2020 is here and I have seen a lot of posts and I agree, that THIS IS MY YEAR! As an online business owner, you see Facebook posts touting, “I made $60k in 60 days, 60 minutes, etc.” In the past, I often have fallen into shiny object syndrome, signing up for this webinar and that challenge looking for that magic bullet that is going to propel me into success. Do you ever fall into the comparisonitis trap? I had this feeling of being behind because the women who started online in the same program as I, are showing more success. So last year was my year to implement. I was going to be more visible. But what was holding me back was imposter syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
For a further explanation, you might want to watch this four-minute video which explains imposter syndrome.
The book Presence – Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy, comes after her wildly successful 2012 TED Talk. Watching the video first prompted me to read her book. Cuddy spends a lot of time discussing what she calls “imposter syndrome.” This is where one feels like they don’t belong because they are not qualified, and are scared others will find out.
Imposter syndrome was what initially prompted her to write this book and do her research. What was interesting was her finding that men and women both have these fears. It is not isolated to women. Here are the four most important takeaways from her book and what I have found helped me get over it.
1. Be fully present. Bring your best self and enjoy the moment.
Everyone has had to step out of their comfort zone, whether it is a job interview, giving a speech, or the time you needed to work up the courage to discuss a problem with another person. Cuddy discusses the habit of positive self-talk. We often do that to pump ourselves up, but it can also be detrimental. We can talk ourselves out of anything. “I am not good enough or smart enough to do this.” “Why would anyone want to listen to me? What do I have to offer anyone?” This talk is self-defeating. We have all over thought situations. Once you bite the bullet and face it, we realize it wasn’t so bad!
Cuddy advises that when you start to hear that negative self-talk, to focus on being fully present, pushing that imposter feeling out of your mind to be your best self, and enjoy the moment. I was nervous first talking on a FB live or podcast, but once you get me talking, my confidence builds. I know what I am talking about and I love to share my knowledge. I have come to realize that I really love to talk to people and don’t want to hide behind my screen! Positive affirmations first thing in the morning and journaling first thing in the morning where you are setting your intention for the day really help too.
2. Leave your ego at the door.
Our worries often stem from our insecurities. “Am I wearing the right thing? Do I look ok?” We spend so much time thinking about ourselves, where in reality, people are thinking only of themselves. It is our ego that thinks everyone is thinking about us, but they really aren’t, and she has studies to prove this! While you may be thinking everyone is staring at the small guacamole stain on your shirt and judging you for it, the truth is 99% of the people around you probably haven’t even noticed. Stop focusing on yourself, and focus on those around you instead. Get out of your head, away from your ego, and ask yourself, “How can I best serve these people? What are their fears and insecurities?”
3. Pose like Wonder Woman.
The body can change what the mind thinks. It is this Wonder Woman pose, standing tall, hands on the hips, with head and chest up, that brings you confidence. This stance not only feels powerful but it also projects confidence. She suggests doing these poses in private to boost yourself up before entering that job interview, giving that speech, or taking that exam. Nevertheless, take up more space, you will feel more confident, and therefore project a more confident persona. My piece of advice for other women is to stand when they are talking on the phone because your voice projects and you sound confident even if secretly your stomach is turning in knots.
4. Fake it until you become it.
This last take away from Cuddy’s book is the most important. We all have heard the expression “Fake it until you make it.” She says, “Fake it until you become it.” You need to continue faking it until you internalize that you belong. Cuddy’s talk started more research into whether this power posing really works. Studies have shown that power posing does reduce cortisol levels and new neural connections are made. I believe this to be similar to the reasons why we are told to meditate and repeat positive affirmations. This is all in an effort to train ourselves to think differently. Brendon Burchard has found in his book High Performance Habits that all high achievers practice meditation daily. There are similarities between repetition and practice. After reviewing last year’s KPIs that my discovery call conversion rate increase from 55% in 2018 to 75% in 2019. I think a big part of that is the confidence I feel and portray in conversations. I DO KNOW MY STUFF!!
As part of my visibility plan last year, I wanted to speak more. I said yes anytime I was asked to talk about Pinterest. I was approached by many business owners as well as applied to speak at more summits and on podcasts. The more I did it, the more confident I became. I was nervous at first and am still nervous. I am still sitting behind a computer screen so if I have to speak live and in person, that might be another story! 😉 But now I thoroughly enjoy it and am excited to talk to people. I love Pinterest and have made it my mission to educate as many people as I can about the advantages of it.
Get over imposter syndrome and start living life to the fullest.
Imposter syndrome, in a nutshell, is when you feel inadequate for the job at hand. This can lead to paralysis concerning taking action, which can be deadly for a business owner. So how do you get over it?
Amy Cuddy’s book Presence gives you concrete ideas for negating each of those symptoms of imposter syndrome. By being fully present to what is going on around you, and also to the thoughts in your head, you can monitor for negative self-talk before it starts. Checking your ego at the door (or before you hit “record” on the video) and realizing that whatever small insecurities you may have, the audience most likely is completely clueless to them, will allow you to focus on the people you’re speaking to and how to best help them. Your body language does influence your thoughts. Being conscious of your body language and posture, and deliberately using “power poses” will not only make you look more confident but feel more confident as well!
And finally, faking it until you become it uses your body language and power posing to change the chemical makeup of your brain. You go from posing like Wonder Woman to thinking like Wonder Woman. All of these tools are instrumental to get over imposter syndrome and need to be kept in our personal confidence “toolkit”, to be brought out and used when needed.
I thought these 4 Ways to Quiet Imposter Syndrome and Start Believing in Yourself had some great ideas for getting rid of imposter syndrome. One idea was to stop underselling yourself. That is a chronic problem for women service providers and one I know I struggle with. RAISE YOUR PRICES and STOP GIVING DISCOUNTS!
You might be as surprised as I was to see this Ted talk discussing How You Can Use Imposter Syndrome to your Benefit.
Recognizing, understanding and addressing the symptoms and effects of imposter syndrome in your life (and business) can have an immensely positive impact on your life. Once you begin feeling like you belong right where you are, that feeling can spread to other areas of your life as well.
I would love for you to join my Facebook group of women in Build Your Income Online with Karrie. We talk about Pinterest marketing, affiliate marketing, and all things making money online. Come join us!