How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Understanding the Challenge of Self-Doubt

Have you ever felt like you weren’t qualified to do something?

I hear this sentiment all the time from my clients. They get close to launching their business or their personal brand, and they start to let self-doubt creep in. All of a sudden, they don’t feel qualified to launch their business or they come up with an excuse as to why they’re not ready to start. Oftentimes, they compare themselves to their competition and let insecurity affect their drive. It’s easy to compare yourself to everyone who’s ahead of you in the game, to all the people who have successful businesses doing something similar to what you’re doing.

I try not to think about my competition because I’ve found that it isn’t helpful. There are so many marketing companies out there, and I could have easily never launched my business because there was someone who had already done what I was about to do. The truth is though, while there are many digital marketing experts out there, not everyone has my skills, knowledge, background and story. That’s what makes D2 unique!

Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and I started to see more and more of it when I started working with personal brands. Your personal brand, after all, is you. You have to be confident in your skills and in your direction, but it’s hard to have confidence when you haven’t gotten one client yet. Even if you’re well-qualified, there’s a different kind of pressure when your name is attached to the business. You’re no longer on a corporate team contributing — 100% of the outcome of the company is up to you. This challenge can be scary and can create self-doubt if you let it.

The first thing I tell people is to remember why they’re launching their business in the first place. I want them to focus on who they’re helping and what difference they’re making in the world. After all, it’s not about you, it’s about who you’re helping. If you keep that at the front of your mind, you won’t care what people think about what you’re doing.

The great thing about launching a personal brand is that you don’t have to be perfect for everyone. It’s actually better if you’re not. I encourage people to create a niche and to only go after people like them (their dream client). You don’t need everyone to love you or buy from you. But what if you could tap into just 1% of your industry? You’d probably be massively successful.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

If you start to feel like you aren’t qualified to do your job or launch your business, here are some steps to help you overcome those feelings:

  1. Reframe your mindset. Don’t worry about what people might think of you, especially those who aren’t even your target audience. Think of the people who need what you have and who you will be helping with your product or service.
  1. Make a list of all of your skills and what makes you qualified to do what you do. What 5-10 things have you accomplished in your life that have gotten you to where you are today? We all have these benchmarks, so dig deep and make a list. You might even ask past colleagues or your partner what your biggest strengths are to get an outside perspective. Put this list on your phone or on your bathroom mirror and read it every day. You are more than qualified to do what you do and there are people on the other side who need you!
  1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. No one has your exact skills and knowledge and no one is on the same path as you. If you put your head down, do the work and trust your instincts, you’ll be successful. Don’t waste too much time comparing your journey to anyone else’s.
  1. Highlight the things that make you different. Your brand and your story are unique, own that. If you are true to yourself,  you will attract the right client.
  1. Let go of being perfect. No one is perfect and there’s no such thing as the perfect time to launch your business. Now is the time! If we all waited to take action until everything in our lives was perfect we would never do anything. Celebrate your successes along the way and when a mistake happens, figure out what you could do differently next time and move on. Perfectionism is exhausting and no one is perfect. Remember, it’s better to launch with imperfections than to never launch at all!

If you are starting to feel imposter syndrome kick in, stop what you are doing and go back and read your list. You are unique, you have a story to tell and people need what you have to offer.

The key is to move forward, cast down any negative thoughts and just keep moving. Launch that business, and create that personal brand — the world can benefit from what you’re offering.

Deedra Determan, Founder

Deedra Determan started her career working in television for one of the top media companies in the country and later became a marketing consultant in the television industry.

Determan went on to launch a niche website for moms in her local market with over 100,000 moms visiting the website each month using the power of Facebook. After one year from launching, Determan sold the website to Oklahoma Media Company, Griffin Communications. Determan went on to launch a digital marketing agency, D2 Branding – Tulsa SEO, Marketing, and Website Design that was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur360.

Determan is the host of the Do It My Way Podcast Show, empowering women business owners and CEO’s to do business on their terms with no regrets, hesitation or fear. Determan coaches these women on how to create a personal brand so they can live a life of financial freedom, working when they want to work and making the money they want to make!