Imposter syndrome and entrepreneurship

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“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” Oprah Winfrey

In our lives, there has been a period where we have a feeling of not being enough after dedicating our all to the achievement of a goal, belief, or aspirations. Maybe when you are in grad school and after putting in your best, you came out with a good grade, but not the best. This can lead you to question your capacity and not giving yourself the praise you deserve. If this happens consistently, then it means imposter syndrome is a thing for you.

As an entrepreneur, imposter syndrome is a thing you should look out for. It is a phenomenon whereby people don’t believe in their exploits or capabilities.

You may think your product or service is not up to scratch even after putting in much effort. You may feel like you are ripping people off their money, whereas you are doing exceptionally well in your field.

No matter the success you have achieved, if you are not appreciative enough and embrace yourself, you will continually battle with imposter syndrome when it comes to crucial decisions in your businesses such as pricing, customer service, ROI, and others.

However, it is crucial to know and understand imposter syndrome signs before attempting to fix them.

Signs to look out for in an entrepreneur battling with imposter syndrome

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1. You tend to look down on your achievements.

If you put in the effort, you should always be glad about the results. Though there are sometimes that the results are not enough, you should be appreciative of what you have done and look for ways to improve. If for any reason, you are not always satisfied with your input, it means you may be battling with imposter syndrome.

2. You allow peoples’ opinions to affect you.

If for some reason, you allow people’s opinions to affect the way you look at yourself, then you need to work a lot on your self-confidence before it leads to imposter syndrome deficiency.

3. If you always wave your success and achievement away as luck

If you are not appreciative of the efforts you put in, it means something is wrong. For example, if you set a goal of selling a certain percentage and meet up, you should appreciate yourself instead of attributing it all to luck.

How to overcome imposter syndrome as an entrepreneur

1. Identify it early and put it under control.

As an entrepreneur, there are some things you should always lookout for early to help determine if you are suffering from the notorious syndrome or not.

For example, while setting your products or service price, you should never overthink what people would think. In as much as you have carried out your due diligence and comparing the associated costs with the other prices, you are good to go. You shouldn’t think less of your business capacity when you have put in all the necessary work. If you do this often, you should start looking out.

2. Always make a mental note of your accomplishments.

Most times, because of the struggles to be perfect in our dealings, entrepreneurs forget their brilliance and how they have built something out of their business. You should always think about how you started and how far you have come. It is okay to think about where you are going but never make it seem like you have not done anything positive in running your business.

You can start collecting things that will remind you of your business success, such as emails from loved ones, pictures of milestones achieved, or a note from a client.

3. Write down what you are thankful for

There is nothing as beautiful as writing down all your accomplishments. Writing itself is therapeutic, then when you add writing beautiful things, it is an excellent way to overcome your imposter syndrome. Write down the milestone of your business. Write down a lot about stuff that brings you joy about your business. It will continually remind you of how amazing you are as an entrepreneur.

4. Never compare yourself with others.

As an entrepreneur, you need to take things one step at a time. Never compare your success and achievement with other businesses because the circumstances are not always the same.

Compare your results with your results of yesterday. Measure your performance with how you were doing in the last quarter. This will make it easy to appreciate yourself, your dedication, and your brilliance towards achieving your goals. Imposter syndrome arises as a feeling of not being enough, but when you are appreciative of the efforts you are putting in, you will always overcome it.

5. Stay around mentors that can help you overcome your imposter issues.

Usually, mentors are needed in all fields for guidance and support. In entrepreneurship, you need someone that has been there before who can guide and support you through your worst time.

When you are around people who have gone through imposter syndrome, they can give you advice and insights on how you can overcome yours. Move close to people in your industry and grow with them.

6. Speak out

When you start having feelings related to imposter syndrome, look for a trusted friend or mentor. When you speak out, this allows you to heal and free your mind. Your mentors will then share their experiences with you and how they could scale through at their worst period. This fosters togetherness in life and put your mind at rest that you have someone who has been through that lane before.

7. Accept reality and move on.

In life, one of the best ways to overcome a problem is to accept it and move on towards solving it. When you have the feeling of an imposter, do your work diligently and keep reminding yourself you are enough, and you are putting in the work to make your business successful. There is a way to leverage negative feelings and turn them into positive ones that will inspire growth. Do that!


Summarily, the truth is that everyone feels inferior at their craft from one point to another. When this happens, ensure you don’t get affected too much. Please write down your wins, talk to a mentor for support, embrace yourself, and give it your all. You deserve more than being caged by imposter syndrome. You are doing enough for your business already. Why not enjoy the ride?

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