Imposter Syndrome is a classic condition of any new entrepreneur!

Did you know that women are more likely to apply for a job when they meet 100% of the job criteria? Whereas men will more often apply when they meet 60% of the criteria. We all sometimes lack confidence or feel we are not as good as the next person. This is especially true of new entrepreneurs who are trying to do so many things for the first time. But doing something new is more exciting and exhilarating than doing something that is routine. And every little new thing, new step forward can put a smile on your face. And usually we look back and say that wasn’t as bad as I thought!

Imposter syndrome is where you have feelings of self doubt and a lack of self-confidence. This can be just related to specific roles or parts of your job. Sheryl Sandberg has an impressive resume (COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org). She has famously been recorded saying that she has often felt that she isn’t worthy of her accomplishments!!

In imposter syndrome we may feel like we are a fraud, have in our head negative chat “They all know that they are doing better than me” or dwell on mistakes and assume that no one else makes similar mistakes.

A client recently pointed out that the use of the term “Imposter Syndrome” is somewhat unfair and needs to be ditched! At the end of the day if you are trying new things such as starting a business, changing your job, taking up a new hobby – then of course you may feel less confident or that you are “winging it” 80% of the time. Confidence comes with time, experience, practice and gaining coaching or training. And if we stand still and do the same job all our life then yes we may be able to avoid so called “Imposter Syndrome” but we could find life very dull!

Perhaps I am an expert in “Imposter Syndrome” as I love doing new things. 3 years ago I joined gaelic football for Mothers.  I had never kicked a ball before in my life!! Most of the women were in my eyes pure brilliant. But I now have got the hang of it and really enjoy the run about in the fresh air. Last year I volunteered to be a Football Coach! Ok so I think of myself more as a “helper”, rather than a Coach and yes my 6 male colleague coaches have all definitely more lifetime kicking and shooting experience than me, but as the only woman and someone that believes in empowering young girls, then when I reflect on the past year I definitely bring other things to the group.

Imposter Syndrome

So you don’t need to be any of the following:

  • A perfectionist
  • An expert
  • A natural genius
  • An superwoman
  • A soloist (doing everything on your own)

Just go for the new adventure, enjoy the ride, prepare where you can and wing it where you can’t!

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