If you’re running your own business, then we’re pretty sure you’ve had to face up to the challenge of overcoming imposter syndrome at one time or another.
Have you ever doubted your abilities or felt discouraged? Maybe you even wondered why you ever decided to go down the route of becoming a location independent therapist?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
At some point, almost every business owner will have to face that unwelcome visitor, imposter syndrome. The stats suggest that up to 84% of entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with overcoming imposter syndrome, so it’s a common challenge.
We recently dedicated a Community Business Meetup to this topic in our paid LIT Community. And we found out that every single member had battled with imposter syndrome at some point on their location independent journey.
We even decided that mental health professionals, especially those of us who are running our own business, may be even more at risk of imposter syndrome.
You may be wondering, why is this?
As business owners, we’re constantly pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to grow our businesses, and we don’t get the same external validation that we would get in other jobs.
Also, as therapists, sometimes even when we do our best work our clients might not improve. We also may have seasons where we have more clients, and others where we have less. It’s easy to start questioning your talent and capability in those slower times of the year.
But it’s absolutely worth fighting back against imposter syndrome, so you can have the freedom of a location independent life while doing rewarding work that you enjoy.
So, here are some tips we came up with for overcoming imposter syndrome as a therapist and business owner.
1. Make sure that you’re working with clients that are a good fit
This is something we’ve experienced personally, and many of our LIT members could also relate. When you work with your ideal client, you are more likely to find it easier to connect, support them, and see the value you provide to them.
Photo credit: Beci Harmony on Unsplash
2. Save positive feedback for when imposter syndrome strikes
It’s helpful to have some positive feedback and notes to look through when you’re struggling with imposter syndrome.
We recommend creating a folder on your computer with little reminders of the positive impact you have on those around you. It could be a testimonial or even a short message from a client after a particularly helpful session. Or, it could be feedback you’ve received from colleagues, mentors, or even on social media.
Get into the habit of saving these reminders so you can come back to them when you’re facing imposter syndrome. It’s easy to get sucked in and start focus on anything negative (perceived or real).
Having a stash of positive messages could be just what you need to put things into perspective and boost your spirits.
3. Acceptance and Commitment therapy tools for overcoming imposter syndrome
You’re probably familiar with these tools and may even use them with your clients. But you can also apply them to your own life with great effect, especially for overcoming imposter syndrome.
Incorporate mindfulness into your own life, so that whenever you feel any imposter syndrome thoughts popping up, you can simply observe them. Then, you can choose an action that’s aligned with your values to respond to those feelings.
4. Don’t let perfectionism hold you back.
Perfectionism and imposter syndrome often come hand in hand, making you doubt your efforts. If you’re dealing with imposter syndrome, that might present in a form of perfectionism that stops you from putting things out into the world or taking action out of fear that it’s not good enough.
But when you feel that way, it’s important to remind yourself that ‘done is better than perfect.’ Often, we’re our own worst critics, and no one will even notice the things you were worried about.
So, hit publish on that blog post, try out a new business idea, or dive into the location independent life – even if it doesn’t feel perfect to you (yet). It may never feel perfect and you don’t want to be waiting forever.
5. Don’t do it all alone!
Most importantly, if you’re dealing with imposter syndrome, stop suffering in silence!
Since it’s tied to a fear of being “found out,” sharing the fact that you feel imposter syndrome can feel very dangerous, but sharing it is exactly what will help you remember it’s not a reflection of reality and that you’re not alone.
Photo credit: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
This is why the LIT Community is so great, because it offers a safe and supportive space to talk about the real challenges that come with being a location independent therapist.
Does this sound familiar? If you’ve struggled with imposter syndrome, let us know what triggered it for you and how you dealt with it in the comments below.
And if you’d like access to a supportive community of colleagues who have been through similar challenges as location independent therapists and business owners, then the LIT Community could be the perfect place for you.
It’s where we share our struggles (including when imposter syndrome hits), get inspiration and advice, and connect and collaborate with other mental health professionals around the world.