Tell me if this sounds familiar – you think of an idea and you get so excited and you start to put a plan together… and then you talk yourself out of it. You hear that voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough to do that. That would never work. Who are you to even try to do that, you don’t know how to do that.”
That is Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is this feeling that you’re not good enough to do the thing yet. And let me tell you, she will always come up when you are thinking about making a change in your life. Especially when it comes to making a career change, quitting your job, starting a business, etc.
A really common one is “there are so many other X out there, why would someone pay me?” There are so many other coaches, artists, musicians, authors, actors, whatever is it that you want to do. You immediately begin to compare yourself to people who have been doing it for years, and then feel like you’re not good enough.
What I find funny, is that we really don’t do this when it comes to mundane, traditional jobs. When you decided to go into accounting, were you concerned that there were already too many accountants in the world? Probably not.
There are always gonna be a million other people doing what you do. And that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that you still get to do it, and be good at it, and get paid for it.
Think of it as your first day at a new job. Did you know what you were doing on your first day on the job? Did you have a lot of confidence in yourself? Did you feel like there were a lot of people there who had more experience than you and had more knowledge than you? Yea, but did you also know that at some point you would get the hang of it and understand all aspects of your job and become an expert at it?
Think of it this way – what would you need in order to feel confident? In order to know that it’s working? Would you need a client? A sale? Someone streaming your song? A gig booked? What is it that you feel like you need in order to feel confident that this is the right path for you? Now, how are you going to get those things? By starting. The only way to truly gain confidence is by starting.
Here’s the thing, self-doubt will come up at every new level. Every time you get a promotion or get a new job, you have that same experience of not knowing what you’re doing for a few days. I still have moments of doubt all the time in my business. Every time I launch something new, I hear that voice telling me why it can’t work, why I’m not good enough to do this, why I don’t know enough, why people won’t want it – those thoughts always come back up.
So if you wait until you no longer doubt yourself to get started, you’re gonna be waiting your entire life. Yes, there are things you can do to release some of that self-doubt and feel more confident right now, and I’ll share an exercise with you for homework. But the doubt will never fully go away, and so to some extent you’re gonna have to start before you feel ready.
There is not going to be a moment where you feel ready to quit your job and start a business. Where you feel ready to make a complete career change. Any time you are choosing to let go of the way you’ve been living and step outside your comfort zone and make a change, it’s gonna be scary.
I was terrified to quit my job. I remember the moment when I decided to put in my two weeks. It was November 2018, the Sunday after Thanksgiving when I was dreading going back to work the next morning. I had been planning on quitting my job sometime next year, in 2019. I was thinking maybe by March or so I would have more money saved up, I would maybe have a couple of fitness clients by then and I’d feel ready to quit my job.
And then it just hit me – I’m not gonna feel any more ready in March than I do right now. Even if I had a couple of clients and some more money in my savings account, quitting my job was still going to be scary. So I might as well do it now.
Sometimes you have to start before you feel ready. As humans, we avoid things that feel scary or uncertain. It’s in our nature, it’s a survival mechanism. But do you want to spend your entire life just surviving, or do you want to live? Do you want to experience more out of life? Because if that’s what you want, and I know it is if you’re listening to this, you’re gonna have to take a couple of steps outside your comfort zone once in a while.
It’s against our nature, but you can in fact do something even though you’re scared. Even though you have doubts, even though you don’t feel confident. You can still do the thing. I like to think of it as if I’m just taking those emotions along for the ride. Like, “ok doubt, you ready to go? Ok fear, you got your seatbelt on? It’s time to go, let’s do it.”
Repeat these affirmations to yourself:
- “I’m scared, and I’m gonna do it anyway”
- “I don’t feel ready, and I’m gonna start anyway”
- “I don’t know if this will work, and I’m gonna go for it anyway”
Then go through the same exercise we did in Lesson 6. When you think about taking that next step and going after this dream of yours, this new career path – what are all the reasons why you don’t believe it’ll work? Where is the self-doubt coming from? Do a brain dump. And then go through each one, and ask “is this ultimately true?” How can you shift that belief?
In our final lesson, we’ll address the biggest fear that might be holding you back – what if you quit your job & regret it?