In my last blog, I talked about how entrepreneurs – people like you & me – can recognize and understand imposter syndrome. I left you with the idea that recognizing imposter syndrome and being aware of those things that may be driving it is a powerful first step toward conquering it as an entrepreneur.
And that’s all very true! ✅
But I know what you’re thinking – “Lisa, that’s all very well, but now that I’ve recognized and understood what’s going on… what can I do about it?” 💁♀️
Which is what I’m going to answer today. Right here. 👇
- Cultivating a Growth Mindset
But first, a quick question – have you ever heard of ‘fixed’ 🧊 and ‘growth’ 🌱 mindsets?
These terms, coined by Carol Dweck, are our first stopping point today.
The basic idea behind these terms is this: if you’re someone with a fixed mindset 🧊, you’re inclined to believe that the world – and your agency to change things in that world, including yourself – is essentially fixed.
In other words, you’re not someone who easily gives up old habits, or tries new things. You’re an enemy 🦹♀️ of the new – and by that, I mean new ideas and different approaches.
Which is fine… but it won’t get you very far if you’re a entrepreneur, let alone if you’re planning on becoming a soulful entrepreneur.
In opposition to this limiting, ‘do the same thing, get the same results’ thinking, soulful entrepreneurs are all about growth mindset. 🌱
Quite simply, having a growth mindset means adopting an optimistic perspective on what you can achieve through dedication, hard work, and staying resilient.
So, rather than “I can’t do something, period” (fixed mindset), the emphasis becomes “I can’t do it yet.”
Instead of impossibility, POSSIBILITY. 💪
How does this help you?
Put simply, by adopting a growth mindset, you’re allowing yourself to identify as someone who is capable of growth and improvement.
As someone who, rather than feeling constrained by their present (and likely misguided) belief that they’re an imposter in their own life situation… can in fact achieve great things being exactly where they are right now. 🎇
And if you can see your present situation in those terms, you might just be able to accept that your achievements – those things that led you to where you are now – aren’t just the result of potluck. 🤞 Maybe, just maybe, they’re the result of grit, hard work, merit…
As I said in my last post, there’s a very good reason you are where you are right now (and I’m not talking about geography 🌎 here!).
But to nail home the point: if you want to push past imposter syndrome – and this is especially important if you’re a soulful entrepreneur whose English is not their first language – you need to challenge your mindset. Now. 🤜
- Building Your Self-Confidence
Connected to having a growth mindset is… well, plain old believing in yourself. 🙌
I know, I know. It’s easier said than done.
So let’s try something – a quick growth mindset hack. Something to help you bring back that self-confidence.
Go grab a pen and a piece of paper (no snacks en route! Maybe I’ll allow a coffee…☕).
Ready? Okay, now I want you to sit down and think. 🤔
Specifically, I want you to think about 5 things 5️⃣ (or more, but definitely no less than five; it’s important not to cut corners here) that you’ve done in your lifetime that have made you proud. 🦚
Now I want you to write each one down. And next to each, write down why it has made you proud.
If this takes you some time to do, that’s okay. It’s important to get this right.
Great! Now, before we dive into the contents of your list, let me tell you why I just got you to do this.
As human beings, we have an innate tendency to look back at our pasts through a critical – and sometimes downright negative 📛 — lens. 🔍 Even the very best of us.
Which is ridiculous, when you think about it. Because it’s lopsided: it inhibits a balanced view – and therefore understanding – of our personal pasts, and instead gives emphasis to the more… negative stuff. ☹️
But by consciously emphasizing the positive things that have happened in our lives, we’re able to redress this balance – to correct this silly human bias. ⚖️
Which leads us back to your newly-created list… 📃
Now, I can’t read your list (though I’d love for you to share it with me!), but I’m guessing those items on your list all involve you making a decision. Taking some kind of action. Either proactively, or in response to something.
And since we’re talking about things that have made you proud, I’m betting your actions were good ones ✅ in the circumstances.
Am I right?
Thought so. 😉
Okay, now keeping top of mind all the good stuff you’ve just identified about yourself… I want you to look back at your present situation. The one where you see yourself as an imposter. 🥷
Now tell me: looking at your situation in the light of what we now know you can – and indeed have – achieved, is this a fair and balanced way of assessing you life now? (I’m especially thinking of you second-language English speaking entrepreneurs here.)
Is it really true that you’re as monstrously 👹 out of place as you’ve led yourself to believe?
Or is this just the same negative, glass-half-empty thinking that we discussed above?
If it is – and I’m telling you it is – then believe me when I say a) you’re not alone (seriously, you’re not), and b) this kinda thinking ain’t productive! ❌
So, soulful entrepreneur, I encourage you to try believing in yourself. Trusting in your own abilities. It’s what got you to where you are now, and it’s what will get you through this current phase.
And I promise you, it is just that: a phase. And a silly, very human – and very curable – state of mind. 🧠
- Developing Self-Compassion
The third, and possibly most important, thing we need to talk about is self-compassion. 💗
Do you treat yourself as your own best friend? 🤗
Are you really being fair to yourself when your imposter syndrome strikes and you can feel those hackles going up?
It’s very easy, as driven soulful entrepreneurs, to think 💭 about everything and everyone before us.
And the problem is… once this becomes a habit, it can be very difficult to suddenly put yourself first 🥇 – especially in situations where the mind is working against itself (such as self-doubt) 🤯… situations that really require you to ‘be there’.
Okay, so what do you suggest Lisa?
Well, quite simply, allow yourself some time ⏲️ each week to be… just you. No work. Just time, for you. To stand back, enjoy yourself, be with family and friends. 👨👩👧👦 To be able to look at your life’s situation from afar.
And yes, by that I mean even scheduling that time, if need be (this self-care resource is just the trick for that!). Because once you have, you’ll find being kind to yourself in this way will work wonders for your headspace and perspective.
And here’s the thing: imposter syndrome is pretty much entirely about perspective. 🔎
But how can you see the whole wood – that full and balanced perspective we talked about above – if you’re spending all your time concentrating on the individual trees? 🌲
Answer: you can’t. Step back. 🔙 Take some time.
Right! Anything else?
Yes! Once you step back and take that time, you may just start appreciating that time is exactly what it takes. ⏳
Let me explain.
Sometimes, feeling like an imposter can disappear 💨 once you’ve been in a particular role for a certain length of time (you’ll recall from my first blog post that this temporary feeling doesn’t technically constitute imposter syndrome, though it can be unsettling nonetheless).
In which case, being fair to yourself and allowing yourself some time to adjust to your role (especially if you’re a newly-turned entrepreneur) may be all you need to overcome that feeling and to achieve a growth mindset and a sense of self-confidence. 📈
To grow into what it is you’re doing. 🪴
But imposter syndrome, properly defined, is enduring – perniciously so. Once it takes hold, like knotweed, it can be hard to expose, let alone root out.
And if that’s the case, maybe you need a longer horizon. 🌄
A little more time to realize that it isn’t just you who feels like they’re running on an incline and not a flat. 🏃♀️
A little longer to realize that, even if you’re on an incline, you’re probably still keeping up. Because you’re amazing, and not some imposter. 🥇
And that’s okay. 🆗
But be honest with yourself. If you need more time – to adjust, to improve (at something), to feel comfortable doing whatever it is you’re doing – take it.
Because sometimes, time (not love!) is all you need.
In my next blog post, I’ll be giving you two 2️⃣ powerful social strategies to help you push past imposter syndrome.
Alternatively, if you’d like me to guide you through your personal struggle with imposter syndrome, reach out to me here. 🙋♀️
Not only have I helped countless soulful entrepreneurs like you overcome imposter syndrome, but I’d love to get to the heart of what’s holding you – and your business – back.
And hey, I’ve also got the perfect resource here to help you.
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