Imposter Syndrome – What is it & How to Overcome it

Many successful and famous people say they feel like a fraud and worry about being “found out”.

What You Will Learn In this Show:

  • Imposter Syndrome - 0:38
  • Impact of having imposter syndrome - 3:03
  • What are some steps that you can take? - 7:09

Key Takeaways &/or Action Points

Add benefits of these takeaways:

  • Imposter Syndrome stems from insecurities, from not valuing yourself and your talents
  • You don’t have to prove yourself. What you’re doing is already good enough.
  • We all have influences that can affect how we feel about ourselves.

Add benefits of applying these actions:

  • Make the mindset shift of being in creative flow rather than having to make things hard
  • Have an accomplishment box
  • Make a list of your achievements
  • Make sure you’re getting testimonials and case studies from people
  • Ask for help


00:38 -
Today we’re talking about imposter syndrome. Actually before we get going, please share this out. I’m on a mission to help as many creatives as possible to make the transformation from creative to successful creative entrepreneur. So, do share this out and tag people in the comments that you think ought to see this.

Right, imposter syndrome. What is it? Basically it makes you feel crap. This is not what I want people to be experiencing because it does have an impact on your business. What are the signs that you might be experiencing imposter syndrome?

First of all, one sign is that you believe that everybody else has their achievements because they are talented but when you achieve something, you are lucky. I’m not talking about being humble and it was the team. That’s not what I mean. You genuinely think that, “Oh well, I got away with it that time but I won’t get away with it next time.” So that kind of feeling. When everybody else achieves something, you don’t think they’re lucky. You’re like, “Oh wow, they’re so talented” and you might get into the comparison game as well which is always a losing thing to be doing.

The second thing is being a perfectionist. Now, there are lots of reasons why people are perfectionists and one of them definitely is because of a fear of failure. And I think that is really with people who have imposter syndrome so that they will work extra hard to make sure that nothing goes wrong, and that because they feel that, “I’m not good enough. I’m just being lucky so I have to work really, really hard to make sure that everything is okay. And they just have really high standards. And have much, much higher standards for themselves than they do for anybody else.

The third sign of having imposter syndrome is that you can’t accept compliments. So when somebody praises you or compliments you or your work, then it’s, “Oh, brushing that off. No I can’t take that.” So, that is another sign.

Another one is beating yourself up over mistakes. Look, everybody makes mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody! Not even me! I don’t come close. The thing is we are all perfect in our imperfections. So, beating yourself up about mistakes doesn’t help at all.

03:03 -
What’s the impact of this if you do feel that you have got this imposter syndrome? And just to clarify as well, I used to have this. Definitely. I had it in a big way. Because it all stems from insecurities. It stems from not feeling good about yourself. It stems from not valuing yourself and your talents. And just not having a sense of self-worth that is high enough. And a lot of people feel like this. So let me give you some examples.

We have Meryl Streep, she said, “You think would anyone want to see me again in a movie? Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway. So why am I doing this?” She’s one of the best actresses around.

Emma Watson, “When I was younger, I just did it. I just acted. It was just there. So now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an imposter. It was just something I did.”

This is where the interesting thing is that we all have got some area that we are really talented in. So when you are fortunate enough to working or to have a business where you get to spend time doing that. Then that means, you’re probably in creative flow and it probably feels easy. But if that is conflicting with your lack of self-worth, then you will be going to work super hard, and push up your standards, and downgrade what you’re doing, and upgrade what everyone else is doing because it doesn’t feel congruent. It’s too easy. And why would I get praise for doing something that’s too easy?

Yet, it is a good thing to be that creative flow. That’s what this whole business is about. It’s me helping people to be in creative flow. That’s why I named it my business. And it’s really key that you recognize that and just because something comes easy, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable. You don’t have to buy into this work ethic of this has to be hard to be worthwhile. Yes, it’s good to be determined and disciplined but not when it comes to your creative flow. Don’t be making it hard for yourself.

There’s a whole load of other ones here. Kate Windslet sometimes will wake-up in the morning before going off on a shoot, “I think I can’t do this. I’m a fraud. So, you’re not alone if you are thinking this. And people who are at the top of their game are thinking this.

05:47 -
What could be the impact on you and your business. Well, number one is stress. Because of you worry that, “Oh I’m going to get found out one day. I might lose everything that I built up.” Then this is incredibly stressful. And it’s living in fear and there’s only very hard to produce your best work when you are living in fear. It’s going to be very hard to have the most positive relationships personally and with your clients and customers if you are living in fear. The chances are, you’re probably working harder than you actually need to. You don’t have to prove yourself. What you’re doing is already good enough.

Because your stress levels are going up, it’s particularly if you’re not charging enough. Let me give you a resource at the end actually that you can get for this. Then the chances are revenues are too low. So you could be doing amazing work that quality is up here. And other people doing that, they’re revenues are up here but yours are only here because you’re like, “Oh well, it’s just a fluke that I’m lucky and I’m not as good as they are.” But maybe you are. So maybe you can be putting your prices up and work with fewer clients and have greater revenues which will allow you to take more time off when you have appropriate standards.

07:09 -
What are some steps that you can take? I think just making the mindset shift I’ve been talking about of being in creative flow rather than having to make things hard. That’s a big shift that you can make.

The second is some really little practical things you do like have an accomplishment box. Anytime anybody emails you something or send you a note or a card thanking you for anything whether it’s business related or not, keep it in that box so that you can go there and remember that every time you’re feeling, “Oh I’m a bit of a fraud.” You can go, “Wait on a second, all these people don’t think I’m a fraud.”

Another thing you can do is to make a list of your achievements. It’s really easy. Particularly, us creative people we live in the present and the future and we tend to forget about the past the minute it’s gone. So actually making a list, like I’m talking 30-50 things, personal, school, college, business, everything in your life. List down those achievement and make it as long as you can. Maybe you have to do it over a few days or even a few weeks. And again keep that handy so that you can refer to it if you feel this imposter syndrome rising again.

The another thing that you can do which is incredibly valuable for your business any way a social proof is to make sure you’re getting testimonials and case studies from people. And if you feel too awkward about going into the detail of that, get somebody to interview your clients for you and to write it all up. It will be worth the investment in that because you’re never going to do that as well as they would because they can be objective whereas, you would probably downgrade what people are saying. Right? So, yes, so create those and then that is speaking for you as part of your marketing anyway. And also can be another thing for your accomplishment box.

If you find it hard to shake this off. Ask for help. You know, I didn’t get rid of my imposter syndrome on my own. I had coaching and various things that I did to help release that. To help me allow my self-esteem to come up and match and just be congruent on who I am. So yes, ask for that help. One way that you can get this help and it won’t even cost you a penny.

By the way I was talking about a resource. I’m going to pop into the chat box now a link for you to go and get a free pricing guide. So it’s the #1 Surefire Strategy to Raise Your Prices Without Pushback. Now, go and do that and then on the thank you page, don’t rush off, there’s an opportunity for you to come and join me for a live workshop called “Highly Valued, Highly Paid.” And I do some specific exercises in that workshop to help you let go of these insecurities and to feel better about yourself. So, we also do some practical steps to make sure that you’re attracting clients that value you and that pay you well for what it is that you do also. So, it’s a brilliant workshop. I’ve been getting great feedback on it. So, make sure that you go and get that.

I think the key thing is to understand that it’s only natural for people to feel this. We all have this influences and they can affect how we feel about ourselves. Do these steps and they will help you to feel better about yourself and to not feel like an imposter and to actually embrace your praise and your successes as what you deserve. I definitely would love this for you.

So, go click the link in the comments and come and join me on this workshop and we can help boot this imposter syndrome out the door so you can say, “F off to those fears and insecurities.” I would love to see you there.

Have you found this valuable? If so, please remember to hit like, love, etc. Share it out and tag friends that you think will benefit from seeing this. Alright I will see you same time next week. Bye!

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Una Doyle

About the Author

Una Doyle

Una is a Business Development Coach for Creatives & their Teams. Using Wealth & Talent Dynamics she helps them to grow their business by accelerating Trust and Flow. She loves cooking, salsa dancing and walking and also works as an actor under her stage name Una Love.

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