What do I mean by imposter syndrome? It is the persistent inability to believe that your success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result your own efforts or skills.
“Who would believe that”, you ask? “Of course, I worked hard to be where I am today.”
Imposter syndrome is far more common than you might think. Search for “imposter syndrome quotations,” and you’ll learn that Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer, many athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, and other people have it. And these are only the ones who are brave enough to talk about it.
“I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.” —John Steinbeck
Who would think John Steinbeck suffered from imposter syndrome? The author of Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, and many other notable novels, Steinbeck also received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was either a great fooler or a great writer.
Imposter Syndrome Has No Connection to Facts
If a Nobel Prize winner can feel like an imposter, you don’t need to feel badly about your own self-doubts. That’s the first step in overcoming them: accepting your doubts instead of berating yourself.
Do you say to yourself, “Yes, I feel like a total phony, and I’m in good company. Now, what am I going to do about it?”
Am I trying too hard to go it alone?
Sometimes we think the only way we can show up as authentic successes is to do it all by ourselves. If we ask others for help or advice, we’re telling them and ourselves that we don’t know everything. Therefore, we’ve failed.
Truly successful people know that they need a community of people to help them succeed (and whom they can help in return). Part of success involves the humility to know that you don’t know everything—and that you do know whom to ask.
If you’re starting or building a business, cultivate a business coach who has solved the problems you face.
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
Am I forgetting the times I’ve succeeded at something?
As soon as you finish this blog, make a list of your first successes, every success you can think of. Nothing is too small.
List the time you completed LNC training, got your first client, received your first referral, wrote your first report or testified for the first time.
Use this list to cull the most outstanding successes. Move them to another list, one that you print out and keep on your desk. Read it whenever imposter syndrome strikes.
Do you have written testimonials from attorneys? Letters and emails from grateful clients are great antidotes for the imposter syndrome.
Do I think I have to get it right the first time?
Good luck with that. I don’t know of any LNCs, for example, who wrote a perfect report the first time, without editing. Many successful entrepreneurs failed in their first businesses, sometimes more than once.
People who genuinely succeed learn from their failures. They try again.
You might be thinking, “That’s so discouraging. I don’t have the courage to keep on trying on failing.”
Consider this. There are two ways to fail. One is by trying and trying. The other is by giving up. If you keep trying, you have a shot at success. When you quit, you have none.
By you giving up, the world doesn’t get what you have to give.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” —Confucius
If you’d like to explore what your business could be like with the help of an experienced LNC business coach, let’s talk. Here is a link to apply for an opportunity to have a call with Pat Iyer: https://legalnursebusiness.com/need-help-legal-nurse-consultant-business/