I feel like an imposter. Am I good enough to manage my team?

You’ve won a lucrative contract 🎉 your sales are on the up 📈 and you feel like you’re on top of the world 🌎

Then BOOM 👊 you team start asking questions about how you'll deliver this and those negative thoughts start to creep into your mind. And suddenly, you’re riddled with self-doubt. That celebratory emotion has never been so short-lived.

If this sounds like you, fear not. You’re not alone.

I read an article in HRnews that said 85% of British workers suffer from imposter syndrome. And what’s more, 90% of women do.

This corroborates my own experience – of helping so many small business owners on their leadership journey – to deal with imposter syndrome.

In fact, it’s so prevalent, I’ve decided to write a blog about it. So, push those potentially destructive thoughts to one side for a moment, and take a peek 👇

WHAT EXACTLY IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME?

The online Cambridge Dictionary definition is this 👉 “The feeling that your achievements are not real or that you do not deserve praise or success.”

In my experience, it’s quite common amongst small business owners who set up a business and then suddenly feel guilty for charging others for a product or a service they provide.

For example, you might think to yourself, ‘What right do I have to advise my customer on how to do their social media when I’m not even that good at it myself?’ Even if those claims can’t be substantiated.

Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in both your thoughts, words, and actions. And what’s more, can be caused by a wide variety of things. From your upbringing to your mental health.

DO YOU HAVE IMPOSTER SYNDROME?

Small business owners who have imposter syndrome are often anticipating being ‘found out’ or ‘proven wrong’ – or simply waiting to make a mistake. They believe they’re phonies, and one day, the truth will out them as such.

According to Verywell Mind, below are some of the different types of imposter syndrome manifestations. Do you recognise any of them in yourself?

🤔 You focus too much on the cock-ups you’ve made, rather than the amazing successes you’ve had

🏃 You work, work, work to make up for feeling incompetent

🎓 You have an insatiable appetite to master new stuff, even though you’re already an expert in your field

📈 You set the bar too high for yourself, setting yourself up for unnecessary falls

😩 You take everything on, because you don’t trust others, and would feel ashamed to ask for help anyhow!

HOW IMPOSTER SYNDROME MIGHT AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS

There’s no doubt that having an imposter syndrome mindset will affect how you run your business. Here’s how…

👉 You procrastinate when it comes to making decisions

You don't want to make the wrong decision, so you don't make one at all. But your staff will get frustrated if you consistently avoid decisions, and it could jeopardise your credibility.

👉 It can sap your time and energy

If you’re constantly dwelling on the negative, striving for perfection, fearing failure, and trusting nobody – you’re gonna be wasting hours or days, and generally feeling pretty low and exhausted at the same time.

👉 It can stop you from demanding what you’re worth from your clients

When you’re overcome by feelings of low self-worth, it could play into your pricing strategy. Preventing you from charging correctly for your products or services.

👉 It can stunt the growth of your business

Being scared to fail, or worrying that you’re not good enough, can prevent you from taking the risks you need to take, to scale your business further.

But, this can also be the very reason you’re successful!

Some entrepreneurs win at business because of their imposter syndrome. They plan for failure – so nothing goes wrong – and they expect an awful lot from themselves. This fear drives them to do everything they can to achieve the success they’ve been dreaming of.

So, imposter syndrome isn’t always a bad thing 🙅

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO COMBAT IMPOSTER SYNDROME 👇

While I’m no psychologist, there may be a genuine reason why you’re feeling inadequate about your own ability as a small business owner.

So, why not invest in some self-development? Whether it’s help from a person, or things you can do yourself to validate your own skills or show you where you could improve.

Why not try… 

👉 Getting a better understanding of your own personality?

Get some external feedback on your working style, through personality tools like:

➡360-degree feedback
➡Insights Discovery
➡Myers Briggs
➡Facet5 Personality Profiling
➡DiSC styles

👉 Getting a mentor?

Appoint somebody to share their knowledge, skills, expertise, experience, and contacts with you. A friendly face to offer a fresh perspective on the way you run your business and lead your people, can be super-useful.

In terms of finding a mentor, you may have a business contact you admire and respect that you think could help?

Or alternatively, you can find a mentor via this database 👉 www.mentorsme.co.uk

👉 Getting some leadership training?

Leading people can be hard work! It’s a skill that most of us need, yet very few of us are taught.

I can help make it much easier for you, by teaching you the essential leadership skills and techniques to build a super (high performing) team.

📲 If you’re interested, then why not book a FREE CONSULTATION with me and we can chat about how I might be able to help you?

👉 Celebrating your wins more often? (and the successes of others) 🎉

Don’t forget to take the time to look at, and reflect on, the things you’ve achieved. The big wins, but also the small milestones too. For example, managing to hit a deadline, getting some nice feedback, or conquering a fear.

Congratulating others for their victories will help you to feel better too. Perhaps do this with your staff?

TO SUM THINGS UP THEN

📊 Imposter syndrome is a very common thing to suffer from

😲 It’s when you feel like you’re going to be ‘found out’ for being a fraud, even when you’re not a fraud!

😢 There are many different signs that somebody has imposter syndrome. For example, they might dwell on the mistakes they make and dismiss any victories they have

🙅And for small business owners, it can stop you from scaling your business

💪It’s not all bad though Having imposter syndrome can drive you to achieve the successes you’ve always wanted

🤗But, if you are struggling with imposter syndrome, there are things you can do to help you to feel more confident as a small business owner, or leader

🎉 Things like using personality tools, getting a mentor, investing in leadership training, and celebrating your wins more often. Get in touch, I might be able to help 📲

Mandy Hamerla

Virtual HR Director & Leadership Mentor. I create game-changing HR & Hiring Strategies for ambitious small businesses in the UK and support you to lead your team with confidence. Check out my shop to download HR Templates & Contracts designed to make life easier.

www.modernhr.co.uk