There's lots out there about Imposter Syndrome with hints and tips about how to mitigate its effects. But, how does Imposter Syndrome particularly impact micro business owners? Are you struggling with it without even knowing?
Imposter Syndrome is often categorised as 'feeling like a fraud' in the workplace and a difficulty in accepting your abilities. Much of the advice out there seems to relate to the employed environment with an emphasis on those who are 'high achievers' as the biggest sufferers. But as micro business owners who have perhaps stepped away from employed life, does Imposter Syndrome manifest in the same way?
Imposter Syndrome can feel like you're not up to the job, that you're somehow about to be 'found out' as someone who doesn't really have what it takes to be successful. It can cause anxiety, self doubt, negative self talk and a distrust in your own abilities or intuition.
So how can we use micro business as a way of overcoming some of these feeling that most of us experience at some point or other? Here are some simple ideas and reminders to help:
Embrace freedom - there's no rule book to micro business ownership, no career progression and no seniority success path. You are the author of each chapter and it can be as meandering, as focussed and as creative as you like. We can use this 'freedom' to release us from feelings of failure because there is no bench mark we needed to reach. Apart from making enough money to keep going, we are entirely at liberty to progress our own way. There are no 'shoulds' or 'oughts' to measure ourselves against & no perfection to achieve. It can be easy to forget this freedom in the face of an old inner voice saying the opposite. Take a deep breath, you've got this.
Prioritise self care - something that we can often feel is a luxury. But self care isn't just about a bubble bath (although great all the same!). Self care is really about giving yourself the same compassion that you would offer a friend or family member. If they came to you feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, think about how you'd help? Would you offer patience, make a nice meal, help them get organised, offer to go for a walk, take them out for a coffee or remind them how far they've come? This is exactly the kind of self support we need to build into our working schedules to help mitigate 'imposter like' feelings growing and creeping in.
Find your authentic self - I remember being in the corporate world, with my suit, heels and need to impress. No room for 'me', with all the focus on the task, pretending & achieving. Micro business allows us to inhabit our truest selves without fear or favour. In fact, the more true we are, the better we will attract our ideal customers because they're seeking businesses they can feel connected to. It can really help to steadily shed the layers of our 'other' selves that have built up over the years to reveal the person underneath that we feel comfortable being. This person will trust themselves more, listen to their inner voice & be able t tap into their magical instinct too. We may feel less like an imposter and more like us.
Sharing really helps - time and again, in coaching sessions or the Simply mentoring group it becomes apparent that the feelings that one person is experiencing chimes with everyone. As micros it can be all too easy to go down a rabbit hole of self doubt and fear, assuming it's just us. But so often, others have the same challenges. Find trusted people that you can reflect with, open up to and gain useful insight from the help you get a clearer perceive about what's really happening. Perhaps your 'imperfections' aren't even visible to the outside world. Maybe your 'lack of achievement' has no impact on those who rate you. It's possible that your 'lack of qualifications' doesn't matter to your customers because they love what you do anyway.