I have a friend who recently quit a well-paying job to start a new business in an industry for which she has little to no experience. When she forwarded me an email from someone in the industry preparing to do something very similar to what she was planning, I got the sense that she was experiencing a case of impostor syndrome. So I shared with her some friendly advice I was taught in hypnotherapy school that made a lot of sense to me when it was put into perspective.
This is the advice I shared with friend; she loved it so much she suggested I share it with others who may be feeling like a fraud in their career or business.
There’s no competition. She’s not you. And there’s no one else quite like you for YOU are the only you. Yes, it may seem like you are in direct competition with others who have the same offerings as you, but here’s the truth: the only person you’re competing with is yourself. Everyone else has their own unique background, motive, perspective, or specialty, so they naturally have their own audience, just like you do from your unique experiences that only you have experienced as you—experiences no one can take away from you.
If two of you offered the same exact thing, I’d pick you because you’re most like me. You’re more relatable. You’re closer to me in age so you’d be more likely to get me than someone significantly older. And you get what impostor syndrome feels like because all the aspiring entrepreneurs you want to work with are no doubt feeling the same exact way, asking themselves: “Who am I to think I can do this when I’ve never done it before?” Overcome this disempowered way of thinking and it will become a fundamental component of the very thing you are creating for others so that you can help them overcome their own limitations.
In my experience of you, you seem to keep revisiting images of past failures that have spilled over into your new business dreams in the form of stress and overwhelm. Consider journaling about the valuable lessons you learned about why that old business didn’t work out for you. Take those learnings and apply that to this new business venture so that you don’t repeat those mistakes. Similarly, journal about what made you successful in the corporate world and apply those principles to your new entrepreneurial endeavors. Using these insights, make it so that failure is no longer an option.
Lastly, ask yourself this: What would have to happen for you not to feel like an impostor or fraud? Don’t have enough experience? Create an action plan that allows you to get the experience you need in one way or another. Don’t believe yourself? Develop of a daily practice that will strengthen your beliefs, such as keeping the agreements you make with yourself and others.
When I first got into coaching, I had zero client experience and felt like an impostor promoting myself as a coach when I had never coached anyone a day in my life. So I strategically offered my coaching program to five people free of charge; by the time I was done, I had over 60 hours of client experience and had successfully taken each individual through my entire program.
When I was in hypnotherapy school, I completed well over 100+ hours of pro-bono hypnotherapy sessions and was among the top in my graduating class to earn a clinical achievement award—the highest honor one can receive from Hypnosis Motivation Institute for exceptional performance during clinical internship and outstanding academic achievement. With nearly 200 collective hours under my belt, I no longer felt inauthentic about calling myself a coach or hypnotherapist. And by now, I’m sure I’m closer to 300 hours of experience (not including my continuing education in this field).
What kind of action plan can you implement to prove to yourself that you are NOT an impostor or fraud? How can you reframe your experiences in such a way that only YOU can reach your target audience? What is one thing you can do to build credibility within yourself so that others will find you credible as well? As you discover those answers for yourself, remember this: You have no competition. There is only one you, and you are the best in the world at being you 🙂
If you like what I wrote or have anything to add, please share in the comments below!