Imposter Syndrome – How Do I Cope?

You’ve probably seen the term “imposter syndrome” bandied about a lot on social media recently but what is it and how do we get over it?! 

Imposter Syndrome can be described as a psychological pattern in which someone doubts themselves and their accomplishments. And although my business has been purely built up via social media, Instagram is responsible for much of this for me! 

So, as you know, I have a (very) small business i.e. just me, sewing at my dining table. So when I rock up at networking meetings, or the like, I always feel a little bit awkward about talking about “business”. Rewind 25 years and I was playing with an old briefcase of my dad and forms my mum had picked up from the post office, so my brothers and I could play “business”. I should be an expert by now… but actually, sometimes I feel like I haven’t got a clue.

imposter syndrome

There are days when I am totally on top of it all, when orders have been sent out, accounts are up to date and I’ve got a plan in place for the coming months but more often that not, I think ‘Who am I kidding?!’ At that point, its time to look back at what I’ve achieved so far and take take on board some of these pointers to get my confidence back for the next hour/day/meeting/whatever….

How can I keep track of my accomplishments?

Financially, this is fairly easy to remind yourself of – just have a quick peek at your order book or accounts to see what you’ve achieved and give yourself a pat on the back. It doesn’t matter if you’re making tenners or trillions at this point, as long as those numbers are steadily on the up!

But personal accomplishments are often harder to remember in times of doubt so write something you’ve achieved each day (if you’re super organised!) or each week in a diary and look back at it when you’re feeling a bit of the old imposter thang. It could be as simple as taking some product photos that you’re really proud of, making a good connection with someone on Twitter or securing your biggest order ever that week. Whatever it is, recording these over time will make you realise just how far you’ve come!

Who do you want to impress?

It’s human nature to want to fit in and make the best impression but your family and real friends will love you and support you no matter what and they’re the ones that really matter! So just try to be yourself and you’ll find like-minded souls – there’s literally no point in pretending to be someone you’re not and then having to try and keep up that charade forevermore. 

What happens if it goes wrong? 

Probably nothing. You might feel like a plonker for a bit but that’s all. Life will go on, people will forget and you can start stressing about the next time you feel like you’ve said the wrong thing/fall up the stairs/throw coffee down yourself /all of the above. 

And after all that, I remember how many people email and message asking to collaborate and wanting to charge me insane amounts for the privilege, as if I’m some big corporation – Some people get impression that That Little Outfit is super successful so I must be doing something right (even I can’t quite afford their proposals 😂). Fake it ‘til you make it and all that jazz!

Just keep doing what you’re doing, girl. Imposter schmoster 💪🏼.