I’ve been avoiding changing the focus this show from general productivity / life hacks to making online marketing Easier for… well… forever.
My heart has been in the entrepreneurship space for a long time. But, my head refused to let me go there. Why? A sneaky form of Imposter Syndrome had its hooks in me.
Just recently, I learned that Imposter Syndrome can take different forms. And that my particular evolution — not feeling like enough of an expert — isn’t one that gets talked about a lot.
If you’ve wanted to start a business, explore a passion, or get into a hobby, but you feel like you’ve got no right to do it, this post is for you.
Let’s talk about how to overcome imposter syndrome.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Tips from Marie Forelo
Here’s a summary of 6 tips from the incredible Marie Forleo on how to overcome imposter syndrome:
1. Share the shame
- Lots of folks, especially high-achievers, resist talking about their shame
- Unfortunately, Imposter Syndrome is totally rooted in shame
- The best way to combat shame is to dive into it!
- Talk to someone about the shame you’re feeling and syphon it all out of your head!
2. Shine your light out
- Think of your attention like a flashlight
- You can only shine that light in one direction
- If you shine the light on your own insecurities and doubts, that’s all you’ll see!
- But, if you shine the light out on your audience / customers and the problems they’re having, the fears and doubts melt away
3. Start a hype file
- Set up a place (a physical file, a notebook in OneNote or Evernote, a Google Drive folder, etc.) where you can keep any positive stuff that happens in your business
- Things like nice comments, good reviews, uplifting emails, insights you find on the web, milestones you’ve accomplished, etc.
- Then, when you start to feel low, review the file!
- Personally, I love this idea! I’ve got to get mine set up ASAP.
4. Track successes AND stumbles
- In addition to tracking your successes (maybe in the hype file from Tip #3), Marie suggests tracking stumbles too
- Why? Because you can learn so much from those failures when it’s easy to reflect on them
5. Develop a go-to mantra
- So far, I’ve been pretty skeptical about mantras. But! I love this take on it.
- Marie suggests a couple mantras to use when you’re doubting yourself that I’d absolutely use! They’re real and full of profanity (love it!):
- From Mindy Kaling: “Why the fuck not me!?“
- From Marie Forelo: “You’re Marie Fucking Forelo, you’ve got this bitch!“
- I’m definitely a realist, so mantras don’t usually speak to me. But! Asking, “Why the fuck not me!?” resonates with me like crazy.
6. Stay humble
- Lastly, Marie cautions folks suffering from Imposter Syndrome about overcompensating
- In other words, avoid becoming a huge douchebag asshole to cover up the fact that you’ve got some shame
- If you find yourself turning into that idiot we all hate, head back to Tip #1 and try that ASAP!
- You, and everyone around you, will thank you!
Watch Marie cover all of these tips on MarieTV
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome: My Own Insights
Imposter Syndrome with a twist
I’d seen Marie’s video, and read about these tips in her book Everything is Figureoutable, so I’ve been on the lookout for Imposter Syndrome for quite a while.
But, what I didn’t recognize was that I had a bit of a mutant version of IS going on.
The basic definition of Imposter Syndrome is: “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.” Or, in short, that you don’t deserve success.
My version had that, but with a twist: You’re not an expert, you don’t have enough success, so you can’t talk about it. Yet.
The “Yet.” part was especially frustrating. I kept avoiding talking about online marketing, but the desire was always there, dangling in front of me.
It wasn’t until I had the (recent) realization in Tip #7 below that I finally snapped out of it.
7. You don’t have to be an expert
- This is where I struggled. A lot.
- I thought that, to talk about a topic, you had to be an “expert”
- But, after a truly amazing conversation with my good friend Colleen, I learned that’s not true
- I realized that, as long as I don’t claim to be an expert, I have just as much right to talk on the subject as anyone!
- In fact, given all I’ve learned in this space, I think I’ve been denying others some really helpful information
- Overall, I learned that I can share my journey, and what I’m learning along the way, and that people will resonate with it
8. Remember: Your ideas matter.
- This is another idea that I had to remember: My ideas matter. Period.
- The same is true for you!
- A while back, I created a desktop background that reminds me of this idea every time I sit at my computer. It’s a gorgeous photo of the ocean and night sky with the words YOUR IDEAS MATTER set among the stars. (Hint! It’s the same photo from the top of this post!)
- If you like it, I’m happy to share the full-resolution version! I’ve got a smartphone version too ?
- Hit the button below to download for free!
9. Share with someone you trust
- Last, this is a take on Marie’s tip (Tip #1) to share the shame
- I don’t think we always label what we’re feeling as “shame” though
- So, I take it a step further: share the struggle
- And, be sure to share it with someone you trust, who will give you honest feedback
- For me, that’s my friend Colleen. The conversation I had with her changed my entire perspective and gave me my passion and sense of direction back. I’m so grateful to her, and that I shared my struggle with her!
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