Counteracting Imposter Syndrome as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs need to be able to “wear many hats” and juggle many different responsibilities in order to ensure that their businesses are ideally positioned to succeed in the marketplace over time.

But not all of the challenges that entrepreneurs have to contend with have a purely technical nature; it’s not all about managing supplier relationships and figuring out how best to budget for the coming quarter.

One significant issue that many entrepreneurs end up having to contend with is the phenomenon known as “imposter syndrome” — the uncomfortable and nagging feeling of not being “the real deal,” or “good enough” to succeed in a particular domain.

Self belief is frequently a very significant component in success, and in the ability to visualise and realise a particular goal within a professional context — and, for that matter, even in a personal context.

Taking steps to proactively counter imposter syndrome and to stop it from impacting your decisions and impairing your potential as an entrepreneur can end up doing a lot of good.

Here are a few tips that might prove helpful when it comes to counteracting imposter syndrome as an entrepreneur.

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Dress the part

The way you dress always has the potential to significantly influence how you feel and how you perceive yourself, for better and for worse.

It’s simply a lot easier to feel like a serious business professional who has things under control if you’ve taken the time to visit a watch shop and pick up a stylish timepiece, and are dressed up in a well tailored suit.

Dressing the part of the kind of entrepreneur you want to be and feel like — whatever that means in your particular case, and in the context of the specific industry you are operating within — can potentially have a massive impact on how much you feel like you belong where you are, and doing what you are, day by day.

Very few professionals are likely to be accomplished and naturally confident enough that they wouldn’t feel thrown off balance if they tried to take important supplier phone calls while wearing their pyjamas and a pair of furry slippers.

Think of the kind of energy and persona that you want to embody, and dress in a way that helps you to step into that role and to feel more authentic about it.

Stick to a set schedule and keep your working life organised

One issue that afflicts entrepreneurs fairly often — especially new ones — is that they find that their professional lives become a lot less organised, particularly with regards to things like keeping up a regular working schedule, than they were before.

Clearly, becoming an entrepreneur means — in part — that you are your own boss and have the freedom to set your own hours, whether that means working primarily in the evenings, or during conventional business hours.

Generally speaking, though, ensuring that you stick to a consistent and organised schedule — ideally one that correlates with things like a healthy circadian rhythm — will help you to feel more reliable and more on top of things as a rule.

A consistent routine will also tend to make it easier for you to get into the right mindset to do your best work and enter “professional mode” on a regular basis.

Catalogue and celebrate your wins

As the name suggests, imposter syndrome is all about the feeling that you aren’t really the thing that you are trying to be — that, in the context of entrepreneurship, you aren’t actually up to the task of really managing a business.

Cataloguing and celebrating the wins that you experience along your entrepreneurial journey — even the relatively small ones — can potentially do a lot of good, by providing you with reference points that help to counteract the defeating narrative that you might otherwise find yourself being overwhelmed by.

Reminding yourself of projects that you accomplished, positive feedback you obtained, and more, can help you to remind yourself that you actually are the entrepreneur you claim to be, and are capable of rising to the occasion.

Challenge your limiting beliefs on a regular basis

Limiting beliefs take many different forms and can operate on many different levels — ranging from a subconscious belief that you are destined to fail at any complex endeavor you try out, to a belief that you’re faced by unconquerable obstacles.

Imposter syndrome is a limiting belief, and is usually backed up and reinforced by a range of additional limiting beliefs.

One good practice to get into is to challenge your limiting beliefs on a regular basis, and to consciously engage in an inner dialogue where you identify, question and push back against them.

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