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Imposter syndrome hits everyone at some point, especially when you’re trying something new!  Today we’re talking about how squash that doubting Thomas in your head so you move forward and be your awesome self.

What is Impostor Syndrome?  

It’s this feeling that you’re not talented enough, smart enough, or just… enough to do what you want to do.  As though you’ve only succeeded so far because of luck, not talent. It’s a fear that at any moment you’re going to be exposed as a fraud.

Check out Valerie Young’s book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

What does Impostor Syndrome Look like?

Impostor syndrome presents in many different ways, so the first step to beating it is figuring out how you’re letting it affect you.

  • Perfectionists set extremely high standards for themselves, then deride themselves if they don’t meet them all.  Even if they meet 99% of their goals, they feel like a failure. Perfectionists use a lack of perfection as an excuse not to put their offer out there or even make any movement at all.
  • Experts feel that you aren’t qualified, or true “experts”.  You feel like you have to know everything before you can help anyone.  Experts often postpone putting your selves out there by taking more courses, certifications, etc. so you feel expert enough to help people.
  • Natural Geniuses are used to being what we’d call a “quick study.”  Learning new things is easy for you, so when you come up against something that is challenging, you feel like it’s a sign that you’re not cut out for this.
  • Soloists are the go-it-alone entrepreneurs who feel like you have to do everything on your own, and if you can’t, you’re not good enough to have a business.
  • Superwomen and men feel the need to push themselves to and past your breaking point.  You may stay up late and get up early everyday, say yes to everything anyone asks you to do, and feel uncomfortable with downtime.

So now what?  

Each type of impostor syndrome is going to need to be addressed in different ways.  Once you recognize how you’re holding yourself back, you can come up with a plan.

  • Perfectionists can start setting good-better-best goals instead of just one pie-in-the-sky, dream goal.  You can also start to move forward by setting deadlines for your work and releasing it on that deadline, even if it’s not perfect.  If you’re struggling with perfectionism, I highly recommend Amy Porterfield’s interview with Brooke Castillo that includes the benefits of B- work.
  • If you’re an impostor expert, you can start working on the mindset issue of feeling like you need to know everything.  In fact, there are many people you can help if you just know the answer to their question. Narrowing down your ideal client will clarify what you really need to know to start having an impact.
  • Natural Geniuses need to adopt a mindset of growth and search for progress in their growth.  You must also accept that there may be tasks involved in growing a business that are going to have a steep learning curve, and that, just like we tell our students, no one is expected to be the best at everything.  And of course, you can always hire out tasks that just aren’t in your wheelhouse.
  • As a former soloist myself, I can tell you that your life will become a thousand times easier when you start to ask for help.  Not only does having help in the form of a community in which to turn for help (like the Side Hustle Teachers Facebook group), or hiring help.  By recognizing that there are some things in your business that ONLY you can do, and there are some things that anyone could do, you can begin to spend your most productive time in your zone of genius.
  • Superwomen and men, you need to chill!  While there are some people that can keep up a crazy pace, get no sleep, and be fine… that is not the norm.  And I encourage you to ask yourself if this lifestyle is the one you want, or if you’re putting on airs to make it seem like you’re actually a Superman (or woman).  Instead, set up a structured calendar with dedicated time for your classroom work, family, and business. Make sure it’s realistic with time to sleep and eat, then you can add in some other items, like volunteering and whatnot.

Just for You!

As a thank you for all of my listeners, I have a new helpful guide for you.  It’s called The Getting Started Guide for Side Hustlin’ Teachers, and it includes the first 10 things you need to do when you decide on a side hustle.  Grab your copy here

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Imposter syndrome hits everyone at some point, especially when you’re trying something new!  Today we’re talking about how squash that doubting Thomas in your head so you move forward and be your awesome self.
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