What's Imposter Syndrome Anyways? Imposter Syndrome can be one of the most debilitating mindset wobbles holding you back from growing your online business. It can stop you dead in your tracks and keep you stuck for days, weeks or even months on end… Preventing you from building the business you love (and putting you on the fast track to quitting this whole entrepreneurial thing to go back to your day job. Ugh!)
Not to mention, Imposter Syndrome causes tons of unnecessary anxiety! Which is no fun! So if you're an entrepreneur, wondering what's the cure and how to overcome Imposter Syndrome once and for all... You're in the right place.
The key lies in being able to recognize it and knowing how to shift it. Fast.
Especially if you want to build (or scale) your dream business, and not only BE successful but FEEL successful too!
Because Imposter Syndrome can masquerade as many things: feeling that dreaded anxiety rising up inside you, feeling unsure of yourself, doubting yourself, feeling not good enough, or fear of failing or not being liked, feeling like a fraud etc.)
Problem is, so many coaches talk about imposter syndrome and how important your mindset is. But very few coaches know how to identify the root cause.
So if you’re ready to ditch imposter syndrome and step into your most confident boss-babe self, then it’s time to get down to the root.
Here are six sneaky ways imposter syndrome can be holding you back and blocking your success in your online business. And how to shift it. Fast.
1. Starting A New Business Or Launching A New Offer.
Whether you're a brand new coach, consultant, or service provider, just starting your business; or if you’ve been in business a while and you’re launching a brand new offer, it's normal and natural for imposter syndrome to show up. This is because you're promising to do something that you haven't done before.
And there’s never a 100% guarantee that everything you do will always work.
I don’t know a single entrepreneur who hasn’t had some concern around launching a new offer before. And for the more seasoned entrepreneurs, it doesn’t even have to be a brand new offer. Imposter syndrome can also be triggered when you’re launching one of your offers in a NEW FORMAT...
Offering a group program for the first time…
Or launching a new course, mastermind or membership…
Or adding a DIY section to your done-for-you business…
But here’s the thing to remember, anytime you’re doing something new; it’s going to stretch you. And that’s totally normal.
So if you’re struggling with feeling all the feels when launching something new, here are three ways to ditch your imposter syndrome and build your business with absolute confidence:
1. EVIDENCE LOGGING:
One of my clients came to me. She had been stuck for eight months. She was a new business coach and was super skilled! When we started working together, she had already mapped out her message, her offers, her website, her branding... everything was on point. But she couldn’t get clients, because she felt like an imposter saying she was a business coach when she’d never coached someone before... But she had already grown a six-figure web design agency and booked it out solid with a 3 month waitlist. She was amazing at branding, copywriting, systems, and building offers. And she had all the experience, knowledge and skills to help others do the same. Problem was, she thought she needed more strategy. But what she really needed was a mindset shift. So we worked on her imposter syndrome using evidence logging to shift it. She had to lean into the evidence that she was already good enough to be successful as a business coach. And once she believed it, it became easier to step into the discomfort of getting visible and sharing her value… And the results followed. She signed her first high-ticket client within one week of sharing her offer! And another the following week. Just like that, after 8 months of staying stuck.
If this is you, ask yourself:
Where can I find evidence supporting my skills, knowledge, capability in doing this new venture, from my past or previous experiences? Where can I find evidence that shows me that I will be able to figure this out! That I will be able to serve these clients well… Write down every single thing that gives you credibility: all your knowledge, credentials, experience, skill sets, personality traits etc - every single thing that contributes to your ability to deliver this result. Write it down on paper and read it often! Hourly if needed! This is exactly what my client did to overcome her imposter syndrome! (Finally!)
2. THE 3:3:3 RULE:
Okay, so what do you do if you really want to do something, but you don’t have evidence in other areas (yet!) to feel comfortable offering this service? Ask yourself:
How can I get the experience that I need, to feel comfortable making this offer a success going forward?
Do I need to upskill?
Do I need to do it for myself first?
Do I need to help a few clients for free to up my expertise and gain testimonials?
Remember, the more competent you feel, the more confident you’ll feel. And confidence is 90% of the game won.
One of the easiest ways to get started or to launch a new offer is to follow the 3:3:3 rule. 3 free. 3 at cost. 3 at 75%. Then you’ll have at least 9 clients who can share awesome testimonials and you can charge full price thereafter.
And the better results you get, the more you can continue to raise your prices. Now, I know some people get scared off by the idea of working for free. But this is actually one of the fastest methods to get your foot in the door, grow your experience and get fabulous testimonials. And nothing beats a powerful testimonial when you’re selling your offers and charging your worth! That’s exactly how I started my coaching business. I did a giveaway, and then did more than 30 hours of free coaching with 5 different clients, before I started charging. It was a great way to kickstart my business. Within a month, I had gained a ton of experience, had great testimonials and as a bonus, two of those clients converted into paid clients. Oh and in the nature of giving credit where credit is due: this magical 3:3:3 rule was something that I learned from one of my coaches, JT Foxx. Thanks JT!
3. BETA PROGRAMS:
Another great way to launch a new offer is by offering a beta round. This allows you to build your solution while working with clients. Which means you build a better program, because those clients are building it with you. And they're getting better results, because you can adjust the program to meet their needs as you go. This ultimately means you can grow a better, stronger, more profitable program that gets people faster results in the next round. Aaand you’ll be able to charge your premium prices next time round, because you already have proof that your clients get great results with that program. BOOM!
2. Raising Your Prices.
This one is a biggie! Money has always been taboo and has so many emotions and conflicting beliefs tied to it. This means it’s easy for pricing to result in some form of imposter syndrome.
This can have you lowering your prices, undercharging your value, constantly struggling to sell or even worse, making you hate selling so much that you eventually quit. Which is why it's super important to be able to identify the root cause of what's creating your imposter syndrome and money related anxiety. This can look like deep diving into your limiting beliefs around money and creating new beliefs. And one of the best places to start - is getting sold on YOU. And the VALUE you are offering. Here’s the thing:
If you do not believe in the value of the transformation or service you are selling, at the price point you're charging, you will not be able to sell your offer. period.
Every sales call you have will feel hard.
You’ll think you need to be pushy and convince them of the value.
Or you’ll feel like you’re begging for their money and feel unworthy.
In order to raise your prices and truly charge your worth, YOU first have to be sold on the value yourself! YOU have to be saying “Oh my goodness, this offer is so amazing, I would buy it myself!” Aaaand you have to believe that it’s sooo darn good, that you would pay at least 3-5 times, if not 10 times the price, for this service or offering. Because it’s that valuable!!
When YOU believe in the value of your offer, that’s when it’s easy to “sell.” And that’s when it’s easy to raise prices. Because: You're not trying to push someone into something. You're not trying to convince them of anything. You're not praying they’ll buy. You just show up radiating confidence, sharing about this fantastic way you can help your clients achieve their desired result by working together.
Because you believe, with absolute certainty, in the value you are offering.
And so, when your price is aligned with the value of the transformation or service you’re giving - that’s when it becomes a HELL YESSSSS offer - because it’s a no brainer. It perfectly solves the problem your client wants to resolve.
3. Not Holding Space For The Messy Middle (This one’s for all my coaches)
As a coach, you’re great at helping clients get results. But getting to those results isn’t always smooth sailing. You see, coaching almost always has this messy middle piece where things get harder before they get easier. This is where the resistance and blocks show up.
And sometimes it's going to feel a little uncomfortable for the client as they work through this. And during this time, your clients are not always gonna love you, right?
So if you’ve always prided yourself on being ‘the nice one’ or ‘the one that everyone likes’ well this can have you spiraling somewhat.
This is when the doubt creeps in and you start questioning yourself. What if I could have done more? What if there was a better way? Maybe I should do some extra sessions with this client to help them… Maybe I need to fix my approach to save anyone else from going through this discomfort again…
And so, as soon as a client is struggling with something, you immediately take it to mean that you’re doing something wrong. You have to fix this. They must think you’re a terrible coach. And you have to find a better way to help them.
When really, you have to allow that person the space to process and work through their sh*t and be there to guide them and support them in that.
You have to accept that growth sometimes takes a little discomfort. And trust that your client will work it out and you will guide them through it.
Funny thing is, most of the time, whatever it was, has resolved itself in a week or two and your client is back to singing your praises. Massive sigh of relief, right?! Because there was nothing to worry about in the first place. Discomfort in growth is normal!
But what if you could avoid all the fear, worry and ugly tears, while you were holding that space? What if you could trust that you’re doing a great job, and that this is a normal part of the journey?
This was a big one for me.
I never thought of it as imposter syndrome. But I definitely felt the anxiety rising in me, anytime a client was struggling.
I took it personally...
I almost quit coaching because of it.
Until I built up enough experience to know that this was a normal part of growth and stacked enough evidence to know that my clients always got through it and got the results.
Once I learned to own my worth, and I started trusting that holding space was exactly what my clients needed in that specific moment… that’s when things became much easier. And I started loving coaching, aaaand getting better results faster.
So if this is resonating with you, here are three tips to navigate through this: 1. SELF CARE.
It’s time to really solidify your self-worth. Spending time to really connect with yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. Become your very own cheerleader. Remind yourself that you are worthy!
2. EVIDENCE STACKING + CELEBRATING.
Write down all the ways you’re helping your clients. Each week, write down those wins, the good moments, the positive things that clients said etc. Then celebrate them. Big or small. Keep building that list and read it whenever you’re having a wobble. It’s so easy to forget our wins and only focus on the things that are going wrong. Looking at this evidence stack will not only help you to see how incredible you are, but remind you that you’re getting a lot more “right” than “wrong.”
3. SEEING YOUR CLIENTS AS COMPETENT ADULTS.
When your client is having a hard week, remember that holding space for them to work through things is often all it takes. This is empowering them and trusting that they’re “big” enough to figure things out for themselves.
And remember, even butterflies have to struggle to leave the cocoon, because that struggle is what makes their wings strong enough to fly.
Your job is to hold space to guide them through it. Not to do the work for them.
4. Over-Owning Your Part In The Transformation
Okay. So this brings me to taking complete ownership and responsibility for your client’s results.
This is applicable to both coaches aaand service providers but with different nuances so I’ve split this into two examples. Read the one applicable to you.
Let's say you're a fitness coach, and you're trying to help somebody lose weight. You tell your client what to eat and how to exercise.. You share all the tips and tricks, the latest advice, and even work on their mindset... but no matter what you do, this client just isn’t getting anywhere. Eventually, they leave and you feel guilty because you didn’t get them a result. And that’s a problem. Because if you make it mean something about you and your coaching, you’re going to spiral out. This can spill over into your other client relationships and you can start doubting and self-sabotaging. Even if you’ve helped plenty of other clients. So let’s clear this up right away shall we.
Hardly anyone ever talks about this. But the truth is, throughout your career, you’re going to get some clients you just can’t help, no matter what you do, because they aren’t showing up for the process.
Going back to the example of the fitness coach.
You can give your clients everything they need to be successful. But you can't do the push ups for them. Right?! You can't physically get on the ground and do the push ups. You can't stop them putting the cookies in their mouth.
So, at some point you have to realize that you cannot take ownership for the results.
Yes, you have to take responsibility for providing a proven process that can get them results. But they have to implement it. You can guide and course correct, but they have to do the work.
So it’s really, really important to check yourself by asking:
What is my role here?
Did I give them the best guidance I could?
Is this client showing up and doing the work, or am I trying to do the push-ups for them?
2. DONE-FOR-YOU SERVICE PROVIDER:
Now, if you're a done for service provider, then you are 100% responsible for the delivery.
But even service providers can fall into the trap of ‘over ownership’ through over delivering. I see soooo many service providers fall into this trap. And it’s hurting them and their business.
Let’s say you’re a website designer. You know that many people want a website to help them get more clients. And as a website designer, you are responsible for creating a beautiful, functional website.
You’re not responsible for writing the copy.
And you’re not responsible for creating your client’s freebies (aka lead magnets) etc.
Buuut, if you’re not fully confident in your role, it can be easy to over-step your role. E.g. You may see that your client doesn’t have a great freebie. And you know they will struggle to get clients from it. So you start thinking maybe you should create a freebie for them, or include training on how to create freebies as part of your package.
This kind of scope-creep really costs you.
You’re not charging for this scope creep, which means you’re no longer charging your worth. You’re struggling to take on other clients because you're so busy. You’re working way too long… and it starts to damage your self trust.
So check yourself on the over ownership…
Are you going overboard with over-delivery?
Why are you doing it? What’s the fear behind this?
What are you wanting from that person? How can you give that to yourself?
Super, super, super important.
5. Reaching A New Level In Your Business (like hitting 6 figures and wanting more…)
The biggest myth plaguing the entrepreneurial world is thinking that the pro-entrepreneurs have it all figured out. You know, if you're already earning six figures, you'll never have imposter syndrome… right?! Wrong! That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Okay - I know you're thinking - wait what's imposter syndrome got to do with high achievers? Here's the thing:
Any time you’re levelling up; whether it's going from zero to successful entrepreneur, scaling from six figures to multi-6-figures, or making your first cool million. Every new level comes with an identity shift. Which means new challenges and unchartered territory. And for every new level comes a new mindset devil. Well… actually it’s the same mindset devil in disguise.
It’s imposter syndrome rearing its head again.
Even people at the very top of their game can still be affected by imposter syndrome.
Take for example an Olympian athlete. This is somebody who already has tons of external validation.
And yet, they're constantly living in fear of people finally realizing that they're not that good. Or that they might not be able to repeat their incredible successes. And their biggest fear is becoming a failure.
Now, this is often a well kept secret, that these incredible high-achievers don't like to talk about it or admit. And a lot of this stems from not feeling good enough. (Are you seeing the pattern yet? Imposter Syndrome is just another mask for not feeling enough.) Which is why it’s really important to nurture our self-worth and focus on celebrating and owning our achievements. Not just for a fleeting moment, but as part of your identity…
Sometimes this is hard to do.
Because some of our biggest strengths can also be the things keeping us stuck.
Think about it like this:
Some of the biggest strengths these top-achievers have are their determination, always striving to be better and having a competitive edge. These are the exact traits that got them to where they are today. Buuuut, these are also the exact traits that can cause their imposter syndrome.
You see, having a perfectionist streak and a competitive edge is neither good nor bad... It just comes down to whether it is serving you or hindering you in the given moment?
For example, if you're always looking at the competition, and criticizing yourself, or judging yourself… thinking “Oh gosh, what if they beat me? What if I don't do as well? What if my next launch isn't as good? What if she made seven figures but I only made six? What if… what if… what if,” right? All that constant comparison can really eat away at your self trust and your self confidence and leave you feeling like an imposter.
So if you’re a high achieving entrepreneur, and you're feeling that pressure to always be the best or to always be at the top of your game, and you're not sure how to deal with that, then I want you to know, you're not alone. There are many famous actresses, athletes, musicians and business professionals also dealing with this.
And you should also know, perfectionism, competition, drive and ambition are amazing things. But keep them in check.
When is this serving me? And when is this hindering me?
Here are three top tips to overcome imposter syndrome at every level (finally!)
1. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
The second thing is to really celebrate your wins. Make it a habit to really lean into celebrating yourself. Congratulate yourself. Less comparing and criticizing and striving for absolute perfection… and more cheerleading yourself: That was great. I did a good job today. That didn’t go quite as I planned, but it's okay because I learnt from it and I’ll do better next time.
2. FEEL THE FEELS
Allow yourself to feel all the feels. If you had a good launch, but a little part of you thinks you could have done better. Acknowledge it. Aaaand celebrate it. You get to feel both. Don’t just say “I should be happy” because that leads to guilt. Rather admit that you were a little disappointed… feel it and move through it. Aaaand then celebrate what you DID accomplish!
3. CONNECT WITH OTHER HIGH ACHIEVERS
Connect with other high-achievers, and make space for talking about these things. This is key, because they get the feels you’re feeling - ‘cause they’re going through it too! Just having someone to share with can be so helpful and profoundly life changing.
6. STRETCH GROWTH:
Last, but not least is Stretch Growth.
Ultimately, in life and in business, anytime you're stretching into a zone of discomfort, you can feel imposter syndrome creeping in. Because it's unfamiliar. It's different from what you've done before.
This can be anything from getting visible online, to doing your first live, recording a webinar, hiring a team member (and finally being a CEO) to doing your first or 27th sales call... Any time you're doing something new - you're stretching. And this can easily trigger anxiety, imposter syndrome and more, keeping you frozen.
Which means it’s important to build your “growth muscle” and get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
This helps you to build up evidence showing you can do anything, you can be resourceful, you always figure it out. And when your brain knows and believes that - then it applies that to all new situations. Which means you always TRUST yourself - because you know YOU ALWAYS FIGURE IT OUT.
That doesn’t mean you won’t still feel uncomfortable, because you will. But you’ll be able to navigate through it instead of staying stuck or giving up. So how do you build this “growth muscle?”
1. THE LITTLE THINGS COUNT:
Start with the little things, like “Oh, I'm not used to cooking, I don't normally cook. Let me go and get a little bit uncomfortable today and cook a new dish for dinner. (Italian, Indian, Thai… whatever takes your fancy… lean into the stretch!) “I’ve never been horse riding. I've always wanted to try it.” Go and do it.
2. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS
Start watching the words you tell yourself and the pictures you put in your mind. And start telling yourself
“See, I always figure it out. See, everythings always working out for me.
Ooooh, this will be a fun experiment… I’m always growing and learning. I love being in stretch mode. I'm good at stretching. I'm good at being uncomfortable. I love being uncomfortable.
It means I'm growing…”
Remember - your thoughts turn into words and into actions. And if you're thinking fearful, anxious thoughts - you're not going to be taking bold courageous action. And building a successful online business takes lots of bold, courageous, messy, massive action!
So there you have it, the six sneaky ways imposter syndrome blocks you from growing your online business and how to overcome it.
Starting A New Business Or Launching A New Offer.
Raising Your Prices.
Not Holding Space For The Messy Middle.
Over-Owning Your Part In The Transformation.
5. Reaching A New Level In Your Business (& Still Wanting More)
Tell me, which of the six sneaky imposter syndromes are you working on right now? What's your favourite tip for ditching imposter syndrome? Share with me in the comments below!
Wait... What's Imposter Syndrome Again? (Yeah - that feeling when you just crushed it!!)