your bucket of incomplete things.
Let me introduce you to another of The Inner Critics - Procrastinating Prue
Something to note is that when you have Procrastinating Prue in your head, it’s not long before Comparison Carla wants to join the party.
Imposter Syndrome Sign No. 6
You find it hard to accept compliments and praise from those around you.
It makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable when someone says something nice and you feel like you have to justify or explain…
‘Oh my haircut in my new Profile Pic? The Salon did it, I could never make it look this good on my own!’.
‘Oh you loved the social media post I wrote? I had a lot of help with it’‘.
You feel that talking about yourself is bragging or makes you seem arrogant and would much rather give compliments than accept them. Even when you’ve done a really awesome job and someone tells you so, you still feel you could have done more or better or quicker.
If this is you, then let me introduce you to the final Inner Critic - Humble Harriet
So there you have it, 6 ways to know for certain whether you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome and the Inner Critics that may be showing up for you.
Get clear on which of the Critics show up for you. You might recognise all of them at varying degrees or there may be one or two in particular that stand out for you as the ones that appear most often.
This Blog is not designed to make you feel bad, incompetant, scared or frustrated. It’s designed to get you some clarity on what might be holding you back. Clarity and awareness is always the first step - you can’t silence the Inner Critics until you know which ones you've got showing up for you.
To help you easily know which Critics you're dealing with, I've created this free PDF for you to download to your phone or print and keep on your desk so every time you feel blocked or stuck, take a look and see who might be rattling around in your Brain.