Imposter syndrome is alive and more rampant than ever when people think about marketing themselves online. In fact, according to Psychology Today 70 per cent of people will experience it at some point in their lives. For business owners who know they need to start putting themselves out there, it can lead to self-doubt, anxiety and stress.
The common piece of advice is to ‘Fake it till you make it’. However, for business owners who already feel like ‘everyone’ else knows more and is more experienced than them, it can lead to thoughts like: “Why would anyone even listen to me, anyway?”.
The problem with advice like this, is that it validates the thinking that you’re not good enough right now. Rather than faking it till you make it, there are some steps you can undertake right now, to bolster your confidence, banish the self-doubt and recognise that you already know enough.
When you follow the steps following, you’ll be able to get yourself out there with confidence and certainty.
Step 1: Acknowledge your experience
Many business owners forget that they have had lives and experience outside of what they’re doing right now. It’s like life amnesia! The first thing you can do, is to remind yourself of how much you’ve done and learned along the way.
The first step is to go back to when you were between 15 and 20 years of age. What were you doing in that five-year bracket? What were you studying? What jobs did you have? Were there any pivotal moments that you can recall? Repeat the same for each five-year bracket until you get to the age that you are now.
For instance, you may have had 3 jobs between 15-20 and then in your early twenties started a new career and or graduated from University. Perhaps your first child was born, or you went overseas on a working holiday.
All these things serve to remind you that you have a wealth of life experience that you bring to the table, thus bolstering your confidence.
Step 2: How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Most people decide to start up a business in an area that they’re passionate about. What got you into doing what you do now? Why did you want to do this as a business and what steps did you take to make it work?
Step 3. Own your knowledge about your product or service
This is where you work out how you articulate that you are an expert at what you do, regardless of how long you’ve been in business for.
One of the fastest ways for you to establish confidence in yourself rather than ‘faking it till you make it’ is to find a way to document your thoughts about what you do and why you do it. There is a process that you have been through in order for you to get to where you are today.
For example, in order for you to be VISIBLE online, you need to move from feeling invisible (like you’re singing in the shower) to growing your confidence and certainty about your message so that you can share that the appropriate audience. From there, you become the Rockstar of your industry and can create influence.
What are the three or four main stages or steps that you work through in order for you to do what you do? (For example, if you’re a personal trainer: You help people identify exactly where they are now and what their goals are. Then, you help them to see what’s been getting in the way of them achieving that. From there, you can build an action plan for them and then provide the support, so they achieve their desired results).
When you have these three to four stages mapped out, you can then go deeper into each of these stages. You will start to see that you know so much more than you gave yourself credit for.
The bottom line is this: in order for you to create confidence, you need to find and create a sense of certainty. Follow the three steps and you’ll no longer need to feel like you need to fake it till you make it. Why? Because you’ll be sharing things that you can advocate for.