Do any of these sound familiar?
"I don't really know what I'm doing."
"I don't deserve the recognition I'm getting. I didn't earn it."
"That person over there is so much better - why am I even trying?"
"No one is going to buy from me and maybe they are right."
"Anyone can do what I do. It isn't hard."
Ah yes, the many annoying voices of imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome tells lies, gives voice to your deepest fears, and can paralyze you with self doubt. One of the most challenging things aspects of imposter syndrome is the feeling that you, and only you, are the only one who suffers from it. But in reality, you aren’t alone, and even successful people deal with it at least occasionally.
Judging by websites and social media accounts, it may seem as if everyone but you has it all figured out, and you're the only one being left behind but that isn't true (despite what someone's shiny Instagram may say).
As a business owner imposter syndrome can impact your business in several ways. You may find yourself reluctant to promote what you do because you feel like a fraud while doing it. You may struggle to work on your business. You may avoid talking about what you do. It can seep into all aspects of your business - social media, email, blogging, and even in-person networking.
How to Fight Imposter Syndrome
So how do you overcome imposter syndrome as a mom business owner (or momboss or mompreneur or whichever term you like best)?
First, recognize that you aren’t alone in feeling this way.
Second, think of the times you’ve conquered it before. If you've had even one happy client, you've beaten imposter syndrome at least once. At least one person out there doesn't think you are making it all up as you go along. That is a good place to start!
If you've beaten it once, you can do it again (and again) - which is what you will tell yourself the next time that tangle of self doubt and fear pops up. Instead of letting the negative voices stop you say "I see you, imposter syndrome, but I'm going to keep doing my thing anyway. Go play in the corner while I work, please."
You can also boost your self confidence having a collection of nice things people have said about you. You can call them "Testimonials" or "That Time Someone DIdn't Hate What I Did" - its up to you!
Whatever you call them, appreciate how people talk about you and the results you give them. Build a barricade of kind words and endorsements against imposter syndrome.
Third, work on believing someone the next time you receive a compliment. Even better, recognize for yourself when you have a win. Celebrate it!
Have the confidence and trust in yourself to grow your business, show up for yourself, say yes to opportunities, take the leap to do something bigger than you, and do the things you've been putting off because you didn't think you were good enough.
Fourth, talk about it with friends. Shine a light on something that doesn’t want to be talked about and it will become less powerful. You’ll also find you aren’t the only one! If you are looking for a community that supports you as a mom and as a business owner, check out the MOB Alliance - it is a nationwide alliance for mom owned businesses.
Your imposter syndrome probably won’t magically melt away, but being aware of it gives you building blocks that you can use to climb over imposter syndrome the next time it shows up.
Gwen Montoya is the CMO of the MOB Nation as well as a marketing strategist and coach. She loves making marketing accessible and empowering mom business owners.
Learn more about Gwen at www.gwenmontoya.com