3 Ways to Overcome “Impostor Syndrome

As the clever and witty Tash Corbin once said, think of your competitors as your peers.

I’m not a naturally competitive person (I actually failed high school phys ed, true story), I have better ways to spend my time – like working on my own business – to worry too much about what my competitors are doing!

I’m very much a person who is following their own path, confident in my work and my abilities to attract beautiful clients to me who I can help generously and with a smile on my face.

But I don’t live in a bubble, I know I have competitors in my local area and at a national and international level; that is simply a fact of life in business. If you don’t have competitors you don’t have a market. I’ve had my fair share of competition over the years some who have played fair, some who have not but as a business owner, you need to find your “competitive edge”, your unique selling proposition (in marketing speak) or simply your point of difference.

There are so many factors that can differentiate you from your competitors: your experience, your personality, your prices, your qualifications. Rarely are you comparing apples with apples.

There is not a person on this earth who has had exactly the same shared experience as you, has the same skills, the same viewpoint or the same creativity as you, so here’s the big question you need to answer: what makes you different from your competitors? You can go really deep on this, research your competitors and do some soul-searching, self-examination and navel gazing about why you are so brilliant at serving your clients.

Or, more to the point: what makes you particularly awesome in your business? And the way you do what you do? There is not one individual who can do all the things in your market so there is simply always something about you that makes you different to your competitors! (And if you don’t know what it is, book a free clarity call with me and we can work through it).

So many gorgeous people I know (including myself at times) are plagued by feeling “not as good as…”. There is the saying don’t compare your chapter one with someone else’s chapter 5 and it goes both ways. I’ve been in marketing 10+ years and yet I found myself comparing myself to people who were just starting up. Why?

Some of the wisest businesswomen I know admit to still suffering from Impostor Syndrome despite having achieved the magical “six figure income mark” many times over.

Insecurity is simply a sign of striving for improvement at every stage of your career and an acknowledgement that no matter how good you are you admit you will never be the very best in your field, no one will for that matter. The best doesn’t exist in a constantly evolving business landscape.

What does investing energy in your competitors do other than fuel your comparisonitis (also known as Impostor Syndrome)? It fuels insecurity, the feeling of not being good enough (when you are, really, you are) and you stray from your own path, your own vision, your own purpose to “keep up with the Joneses”.

Do your SWOT analysis, sure, but don’t get fixated on what your competitors are doing. Your target audiences are different, even if only marginally. Find your uniqueness, find your voice and find your path.

So what are some good tactics to keep comparisonits at bay?

  1. Stop stalking your competitors.
    Sure it’s tempting to subscribe to their newsletter, follow their Facebook page and ogle their Instagram feed to keep up with what they’re doing but you need to stop comparing yourself! Imagine if they did that to you? Weirdly stalkerish, yes?
  2. Remind yourself of all the amazing work you do for your wonderful clients!
    You do good. Every day. Be present in the work that you do and stop being impatient that somehow you are going to “catch up”? It’s not going to happen. You are on different paths!
  3. Keep learning!
    I am always doing courses, watching webinars, listening to podcasts and reading books to keep up with everything that is going on and that I find interesting. Play, learn, experiment! It helps keep your brain ticking over and creative time helps you think more expansively.

Really, it comes down to your mindset and your self-confidence. If you are confident in your own skin, comfortable with the idea that you are on your own path, in pursuit of your own goals, then comparisons can’t possibly be made because your reality isn’t actually comparable to anyone else’s.

You don’t need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be different so stop worrying about what they are doing and concentrate on helping your clients. Consistent, high quality work and customer service will help you get further than chopping and changing your activities in response to what your competitors are doing.

Celebrate your competitors as your peers, they are making your marketplace a livelier one and in their own individual ways they are actually helping you to stand out from the crowd.

And to get all woo woo on you… If you cannot celebrate your competitors’ successes you are not living a truly abundant life. There is more than enough work, money and clients to go around.