You want little old me” syndrome?
How to fix imposter syndrome - fast!
The phone rings and a voice says “Is that Mandie Holgate”
I answer “Yes that’s right”
The voice on the end says “Good it’s the home office here, we’d like to speak to you…”
Gulp I think;
a) “How’d they find me I thought I was safe on Mersea Island, half the planet has never heard of the place!”
B) “Oh no now what have I done”
And yet why am I thinking either of these because the most “In trouble” I’ve ever been is travelling from Leicester to Cambridge on a travel card that I didn’t know had been purchased on a student card. (turned out I had £1.30 reduced off of my ticket, which I shouldn’t have, 2 burly transport police at your door when your 18 is a bit scary to explain to your mum but that’s a story for another day – it was all good and a bit boring).
So why was my first response when the home office rings to think panic stations change your name, run like your Jason Bourne against the baddies being shot at?
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Why was that my first response?
Because like most of my clients I suffer from a big fat dose of “you want little old me” syndrome?
It’s also known as imposter syndrome and a ton of other names however whatever you wish to call it, it’s a big fat obstacle to your success if you let it. And I’ve seen it rear its head up enough times in front of a talented clients career path to know that so here is my quick top tip shoot it down, and chop it up guide to cutting that big bad mind set down to size.
(For the record the Home office were inviting me to hear the home secretary speak about women in business, apparently I’d come to their attention for the right reasons and I even got to pose a question to her! – And I’m happy to help you get known as a thought leader in your field too, just ask me how.)
- Mind the gap
That’s the gap between what your words in your head are saying and what the facts are saying. If you were to sit with a coach like me and they sifted through the facts of what you have achieved up to this moment in time and they then sat with you and wrote them all down in a nice long list it would make for impressive reading, so write that list. (It’s a powerful list to remind you that you are very capable and its packed with examples of your abilities, skills and experiences.)
And then be mindful of the ridiculous things you allow yourself to say to you. I had a client tell me they were “Just a house wife” and yet here in front of me was someone that had worked in one of the toughest environments on the planet. The most fearless financially savvy business minded entrepreneurs would gulp at setting foot into where this woman had worked and yet this woman dismissed her brilliance. (A good thing I could see it and was wowed by it!)
- Give Me A Cheer!
When you are really in the doldrums and can’t find a way into a positive mind set. Sometimes knowing the facts and statistics just is not enough. I know first-hand that sometimes even when things are going right you just get this negativity that you can’t shake. You are a human being, you are not supposed to be on some emotional Disney princess high 24 hours a day. If you didn’t feel miserable once in a while how would you know what a good day looked like? Wow were you expecting me to say that? I’m not telling you that you can hang out in misery town and expect success to come knocking for you, because it won’t. However, what I am saying is that you are allowed to feel like it’s tough once in a while. And if you are having a moment, accept it is a moment. And work out how you will get out of that moment. And a word of caution here. You will not get out of that negative mind-set with chocolate, wine or kicking the dog. I want you to look at the chart below and work out what is in your negative mind-set. What do you tell yourself and how can you spin that toad on its head? How can you turn that toad into a prince (since the analogies of fairy tales keep on coming…
I’m not good enough to be in front of an audience!
Someone has to why not you?
Why are they going to listen to me?
Why won’t they listen to you, someone has to be the expert?
I’m just a sole trader they will want a big business wont they
More than anything won’t they want quality service, products, etc. Can you deliver on that?
I'm a small company, they won't want us?
They already know how big you are they found you online didn’t they? They want to work with you!
What would be in column one for you and how would you turn that frog into a prince (or princess the choice is yours)
3. Get Off
We spend far too much time online. Okay so it can be a powerful tool for marketing and promoting your business and for getting you known as a thought leader, however it can also make you feel like the whole world has it sussed, is living life like a Disney Princess and never has a bad day. On the other hand, you could be surrounded by negativity and what is that doing for your mind set and the “Little old me” syndrome. Get off of it. In the words of the 1970’s TV show “Why don’t You” Go and do something a little less boring instead. Find a different way to feel your fingers, your actions and most importantly your mind.
By spending so much time online you are constantly comparing yourself to every person that is there. That is not healthy, while it is great to find role models, inspiration and mentors. It is not good to constantly analyse and question everything you say do and choose to think. So get off.
4. They Love ya!
Whether you like it or not. You are already loved. Every client that has displayed the “It’s just me” syndrome has had a nose dive of confidence, questioning if they can really do what they think they can. Can their business really scale to the heights they want it? Can they really deliver this big contract? Can they really secure this awesome client, far bigger companies haven’t so why should they? These are just some of the doubtful questioning quotes I’ve heard over the years. And the really annoying fact is that I can happily (and much to their annoyance) bounce back at them “But they found you didn’t they?”
You see they already love you don’t they. Usually when you get a nose dive in confidence and feel like you’ve been shot down in a plane and are free falling to your perilous death with no parachute and no hope, and are shrinking in your chair in front of me giving me that look that says “I see no solutions, I’m doomed!” the fact is that the other party has already got in touch with you and said “We would love to talk to you about what you do.” So whether you like it or not they are already interested in you, they already like what they see and are already falling in love. You job isn’t to question if you are right for them, your job is to rock in your best party outfit, your winning smile, with your can do attitude with the mind-set that says “Wowsers these guys love us!”
What could that do for your nose diving confidence and your “it’s just little old me” syndrome?
Because so often when the “Little old me “syndrome is trying to rule the roost and bark its authority it’s only going to get its voice heard if you ignore the facts that you’ve loved and adored already. So how loves you baby? It’s a good idea to know this, because when that “Little old me” syndrome wants to start shouting in your head it’s the quickest way to shut it up.
So there’s my quick top tip guide to shutting up the “why do you want little old me” syndrome. And just a few words of caution;
This syndrome doesn’t like to go quietly so remember these top tips;
Mind the Gap – between fact and what you tell yourself
Give me a cheer – turning your negative talk around
Get off – too much time online can be seriously damaging.
They love ya – already it’s time to accept that and love it!
By remembering these top tips, you will be able to spot the warning signs of the;
“That’s weird I wonder how they got my number” They looked for it because you’re awesome and they wanted to get in on the action!
“I don’t know why they want to work with us” Because, can you guess this sentence is going to have the word awesome in there?
“Don’t they realise we are only a small company” They want you because you are awesome and they recognise the benefits of working with that level of awesomeness.
Do you see how important it is to internally appreciate your awesomeness levels?
You don’t have to ram them don’t other people’s throat, and may never have tell another person, but you do have to remember them for when that little voice starts to tamper with your success.
Have a great day and power up your confidence, because time and time again I see boosted confidence leads to more success. And that’s what I want for you too!
Please feel free to get in touch any time to start your coaching journey. It's the most amazing conversation you may ever have.