Dealing With the Imposter Syndrome

Dear leader who feels like an imposter,

I recently went on a business retreat with a group of female entrepreneurs who were all super talented, leaders in their industry, make lots of money, and somehow also kind, generous, and gorgeous (seriously, the whole package!).  I mean, these ladies are INSPIRING with the books they’ve written, coaching programs they’ve created, and yes, children they’ve raised.  At first, I couldn’t help but feel intimidated and wonder:  

“Who do you think you are?”

That’s when I realized that the Imposter Syndrome was rearing its ugly head.

It’s the critical voice that questions your authority and achievements.  It’s the lie that holds you back from feeling truly confident in your value.  It’s the fear that leads you to feel inauthentic or that you don’t belong to your circle of influence.  If you’ve ever felt a sense that someone is going to figure out that you don’t know it all, or have it all together, then you’ve experienced that phenomenon called, The Imposter Syndrome.

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In this week’s letter, I want to shine a light on the Imposter Syndrome so it no longer holds you back from greatness.  At the root, it is the fear that you’ll be “found out” and exposed as a “fraud.”  The interesting thing is, the Imposter Syndrome only affects creative, high-achievers who had tons of accolades to be proud of.

For example, Maya Angelou the great American author says,

“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

So let’s dive deeper into this mindset with some tips to help you recognize it, and how to deal with it.  

1. Celebrate your past accomplishments.  

People who struggle with the Imposter Syndrome feel like they’re not enough (which is a lie!) because they have trouble internalizing their past accomplishments.  For example, you may think you nailed a presentation because it was a team effort when in reality you had the brilliant ideas and the work ethic to follow through.

This is when the Imposter Syndrome says, “This accomplishment was a fluke because….”

To conquer this silly thought, write a list of your past accomplishments, experiences, and people you helped in a list of “humble brags.”  Post it in a visible place you can refer to and add to. You can even craft a canned response that highlights your work ethic and achievements to tackle the Imposter Syndrome head-on.   

For example, when I start to feel the self-doubt creep in, this is my response, “Who am I?  I’m the coach who’s called and committed to helping women grow the confidence to lead.  I’ve earned my certification and worked with more than hundred people.  I’ve done it before, and I trust myself to do it again.”

2. Create your own fan club.

The Imposter Syndrome can feel like you’re isolated, alone, and the only one struggling.  Fear has no power in a community rooted in authenticity, vulnerability, and true connection.  That’s when it’s helpful to invest in your fan club -- coaches, trusted peers, and friends who are your confidants and biggest champions for your success.  These people are your reminders of why you’re awesome.  

The most refreshing aspect of the business retreat was the connections formed when we shared about our successes, struggles, and brainstormed solutions to our challenges.  It helped me to see the “behind the scenes” stories of the ladies I admired, and receive praise and support for my own business.  

3. Get real (and specific) about your skills.  

Now that we’ve talked about mindset, let’s address your actual competency as a leader.  Leaders don’t need to know it all, but leaders do need to know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at.  This distinction helps to know the areas where you shine, and areas where you can intentionally work on to get better.  When you accurately assess your skill level, and get specific on what you need to work on and how, you can can create a plan to help close that gap.  

A simple way to do this is to get clear on your goals, and the most important skills to help you achieve those goals.  Then, rate yourself on a scale from 1-10 (1-low, 10-high) of where you are right now, where you’d like to be in 3 months, and how you’re going to get there.  

For example, let’s say your biggest goal is to get 3 new clients, but you rate yourself at a 6 in your sales conversation because you’re not consistent with reaching out afterwards.  You want to be at a 9 by getting better of following up and creating a streamlined process to help you do so.  When you’re real and specific about your skills, it helps you to focus on doing the work.  

4. Confidence comes from taking action.  

The more you acknowledge the thoughts from the Imposter Syndrome and intentionally take action anyways, the more experience and confidence you cultivate.  Take one step (big or small) in the direction towards your goals so you develop more self-agency and self-trust.  Your actions and accomplishments are the best way to prove to yourself that you CAN make a difference.

I hope that this letter was helpful for you to recognize the Imposter Syndrome, which can be the shadow edge for true confidence.   

If you found this helpful, then make sure you get your Leadership Style Quiz download below to help you pinpoint what your strengths are to help you lead from a place of confidence and security.  

With Joy, 

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[Stewardship Series: Maximize Your Time as a Christian Entrepreneur]

Welcome to our Stewardship Series: Maximizing Your Time, Talent, and Resources!  

This week, we're diving in to talk about making the most of your TIME, which is your most precious resource.  

Ever feel like you should be further ahead in your life and business than you actually are?  Us, too. 

Jenna Shriver and I have some real talk and truth bombs about lies we believed about time.  

During our conversation, we chatted about: 

  • how the lie of "I should be further ahead in life and business" was the result of comparing ourselves to other Christian women, and the idealized, future version of where we wanted to be 
  • how becoming moms motivated us to get clear on prioritizing our faith and family first, so gave us the permission to build a business at our own rhythm and pace. 
  • remembering that our work has an impact on the legacy we're creating, so we don't have to experience FOMO (fear of missing out), but help us to focus on developing deep relationships, creating sustainable lives and businesses, and investing in building something that will affect generations to come.  

Let me know what resonated most with you!  How are you going to maximize your time to create a lifelong legacy?  

If you'd like more resources on stewardship as a Christian entrepreneur, download the free eBook on "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources!"

[Stewardship Series: Maximize Your Resources as a Christian Entrepreneur]

Welcome to our Stewardship Series: Maximizing Your Time, Talent, and Resources!  

This week, we're diving in to talk about making the most of your RESOURCES, which is all about leveraging your money, relationships, and resources.

What's your money story?

Jenna Shriver and I have some real talk about our relationship with money growing up, how it impacted us as business owners, and how we price our services for getting started and growth.

During our conversation, we chatted about: 

  • how Jenna grew up on a dairy farm when her parents worked all day for little money, and how Shi grew up as a first generation Chinese kid whose parents worked various jobs, and saved everything for the future. 
  • the truth that's not talked about enough: God doesn't want your money, He wants your heart 
  • strategies for being resourceful when you're first starting out 
  • the dangers of "pricing what you're worth" and what we believe instead 

Let me know what resonated most with you!  How are you going to maximize your resources to grow what you've got?

If you'd like more resources on stewardship as a Christian entrepreneur, download the free eBook on "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources!"

[Stewardship Series: Maximize Your Talents as a Christian Entrepreneur]

Welcome to our Stewardship Series: Maximizing Your Time, Talent, and Resources!  

This week, we're diving in to talk about making the most of your TALENT, your God-given gifts that you want to turn into a business.

Ever feel like you're just another photographer?  Or just another coach lost in the crowd of fellow coaches?  We did, too.  

Jenna Shriver and I have some real talk and lies we believed about our talent, and the truth that ultimately set us free.  

During our conversation, we chatted about: 

  • Jenna's start in the industry 10 years ago, and how the landscape has changed from being super competitive to being more community minded.  She also shares her story of going to a retreat and meeting fellow Christian photographers, her moment with God asking him, "Why do I need to be another photographer?"  and His reminder that she is meant to serve those in her life.  
  • how connecting with other creatives allows you to celebrate people's talents 
  • Shi's story about being naturally gifted at coaching but having to learn the "talent" of running a business.  
  • Tips for putting a price on your talent when you're first starting out so you can grow your compentency and your portfolio. 

Let me know what resonated most with you!  How are you going to use your talent to better serve others?

If you'd like more resources on stewardship as a Christian entrepreneur, download the free eBook on "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources!"

Maximize Your Time

Dear leader who wants to steward her time, 

         Time.  It's your most precious resource, and something you can never get back.  As a believer in business, I know you want to make the most of your time to make the biggest impact.  Typically, I love helping entrepreneurs pinpoint their priorities, streamline their processes, and create work/life balance to optimize productivity.  But today's post is a little bit different.  I want to talk about how to actually enjoy your time -- in the present moment.  

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        I heard a quote recently that struck a chord in me, 

Depression is thinking about the past.
Anxiety is thinking about the future.
Peace is thinking about the present.
- Unknown

      This quote helped to articulate a mindset pattern that I've noticed in myself and in the women that I work with when it comes to how they perceive time.  

How many times have you thought something like this?  

Making friends was so much easier when I was in college.  
When I first started my business, there was much less competition.  
I had so much more time to work before I had my daughter.  

When we get stuck in the past and how things were, we hold on to things that no longer serves us and that can make us sad.  In these cases, I like to celebrate those memories and acknowledge the seasons of my life that meant to me.  I also recognize the need to honor, grieve, and let go the past so I can make room for the new.  

On the opposite side, sometimes we worry about our future and obsessed over things we don't really have control over.  

What if that client says no to my proposal? 
How am I going to manage all of my competing priorities? 

What am I going to do if XYZ doesn't work out?  

I'm an advocate for dreaming big, planning for the future, and counting the cost, but when we hold on too tightly to the HOWs, and WHATs, it can be nerve-racking.  Whenever I start to feel anxious about something, it typically means that I've misplaced my trust in God to provide, or misplace trust in myself to take the intentional actions.  For me, it helps to talk out what I'm feeling with my husband and trusted friends and pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding.  

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This leads me to my last point: peace is thinking about the present. 

Time is the MOST precious when we enjoy the present moment.  All of the productivity hacks in the world don't mean much if you're still stressed out and not loving life.  Your return on effort will increase when you focus on doing one thing at a time (and doing ONLY the things that matter).  Your clients and relationships will flourish when you get rid of distractions and really listen and contribute to the conversations.  Your fulfillment will skyrocket when you take the time to enjoy each moment, instead of rushing from one thing to the next.  

So, how can you start enjoying the present to maximize your time?  

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

1. Develop a mindset practice.   

Your mindset is your thoughts and beliefs that affect your actions, and can either be limiting or empowering.  Once you create awareness around your thoughts, you can begin to reprogram them.  My favorite mindset practices are prayer and journaling where I have the space to write out thoughts, process emotions, record gratitude, and prayers.  This can be a safe place for you to recognize if you're feeling depressed, anxious, or joyfully present.  

2. Stop multi-tasking. 

Our brains aren't wired to do lots of things at one time, so try to focus on doing one thing at a time.  For work, I like to do "time-blocking" where I'll have a chunk of time devoted to content creation, and another devoted to client calls.  Another principle I use is thinking of time not as tasks on a to-do list, but rather, the role I'm playing during that time.  For example, early morning I wear my "mom" hat as I feed, change, and play with my baby.  I can focus on being a mama and enjoy those moments.  Then, when I move into my office I put on my "CEO" hat to take care of my business, or my "coach" hat to help my clients.  

3. Know that a "YES" to one thing is a "NO" to another. 

You get to choose how you spend you time by saying "YES" to the things that matter, and "NO" to the things that don't quite serve you.  As you get clear on your vision, goals, and boundaries, I encourage you to regularly reflect on if the things you're doing align with your bigger purpose.  Let your "YES" be a "HECK, YES!" so you can set yourself up to commit to be fully present instead of wishing you were somewhere else.  

I hope that this post helped shift a perspective on how you invest in your most precious resource.  I'm here to help you steward the resources you've been given so you can build an intentional life and successful business.  

If you want more, you can download a free copy of the e-book, "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources."  I collaborated with my friend, Jenna Shriver, to identify common beliefs that hold you back, and help you move forward to truly stewarding your God-given gifts well.