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Imposter Syndrome: Here’s How to Deal With it

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Are you feeling self conscious, or not very confident when thinking about starting or building your own business and working with clients? Here’s how to deal with that imposter syndrome…

(Or if you prefer, you can watch the video.)

Tip #1: Use a good ol’ pros and cons list

There’s a reason these lists never go out of style. Because they WORK.

Here’s what you do…

Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half. Now instead of calling the two columns “pros” and ‘cons” instead call them “Why I’m NOT qualified” and “Why I AM qualified.”

Then, in the why I’m NOT qualified column, write out your first thought. Afterwards, go over to the why I AM qualified column and write out your “arguments” against that for why that thought is actually not true.

For example, the first time I did this exercise, one of my top fears that I put into the NOT qualified column was that I wasn’t as qualified as so-and-so in my industry at the time.

That was a very real fear. Do you relate to that? (According to Harvard Business Review, most people do.)

However, once I thought about it, I realized, you know what?

I’m not as well known as so-and-so, and I don’t have an audience as big as so-and-so’s (I didn’t have an audience at all at the time), BUT here’s what I did have that would make me a better choice for my clients than so-and-so…

First I was closer to where my clients were.

At the time, I was doing digital advertising consulting. And I was on top of all the latest trends and strategies.

But I knew that the top people in my industry weren’t. Because they had teams to manage that stuff for them, they didn’t need to be as up to date themselves.

And that made me an infinitely better choice for what my clients needed at the time.

The same is true for you.

Second, I also knew that I would work my butt off for every client, whether that meant putting in overtime, answering more emails, hopping on extra calls, whatever it took. Because I was out to prove myself to the world.

I also knew that it was something the more established players in my industry were no longer willing to do or able to do because they were already established, and had other responsibilities. Like running their teams and businesses.

So basically, using this exercise, I argued out both sides of whether or not I was qualified and created a deep belief within myself that my imposter syndrome was just fear.

This exercise is so powerful. I can’t wait to hear YOUR results after doing it.

Tip #2: Understand WHERE your imposter syndrome is really coming from

Take a second and think about WHY you’re feeling this way.

The truth is, most of the time the reason you’re really feeling this way is because you’re afraid that you won’t be able to help people get results.


If you have that fear, that’s a GOOD thing, because it means that you actually care about the work you’re doing and about helping people.

Once you realize the real reason, you can deal with this fear much more easily.

Why wouldn’t someone working with you get the results they want?

Is it because your coaching and guidance won’t be good enough? Probably not. Because if you’re helping someone with something you have experience in, why wouldn’t you be able to help someone get similar results to what you’ve been able to do for yourself or others?

Why else do you think someone working with you wouldn’t get the results they want? List out your reasons and address each of them the same way I just did.

That’s how you can again, create that deep confidence within yourself in your ability to help your clients. (Want more help with this? I’ve got another article on “What if you can’t get your clients results?”)

Which leads us to the final tip…

Tip #3: Listen to your intuition

The first two tips were very logical, which is needed so each time this fear comes up, you can think through exactly what we just talked about.

HOWEVER, we can’t overlook the fact that as human beings, we aren’t that logical when it comes to our fears and feelings.

One of my students, who is a phenomenal career coach asked me about how to deal with imposter syndrome. And she said…

“I know it’s not logical, but…”

And I stopped her right there.

Then I her asked the same question I’m about to ask you.

Put aside the logic and what you think you should be thinking, and FEEL into your answer for this question…

What is your intuition telling you about how good of a coach or service provider you’ll be?

What is it saying about how you compare to whoever that person is in your industry that is making you feel like an imposter?

Really take a second and listen.

Because deep down, you know, you’ve got this.

Now every time that imposter syndrome pops up, you’ll know how to deal with it, both logically, and emotionally.

Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you.

We all have to deal with imposter syndrome!

Even famed poet Maya Angelou once said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.’”

So just because you’re feeling it doesn’t mean that it’s real, and you definitely should not let it hold you back. (I know how tempting it can feel sometimes to give up!)

I hope you’ve found these exercises helpful and are feeling more confident about your ability to help your clients get the best results possible.

Let me know in the comments below which exercise you’re going to try first!

Pin me for later! 

Imposter Syndrome- Here’s How to Deal With it

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

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