aka imposter syndrome
A feeling of discomfort or unease. An idea of ‘who am I to be here saying this?’ Am I making the right decisions based on absolutely no experience and just my gut? Or am I an imposter?
We hear this from many social entrepreneurs, who quite often have gone from being part of something a lot bigger, to taking that responsibility and turning it something of their own.
They’re suddenly shoulder to shoulder with other CEOs or Directors, in negotiations with companies turning over millionaires or more, whilst their startup is yet to break even.
It’s not just about the present though, but the future too. Taking what they’ve started to something to compete with the old guard. With a whole new ethos about it, that aims to change society at the same time.
So if you’re facing that feeling right now, sit back and relax.
It’s 100% normal
As previously stated, many people feel this way. Not that that makes it any easier to deal with, but reach out to someone in the same situation and they’ll be admit it too.
With many of the people feeling this way, we’ve come to see that they often don’t have fellow entrepreneurs around them. Their social crowd tends to be mates from school, uni or a previous job. We know it’s more than work that connects us to others. Yet having that social group with people going through the same thing can remove that imposter feeling.
Cracking open a bottle of wine and destressing together in an informal environmental where you can reveal yourself as a person and an entrepreneur can be rejuvenating and put your mind at ease.
The imposter stretch will become your comfort
That first big sales meeting, that first firing, that first problem in production that kept you awake for three nights. All these firsts may turn into seconds, or thirds, whatever they become, next time you won’t have the same feeling.
If you’ve ever heard about the different zones we can face, then you would have learnt how it’s good to be stretching and challenging ourselves. What soon happens though is your stretch becomes your comfort. The challenge that was a year ago, is just another task now.
No wonder people are looking to start new products, move into new markets and solve more of society’s issues!
In any case, whatever you’re feeling now, reflect and learn from it. That way you’ll be more than prepared for it next time.
You can always ask for support
In those times of real need, reach out.
You’re probably on LinkedIn already, and we guarantee you that there will be people on there to support you. We’ve seen a few of our peers post something on there, and they received a friendly flurry of messages of empathy.
Whether or not you like the idea of mentorship, having that person that you can complain to or celebrate with, knowing that they’re not in your ‘inner circle’ will come handy. You can name names, profile people, admit where things are going wrong, knowing all along that it’s confidential and you can be fully open.
If you’re looking for more direction and advice, then that’s something else, and perhaps you want to find a mentor or coach. Ask peers for recommendations or look for those already working in a similar sector.
Imposter syndrome doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age, gender, experience, anything! So in those moments when you question yourself, take the time to step back, breathe and remember to celebrate the wins so far.