It's easy in life and business to do something big and still feel like there’s work left unfinished. It’s easy to tell ourselves that we’re not good enough.
Leading a business isn’t easy, and most people don’t have the strength or courage to do it. So even with all the imperfections you see in your work; just remember that you are an inspiration for many people, even when you can’t see it.
It’s important to have compassion for yourself. High achieving and successful people often suffer. So if this is you, recognize this in yourself and keep telling yourself that you are doing a big job every day. Be proud of yourself. Treat yourself well because you deserve it.
If you feel pressure to achieve, there’s a good chance that at some point in your journey you’ve experienced imposter syndrome. Some are more predisposed to struggle with imposter syndrome than others. Research shows that people who were raised in a home with an emphasis on success, and achievement, are more likely to struggle with feelings of not being worthy of all the things that they’ve achieved.
If you are a woman or a minority, it’s even more common to experience these thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. Research shows that women and minorities believe the myth you need to work twice as hard to get ahead in life. So when you do achieve a position of success or status, you don’t believe it, or, you have the persistent feeling you didn’t truly earn it.
Mindfulness coach and facilitator Wade Brill recommends practicing these 3 steps to overcome imposter syndrome:
1. Know that imposter syndrome is extremely common and you are not alone to have these thoughts and feelings. An estimated 70% of people experience imposter syndrome. Especially people who are driven and success oriented.
2. Notice and label the "imposter syndrome" thoughts when they arise. Maybe say something playful to yourself like, "oh that's the silly imposter syndrome's voice popping up in my head, again." It can be really helpful to track what situations or experiences you notice this voice gets loud or more prominent. The more you label the thoughts, the softer they get over time because you start to see them as just thoughts. Not facts.
3. Bring your attention to all the ways you are skilled and you are the right person to be doing what you are doing. Know that being a true expert is not about the destination. It is a lifelong journey.
Wherever you are on this journey, just know you are not alone!
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Noah Koff's mission is to help ambitious founders become the best version of themselves, by developing their mindset, skillset and toolset. He is an entrepreneur who has founded and built multiple companies from the ground up, including Redwood, a successful consulting practice based in Portland, Oregon. His wisdom comes from decades working for respected agencies and INC5000 recognized companies big and small. Noah's roots extend from global business hubs; San Francisco, New York City and London, where he's worked across diverse categories and business models.
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