Even though I have had countless hours of coaching training and practice, I still have moments when I think I’m not a good enough coach.
Similarly, even though I have had countless hours of yoga training and teaching, I still have moments when I think I’m not a good enough yoga teacher.
And despite having amazing testimonials and returning clients, I still have moments of self-doubt.
It happened this week while I was teaching one of my regular classes, but I caught it right when the doubt started to creep into my mind.
I remember experiencing impostor syndrome when I first started my business as a yoga teacher, and a couple of years later, with my coaching business. It’s a moment when you step out of your comfort zone and try a new career or become self-employed.
It’s a lot to handle, but it happens to all of us, not just at the beginning of our careers, but also in our day-to-day activities.
The only difference is that with time, you learn to contain it.
Impostor Syndrome leads to two behaviors:
- Procrastination. Your self-doubt may lead you to believe that you’re not good enough, causing you to sabotage yourself by not putting yourself and your services out into the world. Alternatively, you may spend time planning, strategizing, and obsessing over little details without ever really executing anything.
- Overcompensation. You’re already putting your services out into the world, but you may deliver too much value for what you charge.
Both of these behaviors can hurt your business and keep you in a state of self-doubt and anxiety.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the past few years about impostor syndrome:
It’s all about inner work
Many people experience self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness in their careers, regardless of their level of experience or qualifications. While it can be helpful to recognize that you are not alone in these feelings, it’s important to understand that external validation, such as positive feedback or qualifications, may not be enough to overcome impostor syndrome.
To truly feel confident and worthy in your career, you may need to do inner work, such as changing negative self-talk and transforming your mindset. Remembering that you are a work in progress and acknowledging your successes and positive feedback can also help combat self-doubt.
You know more than you think
When impostor syndrome kicks in, you’re focusing on what you think you don’t know.
While there’s always room for improvement, in the present moment, you can always deliver what you know.
Most high-performers will think that luck is the one that’s creating the results, but that’s just a story to validate your impostor.
The results you’re already creating are happening because you’re using what you already know.
Most probably, you already know more than you think.
Focus on delivering, not yourself
At the start of my coaching career, I used to feel nervous before speaking with a client. I worried about whether I had the right skills and what the client would think of me. Overall, I was anxious about my performance.
However, I soon realized that when I experienced impostor syndrome, I tended to make things about myself rather than delivering my best and staying present to serve my client.
It’s impossible to be fully present with a client or focused on delivering results if you’re consumed by self-doubt and anxiety.
The amazing thing is that once you shift your focus away from yourself and concentrate fully on what’s important at the moment, all your fears disappear.
So, the next time you feel like a fraud, focus on your purpose, how you can help, and how you can deliver results.
Remind yourself about your success, positive feedback, and be kind to yourself
And last but not least, be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, and nobody expects us to be perfect. Ultimately, success is just a series of failures that eventually lead to the right path.
Mistakes and failures are a natural part of any journey, including career development. Instead of dwelling on them and letting them trigger impostor syndrome, see them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Be open and transparent about your mistakes, take steps to fix them, and move forward with the knowledge and experience you gain. Stay consistent and use each setback as a stepping stone to the next level.
Even though some things will not go as planned, take a step back and reflect on your accomplishments every three, six, and twelve months. That’s how you’ll prove to yourself that you did a good job.