“What am I doing? I have no business selling xyz to these people!” “I have limited experience. Who do I think I am?”
Sound familiar? Of course it does! It’s so familiar to so many of us! Feeling like you’re not cut out to do what you do and sell what you sell is completely normal. Let me tell you, that voice in my head telling me I’m an imposter has come up many times over the last few years. It has caused me to:
- Lose out on some clients.
- Take on every assignment that came my way – even if it wasn’t a good fit.
- Miss some really cool events that I know I would have loved if only I felt confident enough to attend!
- Procrastinate on launching some amazing ideas.
I often felt like a fraud because I was comparing myself to others!
Stop comparing yourself to others. When I was first starting out as an entrepreneur, I compared myself to people who were already succeeding at their businesses. I would follow and look up to successful entrepreneurs and feel inferior. What I forgot is that they started where I started. They once aspired to succeed in their careers, too! Most people aren’t just handed success. Remember, Oprah was born into poverty and is now, well OPRAH. Halle Berry spent time in a homeless shelter in her twenties and personal finance guru Suze Orman lived out of her van. JK Rowling’s book, Harry Potter was turned down countless times before it was finally accepted. Rather than compare themselves to other people they persevered.
“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
Most people start at zero. When we forget that we tend to feel like a fraud. We tend to feel like we simply don’t belong. But we don’t know what it took for someone to get where they are. Chances are they worked very hard and potentially felt like an imposter themselves. The next time you watch an incredible speech or sign up for a popular newsletter or hear people talking about “so-and-so” who is so awesome at “xyz” remember they started from somewhere. They didn’t just land at where they’re at now. Stop beating yourself up and feeling like unworthy of success. You’re at the level you’re at now and you’re going to work until you’re at the level you aspire to be at. You belong just as much as the people you’re comparing yourself too.
Keep track of your accomplishments!
What’s helping me diminish those feelings of “not good enough”, “total fraud”, and “don’t belong” is keeping track of all the things I’m doing and have done. Maybe your accomplishments are similar to mine – Going from bidding on writing projects and hardly able to contribute to my rent to setting a fair, yet higher end rate, that clients don’t bat an eye at. Matching the income I was making while working in the corporate world. Hiring incredible contractors to help take on some of the client work. Working with only businesses that make me feel energized, excited, creative, and happy. Connecting with other entrepreneurs who are just starting their businesses and helping them succeed. Receiving regular, positive praise from my clients. Keep track of your accomplishments and look back on them every time you need a pick-me-up.
Talk it out!
If you don’t have a network of entrepreneurial friends, you need to start finding some. I felt super unconfident when I wasn’t surrounded by like-minded people. It wasn’t until I formed a circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who were also building a business that I felt more secure. I met my entrepreneur friends through local networking groups (one of which I was the president of), social networking especially through LinkedIn, and a government business program I was lucky enough to be accepted in when I became serious about transforming my freelance writing career into a business. Take the opportunity to network in various ways. If you need some suggestions and you’re in the Toronto area please feel free to connect with me!
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