“Who does she think she is?”
Ever get that creeping feeling and embarrassed to mention it?? You’re not alone! Imposter Syndrome is a wide-spread feeling among women. However, there are plenty of patterns women follow that are easily identifiable – whew.
Multiple studies have been done about this nasty little patter of thought and they all say the same thing: Women judge their performance as lower than it actually is, while men judge their performance as better than it actually is. Women are normally taught to not be too confident (whatever that means) or boastful for fear they could be labeled as “bossy” or “full of herself”.
These stereotypes, however, normally are reserved for women only. Think about it, when was the last time you heard someone refer to a man as “bossy”… Men who speak their mind or exude confidence normally are just considered strong leaders. Yes, they do have other names (I won’t include here – you know which once I’m talking about), but are reserved for the worst guys. The good news is, we don’t have to believe these stereotypes, y’all!!
Don’t perpetuate the stereotype.
As hard as it is to hear, sometimes we think these things about ourselves and even perpetuate these stereotypes by saying them about other women – eek!
The good news is, you can stop yourself now. Does that make you a hypocrite, you ask? I say no and let me tell you why. You are learning and growing and that’s the truth. It’s never too late to change your patterns of thought and habits. This really applies to anything in your life.
How does this affect your business?
Combatting Imposter Syndrome will take creating confidence in yourself. This means knowing your worth and adding tax. People will smell it a mile away if you are not confident. Clients who see confident people do not question or undermine their business or services. These bold business owners have a few things in common.
What are the habits of confident business owners?
I’ve spent lots of time with women business owners being a member of The Rising Tide Society and The National Association of Business Owners for a few years now. Reading a lot about successful people, to include business owners, has also educated me on some patterns they all follow. The following has seriously helped in the fight against Imposter Syndrome.
1. Invest in yourself
First of all, these people are willing to put time and money back into themselves and surround themselves with other strong, successful people. Would you want to take advice from someone who isn’t successful and is always struggling? This is why getting involved and even having a mentor is important! These successful business owners educate themselves on their industry practices, staying up to date on the latest products and trends, they try to stay ahead of the game. In short, they work ON their business constantly, not just in it.
2. Converse Confidently
Secondly, they have a heightened sense of self-awareness and it shows when they speak. They know how to have productive conversations and can talk with confidence about their business and who they serve. They don’t just talk about themselves either. This is certainly a skill I had to learn an honestly, I’m still learning this one!
3. Don’t Try To Do It By Yourself
Lots of business owners who really make it to that next level hire a business coach, have a mentor or accountability group. Some have all 3. This really gives them an edge over their competitors because they are challenged to make attainable goals and follow through. It also gives them a more objective perspective – this is huge!
4. Build Your Personal Brand
Finally, they all work on building their personal brand. Having a strong sense of self is important, but it’s equally imperative to be able to put it into action and actually “be” it. If you don’t have a strong, consistent personal brand, it’s just an idea.
If you want more info about some of these ideas, I highly suggest starting with the following books by Sheryl Sandberg: “Lean In” on Audible and Brene Brown’s “Dare to Lead” on Audible.
More about building your own successful brand on my blog: Building a Brand That Books & Getting Past Your Blocks to Prosper
Melissa is a Florida based Personal Brand photographer who has helped hundreds of women in business create cohesive online brands with polished photos that feel authentic to them. You’ll find her traveling to cities across the United States, photographing highly motivated women ready to elevate their website, socials, and other marketing.
Melissa saw a need to further educate the busy professionals she photographed. She created The Intuitive Brand Course through this journey where she goes deeper than knowing what photos to have on your website. This education has needle moving messaging strategies that helps you stand out in today’s market. This can all be done in an intuitive way that doesn’t feel salesy.