Minority-Owned Business Financing Gets a Boost From a New Fund

A certain level of self-awareness is necessary to be a successful business owner. However, when this self-awareness combines with a high level of analytical understanding and high cognitive ability, it becomes a breeding ground for self-criticism. At some point, many entrepreneurs will question their own abilities. And when the feeling of “I’ll eventually be found out” becomes pervasive, it signifies the presence of impostor syndrome.

One study found that
84% of entrepreneurs experience impostor syndrome, with those in leadership positions being particularly affected. It’s a problem that often affects new business owners, as they struggle with the belief that they are not good enough or incompetent, and fear being exposed as frauds.

Common symptoms of impostor syndrome are:

  • Self-doubt
  • Inability to realistically evaluate one’s own skills and competence
  • Setting excessively high self-imposed standards
  • Unconsciously sabotaging one’s own success
  • Perfectionism
  • Experiencing overload and burnout
  • Maintaining impossibly high self-expectations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of self-confidence

To gain a deeper understanding of the underlying causes, as well as strategies for overcoming this self-doubt, continue reading.

Causes of impostor syndrome

The “impostor phenomenon,” as it was originally called, was
first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Clance and Imes surveyed successful women who had officially been recognized for their professional achievements and found that many of these women believed that their success was due to luck or that their accomplishments were overrated. It should be noted that while women were the focus of this study, men are affected by this phenomenon as well.

As a life and business coach, I have observed that the origin of this syndrome often lies in childhood. Children whose parents were unable to instill enough self-worth in them often develop the belief that they can only earn love and recognition through performance. This causes pressure accompanied by fear of failure. Many parents expect too much from their children, and as adults, these children expect the same from themselves. The result is massive self-doubt.

People who consider themselves impostors often employ different coping strategies. Some lean towards perfectionism, exhibiting diligence and meticulousness in their work. They meticulously prepare every detail and leave nothing to chance. If these individuals achieve success, they see their approach as confirmation and become even more meticulous. Nothing is ever good enough for them.

Others resort to procrastination. Instead of focusing on their work, they worry and envision failure, embarrassment, and rejection. They constantly belittle themselves. Even if they achieve success, they do not acknowledge it and attribute it to luck.

Regardless of the chosen coping mechanism, the end result remains the same.

Overcoming impostor syndrome

To conquer impostor syndrome, follow these steps:

Step 1: Recognize negative behaviors

The first step toward improvement is recognizing the problem itself. Be aware of moments when you doubt your accomplishments. Question why it is difficult for you to acknowledge your own achievements. For example, do you compensate for self-doubt with an excessive focus on high performance? Or do you tend to procrastinate? Instead of ignoring doubts and fears, recognize them when they arise.

Step 2: Separate those feelings from facts

Remember that you are not defined by your thoughts or feelings. Even if you believe and feel that you are not as competent as other entrepreneurs, the reality may be quite different. Instead of fixating on perceived deficiencies, focus on your abilities.

Step 3: Appreciate your small successes

Your worth is not solely determined by major accomplishments, but also by the small successes that are often taken for granted. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate these moments.

Step 4: Embrace failures as opportunities

Failure does not define your worth. Even if you don’t achieve your goals, you retain your value. Avoid hiding failures and then feeling like an impostor. Instead, view failures as opportunities for growth. You may gain valuable insights for future endeavors or discover new paths you had not considered before. Allow yourself to fail.

Step 5: Accept compliments

If you struggle to accept compliments and downplay your achievements, it is likely due to feelings of insecurity. Appreciating your own accomplishments becomes even more challenging when you cannot accept appreciation from others. However, receiving compliments can contribute to building self-worth. Therefore, learn to accept compliments gracefully. After all, people give them for a reason.

Step 6: Seek support

Self-doubt is a universal experience. If it significantly affects your daily life and behavior, it is crucial to work on your self-perception. If you find it difficult to break free from negative thought patterns on your own, consider seeking coaching or mentoring to help change your behavior and strengthen your self-esteem.

As a new business owner, connecting with other entrepreneurs can also provide valuable support through shared experiences, reminding you that you are not alone. So, surround yourself with a supportive network.

Step 7: Understand that you don’t have to be special to succeed in business

Business owners are ordinary individuals without inherent extraordinary abilities. The skills required to build and lead a successful business can be learned and developed.

Imposter syndrome FAQs

How do people with imposter syndrome think?

People experiencing impostor syndrome often feel that despite their accomplishments and abilities, they are not truly competent. They tend to attribute their achievements to external factors or luck. Consequently, instead of recognizing their success, they downplay them feeling like frauds or impostors who fear others may uncover their perceived incompetence.

Do entrepreneurs have imposter syndrome?

Yes, entrepreneurs can also experience impostor syndrome. It can affect many successful entrepreneurs. Impostor syndrome tends to be particularly prevalent among entrepreneurs due to the risks they take, the responsibilities they carry, and the challenging environments in which they operate, constantly needing to prove themselves.

How do entrepreneurs overcome imposter syndrome?

Entrepreneurs can overcome impostor syndrome by acknowledging their own successes. Developing a deep awareness of their strengths and abilities is crucial, allowing them to resist the influence of self-doubt. Seeking connections with fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, or coaches provides opportunities to exchange experiences and gain support.

About the Author

Post by: Natja Böttcher

Natja Böttcher is a certified coach and writer from Germany. She helps ambitious job seekers in finding clarity in their career path, so that they can land their dream job to pursue their life vision.

Company: Natja Böttcher Coaching

Connect with me on

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

This post was originally published on this site