This is episode #38 of The Goodness Squad podcast. If you have ever felt like you don’t belong, you don’t have enough credentials to actually sell anything or ask somebody to give you money, or maybe someone has given you money but you just got lucky and you’re kind of getting away with something, then you need this episode.
Every one of us experiences something called imposter syndrome as we start our own businesses. Even those of us who have been incredibly successful feel this way. I have 7 things you can do to help with this feeling, to push through it, because it’s extremely dangerous when it comes to your ability to be successful online in two ways: making money and helping others.
Satan does not want you to have the influence that God wants you to have. And he is going to convince you that you should not be in this space. So these seven tips are going to help you fight him.
What is impostor syndrome anyway?
Imposter syndrome is when you feel like you’re getting away with something. Essentially, you think “I don’t have a degree, so I really shouldn’t be teaching this. They could learn so much more from somebody else.”
Or you think, “Yeah, a lot of people enrolled in my course, but I just got lucky. It wouldn’t happen again. It has nothing to do with me or my hard work. I shouldn’t ask for money because XYZ.”
This is all imposter syndrome and I’m sure you have felt it. I have felt it. I still feel it often. I do. I feel imposter syndrome. I feel nervous sometimes that you guys are going to figure out I am just like you, that I’m just a mom who’s trying to learn as she goes.
But the truth is, I have 12 years of experience doing this. I do know more than someone who is just starting and I can help people, but I have to remind myself of this regularly.
7 Ways You Can Fight Impostor Syndrome
#1 – Romans 8:31
In Romans 8:31 we read:
“If God be for us, who can be against us?”
I want you to ask God if he wants you in this space. Does He want you to share goodness and light through a business that makes money? If the answer is yes, then your opinion doesn’t matter and frankly, neither does Jane’s down the street, or Julie’s, who is so much better than you are at what you’re doing, in your mind.
God’s opinion matters more than anyone else’s opinion. In fact, it matters so much that no one else’s opinion matters. They can’t be against you. If God is for you, who can be against you? Not even yourself. So pray for and ask for that confirmation.
This is the number one way I am able to keep myself on track. I know that in the summer of 2019, I felt prompted to start this business. I know I did. I wrote it down. I wrote it in my patriarchal blessing. There are pieces of my patriarchal blessing that honestly, in my mind, prophesied that I would start this business. I didn’t know that that’s what it was teaching me or telling me about until I was struck with that in the summer of 2019. I would encourage you to ask God if he wants you in this space.
#2 – embrace your superpower
Once you know you’re supposed to be here, you need to figure out exactly what it is that makes you unique and needed. If you go back to episode #1 of The Goodness Squad, I talk a lot about this.
We talk about superpowers being a combination of three things. It’s something you’re passionate about. Yes. And a lot of people stop there. They think “I’m passionate about this and I’m going to go teach about it.” It’s also something that you are good at it in two different ways: your hard skills and your soft skills.
So what are hard skills?
Hard skills are something like playing the piano. It is something that can be taught and it’s an actual skill that can often be seen. I can play the piano. So I’m passionate about it and I can play the piano. Great, fantastic. But that alone is not your superpower and it is not what’s going to make you stand out. It’s not what makes you needed in the space. There are plenty of piano teachers.
This is where self-doubt can come in and imposter syndrome can take over. You start to feel like there are so many other piano teachers out there and some of them have more skill than I do. They are better piano players. And so you start to doubt yourself that you don’t have a place in that space, but the third piece of your superpower is your soft skills. It’s things like patience or things like a disciplinarian.
You could have two different piano teachers:
- One who is extremely patient and a really good listener.
- One who is not necessarily impatient, but extremely strict.
Two completely different types of students would benefit from those two piano teachers. You need to figure out what that is about you because there are people who need you to be their piano teacher and not Jane or Sarah or Mary or whoever. They need you because of how you teach because of your soft skills.
I want you to dig really deep and figure out a combination or multiple combinations of those things. What is something that you’re passionate about? What is something that you’re good at? You have hard skills and what soft skills do you have that make your ability to teach and help others with that’s unique?
#3 – Change your focus
The honest truth is that imposter syndrome is all about you and your fears of how you are going to look in someone else’s eyes. “They’re gonna think I’m not good enough, my work, my experience isn’t enough.” It’s very self-focused.
If you change the question to, how can I help? Who can I help? Then this becomes a very different situation. You are focused on serving and helping and uplifting those who you can help. You’re okay accepting that there are people that you cannot help, right? You’re not the superstar piano teacher, or you’re not the super patient piano teacher. You’re okay accepting that and focusing on the people that you can help, that you are really good at helping.
You can’t do this until you know what your superpower is, but once you do, you need to focus on those people. What will they lose if you don’t move forward? What will they not accomplish in their life without your help? Focus on that and you will find the motivation to continue moving forward.
#4 – Change your Thoughts
You’ll hear all over the place, especially from life coaches, that if you want to change your feelings, you need to change your thoughts. But I have one caveat to that for my own personal life.
Whatever thought we think we have, we believe. For instance, I might have thought “I can’t be successful as a content marketer and I’m not ready. I am not in a position yet to believe the thought I can be successful as a content marketer.” I could say that as a mantra all day long, but it’s not as effective as saying something that I do believe.
Something like, “I can’t be a successful content marketer without help” or “I can’t be a successful content marketer unless I get over imposter syndrome” or “I can’t be a successful content marketer unless I work hard” or “I can’t be a successful content marketer unless I figure out something to sell.”
What can you change that statement to that takes the power back? It gives the power to you. What is something that you actually believe? I am not smart enough to help people. Okay. Well, what if you changed that to I’m not smart enough to help people learn how to change the oil in their car, but I am smart enough to teach them how to scrapbook?
Can you change it? Can you change the thoughts that are creating imposter syndrome to something that you believe is empowering?
#5 – Ask future you what she thinks
I want you to look into the future and ask future you what she hopes you do today, or this week, or this month. I want you to look into the future – a week or a month or a year or five years – What is she hoping and praying that you do today that will help you push through this imposter syndrome?
Future me hopes that I have helped a significant amount of women have influence online through money and through the things they teach. Money that they can share with causes that are important. Money that they can use to help people, but also money that they can use to bless their own families.
I also hope those women have an influence, that they are seen as distinct and different. And so I am going to keep working because future me wants that so desperately.
#6 – Keep a record of those you have helped
We tell you online to gather testimonials as coaches and content marketers. You should gather testimonials. And we tell you that it’s so that you can put those up on your sales pages, in your emails, and convince people to purchase from you. That is definitely one reason.
But a second reason, and equally as important, is to help you through imposter syndrome. When you get an email or a Facebook comment from someone saying, “I’ve never thought of that that way, this opened my eyes.” I want you to screenshot it, add it to a folder on your website, where you keep track of all of that so that when you are really feeling threatened by Satan and imposter syndrome, you can go look at that and realize you can see the proof that you have helped and can help people.
#7 – Take Action
I was talking to my 12-year-old son recently and he was asking me “Mom, I don’t know if I have faith. What if God, isn’t real? What if the Book of Mormon isn’t true? What if it’s all made up?”
I shared with him the story of Moses and his staff, the serpent, and how people were encouraged just to look and they would be healed. And we talked about how they could lay there all day long believing and thinking that, yeah, it might help, but I don’t know. And the only possible way for them to find out for sure was to look. If they looked, they would then either be healed or not be healed and they would know for sure which one was true.
That’s what faith is. It’s taking that action. You will never know for sure if you belong, you will never know for sure if you can be successful, you will never know for sure who you can help until you take action. Until you turn this into a business, create a product, choose an affiliate product to create and move, move forward, only then will you know for sure if this is where you are meant to be.
You might learn that you need to change and tweak things a little bit. In fact, I guarantee you will, you will launch something and you will realize, “Oh, I should change this on the sales page. I should change this on the email. I should modify this inside the product.” Ask my assistant, Audra, how many things I change about my products behind the scenes.
You don’t learn what it is you need to do until you act. Take action. Move forward. That is truly what faith is. It’s belief plus action. And then you learn and then you’re able to adjust and truly help people.
Your challenge to fight impostor syndrome this week
Your challenge this week is to pick one of them. Just pick one that you are going to try this week to help fight and get rid of that feeling of imposter syndrome.
- Ask God if this is where you are supposed to be.
- Figure out and embrace your superpower.
- Change your focus from yourself, to those you are trying to help and what they will miss out on if you don’t keep moving forward.
- Change your thoughts from I can’t to I can’t yet or I can’t do it without help.
- Ask future you what she wants.
- Keep a record of those people that you have helped.
- Take action. When you are moving forward, there is no room for doubt.
I would love to know which of these seven tips is most helpful? Leave me a review and let me know. I love feedback. That is how I adjust and make sure that I am giving you what you really need.
In the next episode, we are going to be talking about how to decide what to give away for free and what to charge for. This is one of the biggest decisions that you face as a content marketer. “I have to give away free content, but what if I give it all away and then I don’t have anything less left to sell?” Or “what if I’m keeping it all back to sell, then I don’t have anything to give away for free?”
I have a very clear way for you to choose what to give away for free and what to sell. And I will be going through that in podcast episode #39. I’ll see you there.