“I am not good enough.”
This thought is a classic example of the impostor syndrome that every entrepreneur experiences more or less regularly.
Some morning, we wake up with an uneasy feeling. A feeling that something is not right. We can feel it in our gut, even if we don't know exactly what's wrong.
For many of us, it happens when we start something new. At the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey, it often happens when we have this little idea, but we don't think we can make it happen. We look at other people and think they can do it better than us, so why even try?
Further down the line, it shows up when we get in front of our first customer. We're so afraid of disappointing them that we create imaginary stories where they say "I don't need you, goodbye". It would break our hearts.
Why do we think we are not good enough?
Off the top of my head:
Because we think there is nothing special about us.
Because we know we don't have all the answers.
Because we know we are going to make mistakes and sometimes fail. And we are afraid of failing at something we put our heart into.
Because we are stepping out of our comfort zone.
Are these beliefs reality?
Not all of them.
Yes, we will not have all the answers, but we will have the drive to seek them.
Yes, we will make mistakes and fail. But mistakes and failures are normal in business. We can’t grow without them.
Yes, it is a stretch out of our comfort zone. But there comes a time when we get bored in our comfort zone and we want new challenges.
What can you do to feel better?
Talk about your fear of not being good enough with another business owner who understands what you're going through.
Change your limiting beliefs to beliefs about growth opportunities. There is a quote from Mandy Hale that illustrates this: “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” Taking a chance on your dreams is what makes you grow.
Give yourself a break. Go out for a walk, discover new places in the city, have a coffee, listen to an inspirational podcast, read a book. In short, do something that makes you feel a little better and takes your mind off negative thoughts.
Our thoughts are the creation of our mind. If we have the power to create them, we also have the power to change them. Whenever you feel the impostor syndrome coming your way, remember that you can choose to deal with it immediately with this self-coaching exercise:
What am I thinking right now?
Are these thoughts real?
If not, what could I tell myself that would make me feel better?
Repeat these new empowering thoughts over and over again in your mind.
I do this exercise ALL the time. Feeling 'not good enough' is a normal thought when we are entrepreneurs because we are constantly starting new projects, talking to new people, having bigger ideas and it will never stop. Over time, I've learnt to turn "I'm not good enough" into "I'm learning something new and it's OK to be imperfect".
What could you create if you allowed yourself to be new and imperfect?