Buzzwords have had their moment in the spotlight (looking at you, “circle back”). But “imposter syndrome” and “purpose-driven” are two that still get us talking. We’re astounded by the number of amazing business owners, leaders and founders who seem to have the game stitched up, but they are serial self-doubters…
Let’s unravel why so many of us feel like a fraud and how building a brand with a mission that transcends the surface-level product you provide could be the solution.
Are we really still dealing with imposter syndrome in 2022?
Yep, apparently, we are. Despite all the #motivationalmonday posts popping on Instagram, encouraging women to “own their greatness”, an alarming number of them continue to suffer from (what the original research loosely defined as) “doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud at work.”
Sidenote: Interestingly, while the OG study declared that this position only affects women, the alarming thing is that things haven’t changed THAT much since Dr Pauline R. Clance and Dr Suzanne A Imes first released their findings in 1978. In fact, today it’s estimated that up to 70% of high-achieving women continue to struggle with self-doubt and the fear that they’ll be found out as a fake!
Imposter Syndrome Solutions: Six steps to stop “feeling like a fraud”
We like to consider ourselves as our clients’ unofficial cheerleaders, and there are a whole lot of reasons for that… We’re all about encouragement, empathy, and extending a helping hand to help you achieve the potential we absolutely know you’re capable of.
And part of that support includes regularly reminding our customers that they definitely, 100% are not a phony.
The old self-belief wobbles strike even us at times. When it happens, we like to stick with the same advice we give anyone else. Take a deep breath and repeat after us:
- Nobody is an expert at everything (otherwise we’d all be out of work), BUT you are still bloody brilliant.
- You have a vision and were able to transform your idea into a reality – that in itself is an achievement worth celebrating, friend.
- There’s an army of customers who love you (and probably a heap more who would if they knew about all the amazing things you do too).
Other hacks that can help you overcome feeling like a fraud:
- When someone gives you a compliment, take it. No ifs or buts. If they said something nice, assume they mean it so accept it and move on! People are generally busy, so those that take the time to tell you something good, probably mean it!
- Read your reviews … then share the really good ones (Hack: The less than stellar ones are a great incentive for improvement)! The business equivalent of creating a compliments folder will feel a little egotistical at first, but sharing consistent reminders in the form of emails from happy customers, positive Google ratings, and even sweet texts from your fans, can play a huge part in keeping imposter syndrome at bay. It not only conveys to your audience that you’re pretty awesome but it will nurture a culture of positivity that will penetrate into your own self-belief.
- Be your own competition: Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. And while Teddy probably wasn’t specifically referring to the sinking feeling of watching your competitor’s Instagram followers climb, while you lose yours on the regular, it still applies. Remember: “social media is a highlight reel … not real life”. So, save your energy, stick to your own lane, and you do you. Your best version of course.
Your secret solution to handling imposter syndrome
Still struggling to build a self-belief system that aligns with your actual accomplishments and kick imposter syndrome to the curb? Then let your brand take the lead on your behalf.
We’ve been reading up a lot lately on building purpose-driven brands, and we are totally behind the power of purpose to help self-doubters overcome their imposter syndrome.
Essentially, although purpose-driven brands mean something different to different people, they all exist to solve a problem or meet a need in society that makes the world a better place, beyond their own financial gains.
A brand with purpose also taps into taking a sustainable approach to business. And we’re not just talking about eco-awareness (although that’s a pretty important part too, so we’ll be blogging about it soon).
When you build a truly sustainable brand and consider how your product or service will continue to be impactful in the long run, you create something that offers value to future generations – and earn their loyalty along the way.
Establishing a brand that stands for something, with values that either improve society (be it environmental, ethical, or economical) OR that addresses specific problems of your target market, means you are legitimately sustainable because you are creating a legacy that lasts.
Plus, when your brand is one driven by purpose, the connection with your customers is more authentic. When you find your purpose you’ll find your passion. And through this clarity, consistency, and connection, you will naturally build the confidence to live and breathe everything your brand stands for and to share this messaging more meaningfully. And just like that, all traces of Imposter Syndrome start to disappear…