Welcome to the Atlanta Small Business Network’s inaugural episode of Startup Central with Cory Mosley, award-winning business coach, and strategist. On this week’s edition, Cory provides his expertise on dealing with imposter syndrome, a heavily under-reported issue that affects many first-time entrepreneurs and startups.
Many entrepreneurs naturally face moments of self-doubt and question whether or not they will find success. If you are experiencing these feelings, you are not alone. Imposter syndrome is a psychological condition that encompasses a wide range of feelings and emotions, including feelings of inadequacy, undeserving of success, and fear of others thinking you are not as good or smart as they once thought.
Even the most successful among us have experienced imposter syndrome. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor are among those who have openly admitted to experiencing imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud at times.
While these feelings can destroy your chances of success by leading to self-sabotage and doubt, it is important to keep in mind that you can use imposter syndrome to your advantage. Realizing that you are not perfect and that you need to work harder to achieve success can help you. In fact, when you are open about having imposter syndrome, you can find comfort in others who experience it as well, and you can ultimately learn from one another.
Many entrepreneurs are reluctant to admit that they sometimes doubt their own abilities, but these feelings can lead you to be more strategic and careful. While being too cautious is not ideal, double-checking yourself and really thinking through your decisions will help you avoid blind confidence. Allowing yourself to fail, and realizing that entrepreneurial success may take some time can help you fight imposter syndrome.
Cory himself has experienced the negative feelings that come with imposter syndrome. He had to program himself to maximize his talent and dispell the feelings of guilt. When you feel down, remember your successes, even if those successes feel small in the moment. It is this mental fortitude that will make you stronger and help you achieve the pinnacles of success.