A Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing

 

We’re nearing the end of the year, and at this point people often begin reflecting on what they have or have *not* accomplished.

 

Maybe you set ambitious goals you’re not hitting, or you’ve hit the goal but you’re not sure how you did it and afraid to try replicating it next year.

If so, you’re in good company. A vast majority of small business owners just “figure it out” as they go. Working for yourself is hard. The stakes increase when you decide that you want to go beyond owning your job and move on to growing a business.

There’s a concept called “Imposter Syndrome” that describes people who are fearful that:  

  • They don’t know what they’re doing.
  • They’re afraid people are going to find out.

 

It’s super common. Think about what it’s like for a small business owner who runs a cool company, and that company isn’t actually doing so great but he is still known around town as the cool guy who started that cool business. Perhaps that business owner has even been given praises or commendation that he/she is afraid they can’t actually live up to. Everyone thinks he is super savvy but he feels, well, rather sheepish.  

Imposter Syndrome makes you feel like you’re a liar and feel anxious about keeping “the secret.”

Can you relate at all?

 

Here are 4 keys to fighting Imposter Syndrome:

 

  • Review what got you here.

Chances are, you actually did something right. You made some good decisions that put you in the position you’re in. Give yourself some credit. Recognize your hard work.

  • Realize people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.

People think mostly about themselves. An uncomfortable job interview is one of the only places all of those credentials and experience have to be accounted for. In the day to day rhythm of life, people are thinking about meeting their own goals. If you are working hard to meet yours, chance are the improvising, learning and hustling that you are using to get there are the same tools used by most business owners you encounter.

  • Focus on daily actions, not the goals.

Goals are for losers, systems are for winners. When we set goals, we tend to push hard for a week, max, and then fizzle out and wallow in discouragement at our inability to reach our goals. Set goals, yes. But come up with a system that is sustainable and realistic. Map out your 20-mile-march. Use daily realistic actionables versus lofty goals.

  • Stop thinking qualitatively about yourself.

You’re genetically incredibly similar to the people you see and think of as successful.  You’re not somehow qualitatively different.  Perhaps you’ve had more to learn, you’ve had some setbacks, or different obstacles.  Don’t think about this process as “some” people can accomplish certain things if they have “what it takes” but rather anyone can learn the right activities and skill sets associated with any given objective.  It comes down to commitment – a willingness to endure discomfort for the sake of a goal.

Drown the thoughts of inferiority and self-doubt out by remembering the skill sets you DO possess, setting your mind to your daily actionable task, and hustling like you always do. Your own thoughts are one of the only things setting limitations on what you can do.

 

 

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