One major impostor-syndrome-induced pitfall I see people struggle with is this: overcompensation. Perhaps they’re not getting enough paying clients, or not keeping track of their finances. Or they’re missing some other metric in their business that makes them feel like they’re “getting somewhere.”
Whatever the reason, people in this type of situation can sometimes fall into a pattern of overcompensating. This can become a financial or non-financial issue. For example, many people in this situation may feel their circumstances are due to the fact that they need to learn more. Other people can struggle with feeling like they need to “spend money to make money” and get preoccupied with gear, expensive software, etc.
Especially because you’re the one calling the shots in your business, making these decisions all comes down to you. That’s why it’s important to work through emotional mirages like impostor syndrome before making a financial or business decision. Let’s dive into both of these examples, and then talk about banishing impostor syndrome by connecting with your values:
“I Don’t Know Enough”
People with this story can get caught up on an information hamster wheel. This is especially easy to do with the whole Internet at our fingertips! People might feel that their business isn’t succeeding because they’re missing something, or don’t have the right training, etc. As a result, they sign up for courses, trainings, and coaching engagements. Or perhaps they spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and working through free opt-ins. Whether this version of impostor syndrome results in financial investments or not, it can also make running your business feel murky and difficult.
Exercise: Show yourself what you do know. If there’s a particular subject or specialty that you’ve been researching or wanting to get training in, spend some time writing down everything you already do know it. Just taking a breather and doing this for 5 minutes can remind you of all the knowledge you already hold!
“I Need to Spend Money to Make Money”
This is one of those longstanding business myths that many people can get convinced of unknowingly. I wrote about how people just starting businesses can avoid this pitfall here. What’s important is to keep in mind how you want to do things, rather than looking at how other business owners do them. If we play the comparison game we ultimately end up losing. Social media and comparing yourself to other more established businesses can intensify this feeling.
Exercise: Take stock of what you have. What software systems, supplies, gear, business accessories, etc. do you have that you love working with? Celebrate those and be thankful for them, just for a few minutes.
The Answer? Connect With Your Values
Just to be clear, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution to impostor syndrome. But connecting with your values by tapping into what feels authentically joyful for you is a great step forward. You don’t have to be the industry expert or have all the bells and whistles to run an awesome business! You just have to do things in the way that feels right for you. So take some time to consider what that actually looks like!
It might be the case that you really do value education or having the latest tech for your business. Just make sure you tease those values apart from the feelings of urgency and “less-than” that come with impostor syndrome. Let yourself come to conclusions about what you want on your own, without outside influence, as much as possible.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll probably like reading through my free e-Book, Three Essential Steps to Starting a Business, particularly the section on having a purpose and a plan for your money. Download it here!