Making It Know

How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome While Launching Your Business

When launching a new business, many new stressors come into play. From designing your logo, to establishing an LLC, to securing a brick and mortar location, entrepreneurship requires daily decisions that may leave first-time business owners second-guessing themselves.

No matter how much core confidence you have, self-doubt and uncertainty are part of the process of launching your own project. Left unchecked, those feelings of uncertainty can become a cycle of negativity, often referred to as impostor syndrome.

Read on for tools to overcome self-doubt as a small business owner or solo entrepreneur. 

What is impostor syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is an extreme form of self-doubt about your capabilities, talent, self-worth, and success — and no one is immune.

Even if someone has external markers of success — such as meeting revenue goals, having great client testimonials, seeing strong monthly sales, or booking speaking engagements — it’s still possible for impostor syndrome to affect them.

Since successful people are often attempting new challenges outside of their current comfort levels, it’s natural for feelings of inadequacy or underqualification to show up as they continue to develop and strengthen new skill sets. Nearly everyone is “underqualified” when they first try something new, but that’s why it’s essential to start — no matter how scary it may feel. 

The most important thing to remember when launching a new business is this: impostor syndrome isn’t actually reality. The self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy are not reflective of who you are, and there are ways to combat the frequency and intensity of impostor-driven thoughts so confidence grows alongside your business.

Here are three tools for overcoming impostor syndrome:

Quantify accomplishments

Counteract impostor syndrome by backing up accomplishments with facts and data. While external accomplishments aren’t the only way to gauge success, they can be a good place to start when it comes to resetting internal dialogue. 

Try writing down something professional or personal that brings feelings of pride, so you have tangible reminders of your achievements and progress. Some examples are:

  • Positive client testimonials

  • Professional accomplishments

  • Selfless acts of service 

  • Highest monthly revenue number

  • New personal record that’s been reached or surpassed

Practice confidence

Confidence is necessary when launching businesses, but impostor syndrome drains it. Confidence is a skill that needs to be practiced in order to combat the negative thought process that characterizes impostor syndrome.

Affirmations are a useful way to develop and reinforce confidence. Affirmations are positive phrases repeated to oneself (either silently or out loud), in order to create new neural pathways in cognitive functioning. Affirmations are the act of practicing a new way of thinking, and they work well at stopping impostor syndrome.

If positive affirmations don’t feel authentic, neutral affirmations can be a good place to start. Examples of neutral affirmations are:

  • Today’s going to be fine.

  • One foot in front of the other.

  • I’m doing great.

  • I’ve got this.

  • I will be okay.

The idea is to remain consistent in the positive reinforcements so the thoughts driven by impostor syndrome become less frequent.

Remember resiliency 

You’ve already overcome so many challenges and mistakes, and with each lesson, you’ve grown as a person and business owner. While slip-ups can often feel like setbacks, they’re actually an essential part of the growth process. 

Not only do they show you where to optimize, but every single time you stand back up, you’re reminding yourself exactly how resilient, smart, and determined you truly are. It’s that trifecta of strength that will help you conquer impostor syndrome whenever it comes up.

With Squarespace Scheduling, you can streamline large pieces of your client onboarding process, removing the guesswork so it all goes smoothly. Interested in helping yourself overcome the impostor-related doubts of seeming “professional” and look as good as you are?

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