Battling imposter syndrome & unlocking your superpowersEntrepreneurshipMindsetTalent ResourceFounder Resource
Imposter syndrome is that sneaky self-doubt monster that creeps up on us, making us question our own abilities. It’s that nagging feeling of being a fraud, even when we’ve achieved great things. Instead of celebrating our successes, we brush them off as luck or a fluke, never truly giving ourselves the credit we deserve. It’s like having an unwelcome companion on our journey, whispering in our ear that we’re not good enough. Most of us are familiar with this phenomenon, especially if, like me, you are a woman and from a diverse cultural background. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Doubting yourself impacts your chance of success. As startup founders and sweat equity investors, lack of confidence in our abilities can make us less willing to take risks, more likely to give up when the going gets tough, and more prone to making poor decisions.
The good news is that it is not only possible to overcome these nagging doubts, but challenging that ‘unwelcome companion‘ will improve your chances of success in the long run.
Here are some useful tips to unlocking your inner superpowers and battling imposter syndrome.
Call imposter syndrome out!
Recognizing when we are experiencing imposter syndrome is the first step. Yes, it can be difficult to admit, but acknowledging those pesky feelings is a strong start.
Name it – does your nagging voice have a name? Sometimes giving a playful name to your nagging imposter syndrome gremlin is a way of acknowledging and disarming self-doubt. Perhaps yours is Nagging Nigel, Doubtful Debbie, Nervous Nelly, Critical Cathy, Negative Nancy, Sabotaging Sam, or Worrying Walter.
Get a reality check
The power of our thoughts shouldn’t be underestimated, so it’s important to challenge them. Put your feelings to one side and focus on the facts. One positive way to do this is by writing the facts of the situations, stay with the concrete details, and reflect on your role. Acknowledge your skills, efforts, and expertise you bring to the table. Don’t minimize or downplay your contributions. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
Write it out. Writing is a tried and tested way of working through your specific challenges. Don’t have time? Set a timer for 10 mins using a prompt like: What are the facts? What have I achieved? What are my skills? Who do I help?
Find your tribe
Surround yourself with a supportive network of family, friends, and colleagues who will be your cheerleaders and champions (and vice versa). They can provide encouragement, feedback, and perspective that can help you gain confidence and overcome self-doubt.
Connect with others. The Sweqlink community offers connection with founders and talent. Becoming a member is just one small step away. Best of all, it’s quick, easy, and completely free to sign up.
Use imposter syndrome to fail forward
This may sound counter-intuitive, but this is the idea of learning from failures and using them as stepping stones for growth and progress. Embrace your failure as a valuable teacher. This will help you build resilience and a positive mindset.
Spend time reflecting on your experiences, what went wrong, what went right, and how would you do it differently next time.
Celebrate the little wins
Recognize all the milestones along your journey, no matter how small. Don’t underestimate the value of all the small and seemingly minor achievements you make. Celebrating your wins creates a sense of progress and motivates you to keep pushing forward towards larger, longer-term goals. This can be significant in building confidence, motivation, and fuelling future success.
Share your success with a supportive member of your network. At Sweqlink, we would love to hear about your wee wins, tag us @sweqlink across your social media platforms
Remember, you’re not alone in experiencing imposter syndrome, and it doesn’t define your worth or who you are. Yes, it may creep in from time to time, but hopefully now you are armed with a bit of knowledge and a few tips to combat it, you can tackle it head-on.
You’ve got this! Keep shining and don’t let that pesky self-doubt monster dim your light.