How to overcome impostor syndrome as an entrepreneur 

 November 21, 2019

Today we're going to talk about impostor syndrome. Essentially, impostor syndrome is when you feel like a fraud. This is something that you have probably dealt with already, as you have been working on growing your business. And even if you're past the beginning stages of your business, any time you make a major shift or a major change, to upper level things to reach a new point of achievement or a new goal in your business, you are probably going to encounter this.


This is something that I have struggled with myself within the past few months. First I’ll answer a few questions about impostor syndrome. How do you recognize impostor syndrome? What is impostor syndrome? 

Then, I’ve got five ways to overcome impostor syndrome.

Watch the video, or read on!

What is impostor syndrome?

Well, impostor basically means a fake or a fraud. So, impostor syndrome means that you feel like you're presenting yourself in a way that is not true. It's like, "I'm coming across as this guru and this wise person, and I'm really not…. so nobody's going to believe me. And I'm just pretending to be something I'm not."

Now, in some cases, this is true to some degree, we all have to learn and grow into new experiences.

When I went to physical therapy school, I started going into the clinic while I was still going through my training. Impostor syndrome comes up in a situation like that, because you're not yet certified as a physical therapist. I hadn't taken my boards. I'm not done with my schooling. 

But I had to go out there and start treating patients anyway.

feeling like an imposter

As you grow, you'll experience times when you feel like an impostor.

When you encounter this same type of thing in your business as you're growing and moving forward, then you're going to have times when you feel like you're not really deserving yet, or you don't have the experience or the credentials or the background, or whatever it is to put yourself out there.

How to recognize impostor syndrome

How do you know that this is something that you're dealing with? There are a few ways that you know that impostor syndrome is holding you back.

One is that you're not taking action, or you're not taking aligned action that feels good to you or that feels right. Second is that accompanying that lack of action is your self-talk, which is holding you back.

You might be telling yourself things like:

  • I don't know what to tell these people.
  • I don't know how to help them.
  • Nobody wants to hear what I have to say.
  • I don't have any training in this, so why should people listen to me?
  • I haven't gone to school for this.
  • I don't have a degree in this.

Do any of those sound familiar to you? Whatever it might be, you've got this self-talk that's telling you all the reasons that you can't, and that no one's going to listen to you.

What ends up happening is this fear, these false beliefs, these limiting beliefs are holding you back, and you don't step forward and to do those things that you know that you want to do, that you're actually capable of doing, and that you feel inspired to do.

That's the biggest way to recognize that impostor syndrome is present for you – you're not taking action. And your self-talk is telling you all the reasons you're not good enough and you can't do it.

Once you recognize it in your life, let's talk about five ways that you can work through this impostor syndrome and overcome it.

5 ways to overcome impostor syndrome

#1: Take action

This is actually true for all of your fears that are going to come up at any point in life. The only way to overcome your fear is to do the thing that you're afraid of, even if you still have that fear.

So start taking action, and even better, take consistent regular action, doing things that will help you increase your confidence and your feelings of worth and your ability in whatever it is that you're trying to do.

taking action

If you are scared of working one on one with your clients because you just finished training for some type of energy healing, and you're feeling like I'm an impostor because I've just started, the best thing you can do is work with clients, because that will create exactly what it is that you need in terms of the experience to help you realize, Hey, I can do this. And ultimately, that's what this is all about. So the first thing is, take the action to move you through your fear.

#2: Take the focus off of you

When we're stuck in impostor syndrome, often what's happening is we're focused on ourselves and the things that we feel are we are inadequate in our abilities to do to share to help with others.

Stop thinking about yourself. You are not in business for you. You are in business to serve your clients, your customers, and the other people that you work with in your communities and in your groups.

So stop thinking about yourself, and focus on the people that you're here to serve. Think about what you can do for them, what you can create for them, how you can reach them and help them and move forward in that process.

#3: Release those limiting beliefs

Now, since you are a healer yourself, use whatever tools you have at your disposal to get rid of those limiting beliefs. Sit down and take some time to identify exactly what they might be.

Here are some possibilities:

  • You're not good enough.
  • You're not deserving.
  • No one wants to hear what you have to say.
  • What you have to offer isn't a value to others.

There are probably hundreds of different false beliefs that might come to the surface. So sit down, take some time to think about what those limiting beliefs actually are. And then do your energy work and release them.

If you need some help, get a session with someone else. We all have blind spots, and we get stuck. So if you're working through these things, and you're still not able to make any progress, then reach out and get some help.

#4: Instill the image and beliefs of the person you are becoming

The fourth thing to do to help you overcome impostor syndrome is to instill your new beliefs and your new image of yourself. Remember that this is a process and that it takes time to become confident and self assured in the next step that you're taking in your personal growth. Your business is all about your personal growth. So it's this process.

Find a method that you like to instill your new belief and image in yourself. I like to do two things. One, I like to write out a description of who I want to be. And so I have that to read that description.

Two, I also like to visualize especially as I'm falling asleep at night, and after my meditation in the mornings. I like to visualize myself doing the things that I will do, as I feel like I've gotten my business at the stage I want it to be and as I have become the person I want to become.

Write out your description of who you want to be and visualize that person or read that description over and over.

Now, the key to this becoming part is that you invoke as much feeling as you can, while you're reading your description or visualizing yourself. It's that feeling that you can bring forth, that's going to help drive you to take the action that you need to take.

#5: Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself! Your self talk as an impostor is tearing you down, it's negative.

You need to replace that with uplifting, encouraging thoughts throughout your day. It's great to do your visualization and repeat your statement in the morning and in the night, but during the day in between activities, you might still need some encouragement to help yourself to move forward. So remember that this is a process.

It's something that takes time and you're going to need encouragement. As you're going along this path, you have a lot to learn.

Another way to encourage yourself is to look back at your past accomplishments. What have you already done and achieved, not just in your business, but in your personal life as well? What things have you done in your life that you're proud of? Heck, what did you do yesterday or today that you’re proud of?

Remember those things and use those memories to encourage yourself to continue to move forward. And to take the steps that you need to take. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time.

Putting it all together

I think out of all the steps, taking action, of course, is always incredibly important. 

But it's our mindset that we really need to shift to overcome impostor syndrome.  Impostor syndrome is simply a set of limit limiting beliefs that you have that is holding you back from moving forward.

With the vast majority of the things that you're doing in your business, it's at least 80% mindset. So change your thought pattern. Change your beliefs and get rid of the old ones and instill the new beliefs, the feelings, the images of who you are becoming, who you want to be, and what you're offering to those that you serve.

And then the time will come when you will encounter it again, at another stage of growth. But then you'll feel more confident, because you'll know that you will have gone through this process already. You have already done things in your life, where you have felt like an impostor.

You might not have recognized that you were feeling that way. But you've already overcome things that you felt you were not capable of doing or weren't really who you are.

You can do this and overcome impostor syndrome! Keep working toward instilling the image and the belief and the feelings of what you want and being positive to yourself as you go about your days.

Overcoming impostor syndrome

  • Take consistent action
  • Stop focusing on yourself. Think of the people you are serving instead.
  • Identify and release false beliefs and replace them with a new image of who you want to be
  • Be kind to yourself! Remember that change is a long-term game.

How have you seen impostor syndrome affect your business? What has worked for you to overcome it?

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About the author

Jen Bessire, PhD, is a Christian medium, author, and healer. After 23 years as a physical therapist, God called her to her current path in 2014. She delights in helping others come unto Christ, heal generational trauma, and create a life of freedom. God is calling you - are you listening?

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