As a female small business owner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing your career to others and feeling like an imposter in your industry. But the truth is, we all have unique experiences, skills, and strengths that make us valuable and successful in our own way. With the right mindset and a few simple tools, you can overcome these struggles and continue to thrive in your business.
Defining Imposter Syndrome and Career Comparison Syndrome
First, let’s define what “imposter syndrome” and “career comparison syndrome” are. Imposter syndrome is the feeling of self-doubt and insecurity that can plague even the most accomplished individuals, causing them to question their accomplishments and feel like a fraud. Career comparison syndrome, on the other hand, is when we compare our own careers and accomplishments to others, often on social media, and feel inadequate as a result.
The Role of Social Media
It’s no secret that social media can play a huge role in these struggles. It’s easy to scroll through our feeds and see the highlight reels of others’ lives and careers, leading us to believe that everyone else is more successful and accomplished than we are. But it’s important to remember that social media is not an accurate representation of reality, and the people we’re comparing ourselves to are likely struggling with their own insecurities and self-doubt.
Why Women Are More Prone to Self-Doubt
Women, in particular, are more prone to self-doubt and imposter syndrome. This can be due to societal expectations and biases that can lead us to believe that we’re not as capable or deserving of success as men are. However, it’s important to focus on our own values and what truly matters to us as individuals, rather than comparing ourselves to others or internalizing negative societal messages.
Mindfulness: The Key to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
One of the most powerful tools we have for overcoming imposter syndrome and career comparison syndrome is mindfulness. Practising mindfulness allows us to stay present and focused on the task at hand, rather than getting caught up in worries about the past or future. It’s also a way of being gentle with ourselves and letting go of self-judgment.
Learn and Improve: Reading
Another tool is to read, read, read. Especially read on your field, always learning and improve your knowledge. As Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book “Big Magic”: “It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at”. Reading can provide perspective and inspiration, as well as help us learn new skills and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
Tips for a Positive Creative Mindset
Here are a few additional tips for a positive creative mindset:
- Practice self-care: Make sure to take time for yourself to relax and recharge, whether that’s through exercise, meditation, or simply taking a break from social media.
- Use affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements that can help to change negative thought patterns and boost self-confidence.
- Keep a journal: Journaling can be a great way to process your thoughts and feelings, as well as to reflect on your accomplishments and progress.
- Celebrate your successes: It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
- Surround yourself with support: Surround yourself with people who lift you up and who believe in you. Also, is important to surround yourself with people who are in the same situation and understand your struggles.
Imposter syndrome and career comparison syndrome are common struggles that many female small business owners face, but with the right mindset and tools, we can overcome these struggles and continue to thrive in our businesses. Remember to focus on your own values, practice mindfulness, learn and improve, and surround yourself with support. And always keep in mind that, no one knows everything and we all have room to