How to Manage Imposter Syndrome

How to Manage Imposter Syndrome

Prospective Franchise Owners Can Leverage Self-Doubt to Build a Thriving Business

Are you an imposter?

Do you ever hear that little voice in your head that says, “You are not good at this” or “You cannot continue to fool these people”? If you have, you may suffer from imposter syndrome.

Sounds scary, right?

Well, there is good news. While imposter syndrome may limit your achievement and success, it will not kill you. What’s more, you can cure it and learn to manage it. But first, you need to understand it.

Imposter syndrome occurs when high performers feel anxious or disbelieving about their success.  Stated differently, even though individuals achieve high results objectively and are respected by others, they do not feel worthy. Indeed, victims of imposter syndrome feel like frauds, phonies and experience self-doubt. This can be caused by things like family, social pressures, or simply the internalizing of fear and doubt. 

Regardless of the genesis, these self-limiting beliefs keep people from achieving the success they are capable of and from living the life of their dreams. And it keeps people stuck in the “security” of a job, working for others and eschewing business ownership.

Ways to Manage Imposter Syndrome

Even if you are afflicted with imposter syndrome, there are things you can do to manage it. Consider the following tips to change your life and eliminate that nagging voice that makes you doubt yourself.

1. Recognize your Worth

First, recognize that you are good enough. Whether you struggle or succeed does not define you.  What defines you is the effort you put forth. We all succeed at some things and struggle in others.  And that is ok. Normalize your feelings. No one succeeds at everything.

2. Be Proud of Your Successes

Realize that you succeed at a lot. My clients are made up of successful business people who have succeeded at a lot of things in their careers. I encourage them, and you, to revel in success. Think of all the things you do well and have accomplished, and begin to watch the negative thoughts go away.

3. End Your Doubts

Next, reframe the messages in your mind. Instead of accepting the doubts, put an end to them.  Replace them with a positive mantra. Repeat positive thoughts and marinate in your successes, large and small. You define how you look at things only if you take an active role in controlling your subconscious mind.

4. Don’t be so Hard on Yourself

Calibrate the evidence. My guess is that if you are reading this you are extremely successful by external standards. While your self-worth should not be impacted by the goals, values or expectations of others if you succeed by societal standards, maybe you are being too hard on yourself if you don’t accept them.  

Advice from a Former Imposter

Let me share my personal experience with imposter syndrome. When I became an entrepreneur and franchisee, I began using imposter syndrome to get better and drive me to learn, grow and succeed.  While I still wake up every day (and I mean every day) anxious about whether I can succeed, my imposter syndrome is now a superpower and a force multiplier.

I am one of the top franchise consultants in America. I train and mentor other consultants. I authored the seminal book on franchise exploration, The Perfect Franchise. And I use the anxiety to drive me forward. I use it to learn more about franchising, my clients, coaching and consulting. It drives me to get better every day in every way.

In other words, I channel my imposter syndrome to be the best at what I do – for my clients and myself.

Franchising and Imposter Syndrome

I believe that we imposters make the best business owners. We are successful, driven, and highly motivated. We work to prove that inner voice wrong and use every day as a challenge to prove ourselves worthy.  

Franchising is the perfect place for imposters because we can join proven businesses with the systems and processes and support to enable our success. There is a constant measurement that we use to drive us forward.

So if you suffer from imposter syndrome, it should be a badge of honor and one of the traits that make you successful. It is precisely what will motivate your success as a franchisee!

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Mark Schnurman helps aspiring business owners across the country fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams through franchising. One of the top franchise consultants in the country, he wrote The Perfect Franchise and is the owner of The Perfect Franchise.
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