Ever heard a little voice telling you you’re not as good as you think you are? That any moment now everyone’s going to find out you’re a fraud?
That voice is sometimes referred to as the Imposter, and I’m here to tell you that whatever it may have shamed you into believing, it’s not a phenomenon unique to you! In fact, Wikipedia says up to 70% of all people – particularly high achievers – have encountered the Imposter at some point in their lives.
My personal observation is that the Imposter is especially influential among what I call ‘souloists’ – those soloists whose work comes from a soul-centred place.
One of the ways it exerts its power is by preventing you from shining your light out into the world.
How does this manifest with many of the souloists I work with?
- It makes them scared to speak with authority because they’re worried about being ‘exposed’.
- It induces marketing paralysis (the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ leads to little or no marketing activity).
- It leads to marketing mimicry (in which they copy the marketing styles and practices of others, and in so doing prevent themselves from standing out).
Here are three clues that your inner Imposter may be wielding too much power over your business, along with some ideas for helping you lessen its grip.
Symptom 1: You worry you don’t know enough
For many souloists, the secret to effective marketing lies not in their knowledge, but in their wisdom: the unique combination of skill, experience and insight that makes them exactly the right person to do what they do. Yet, many worry they don’t know enough, and so procrastinate by getting stuck into a never-ending cycle of courses and research with which to validate themselves and their feeling that they’re ‘just not ready yet’.
Treatment: Step back and take an objective assessment. On paper, do you have the appropriate qualifications and experience to offer your services at a professional level? If so, what’s going on at a personal level that’s impeding your confidence? And if not, what specific knowledge gaps do you need to fill before moving forward?
Symptom 2: You feel uncomfortable about your fees
If there’s any kind of emotional disconnect between what you’re charging and how worthy you feel of receiving it, you’re going to radiate a hesitancy that will make it hard for people to trust you enough to want to give you their cash. Consequently all your marketing efforts will struggle.
Treatment: Sit quietly and imagine how it feels to be one of your customers going through the process of receiving your product or service. Standing in their shoes, what feels like the most appropriate price to pay you? Now, how does that align with your current pricing? Does something need to change before you can charge the fee that feels right to you?
Symptom 3: You believe any success you’ve had so far has been a fluke
Attributing the good things you’ve achieved to some random universal lottery in which coincidence, timing or chance meetings conspired in your favour automatically places you in a position of powerlessness. What if you never win the lottery again?
Treatment: Regarding your successes as the result of fluke is not the way to replicate them or build on them. Instead, grab a piece of paper and make a list of all your achievements, and then the talents, personal attributes and experiences that contributed to your results. Notice that while you might have had a stroke of good fortune here and there, in reality, success only followed because you had what it took to run with those lucky breaks when they came your way.
These limiting beliefs are just a few of the many sneaky tricks your inner Imposter employs to sabotage your success and prevent you from shining your light.
Have you detected any other limiting beliefs? If so, how did you release their power?