How to Break Free from Imposter Syndrome

How to Break Free from Imposter Syndrome

Just a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a client who was struggling with imposter syndrome. She was feeling down and like she was just not good enough. But the thing is, she’s not alone! And friends, I’m talking about ME. I also feel imposter syndrome, so much that I have been in really dark places with it before.

But as I’ve struggled, I’ve also learned how to pull myself out of that space, so I’m sharing my five steps for breaking out of imposter syndrome with you today. We’ll dig into why we all feel imposter syndrome sometimes, how to reconnect to our gratitude and pride in our accomplishments, and why we cannot compare ourselves to others as we build our lives and businesses. 

And at the end of the day no matter what we’re feeling or how we’re coping, to truly break out of imposter syndrome, we have to find a way to regain trust in ourselves. Trust that we’re doing our best, trust that we’ll find a path forward, and trust that we CAN achieve our goals. 

And if you’re looking for more support from other entrepreneurs facing similar challenges, join us over in TFE! We’re all in this together, and this community is such an open and supportive place for anyone at any stage of their business. I can’t wait to see you there. 

Thank you so much for letting me share this episode with you, and remember: you can do it friends, I believe in you.

In this episode, you’ll learn...

  • [01:13] Why we ALL feel imposter syndrome (you’re not alone!)
  • [04:43] How gratitude can help us reframe our feelings of unworthiness
  • [07:11] Why we need to remember our worth and allow ourselves to feel pride in our accomplishments
  • [09:14] Why you might need a social media break if you’re really deep in imposter syndrome
  • [10:17] Why it might be time to reevaluate your goals and benchmarks
  • [13:24] How to get back to a place of trusting in yourself

If you want to learn more about growing your business in a way that feels good to you, grab my free guide to success in your business!

Links mentioned in this episode…

My free guide to growing your business

Join my group coaching program, The Friendly Entrepreneur!

Check out my coaching programs (I offer 1:1 business and social media consulting!)

Follow Nicole on Instagram



[00:00:06] Welcome to the More than Clothes podcast. I'm your host, Nicole J, a mama wife and entrepreneur who makes the most out of the hours in between morning school drop off and afternoon pickup. After ten years of building a successful clothing boutique, I decided to close the doors. When I realized that the fast fashion world just did not align with the slow and simple life that I had been craving. You're in the right place if you're looking for real life advice or proven steps to building your business. I'll be going behind the scenes of my life as a working mom, surviving in the chaos and choosing to start over. And details of how I built a multimillion dollar business by the time I was 30 years old. We're sharing some of the mistakes I made. I'm hoping to help you avoid them. And by telling you about some of the hard lessons I've learned, I'm hoping to inspire you to finally let go of other people's expectations and start prioritizing your happiness. Thank you guys, so much for being here. Let's get to it. 

[00:01:13] Okay. So I was having a conversation with one of my clients not that long ago, and she was having a really tough time with just believing in herself. And I shared with her a story that I had just recently gone through, and it was like a personal situation where I was experiencing self-doubt. And the moment I told her that I had spent a few days just sort of lacking confidence, crying myself to just tears of I just to be honest, I was I was going through this moment of imposter syndrome and like, am I good enough? And when I shared this with her, she was like, Wait, Nicole, you experience imposter syndrome? And I'm like, Yeah, like all the time, you know? And I had this moment of like, holy crap, I, you know, I am very confident. And what I do, I do believe in myself, but I share these moments on Instagram of like feeling like I have my shit together and knowing that I am going to be okay and, you know, the confidence building and all that stuff. But you guys, I still deal with it. 

[00:02:29] And to be fully transparent with you, most of December of last year I spent just in a book. I was in a funk of like, am I good enough? Am I worthy of doing this? When I close the boutique and launch my coaching business, I had to go through these limiting beliefs of like, I closed a business. Why would people want to learn about running a business from somebody who closed a business? Now that I am helping other entrepreneurs and business owners with their plans and their branding and marketing and strategies and things like that, I constantly question if I'm good enough and if I'm worthy of doing this work. And all of December, a majority of December, I was in a pretty low place, you guys, and I was crying a ton and really just had to re ground myself of figuring out how to get through it. So it was interesting when I shared this with my client, she really had no idea that this was something that I still experienced. And I know that I'm not the only experienced business owner who goes through this and who has moments of doubt and moments of lacking self confidence and feeling unworthy or that I'm not good enough. So today I really want to peel back the layers of this. I want to go behind the scenes of some situations where I have felt less than good enough and where I question myself. And if I was doing the right thing. And I want to most importantly share tips of how I overcome this feeling of imposter syndrome, because it does happen and it happens more often than you would think. And I really try to pull myself out of it as fast as I possibly can, but also allow myself to sit in it for a bit because I think there's really some true power of having to question yourself and question those feelings that you're feeling. And there's some power in just reflecting and reminding yourself how much of a badass you are and how much that you've been through and that, yes, even though you're not feeling worthy right now, you are worthy and just ways to get through it. 

[00:04:43] So the first thing when it comes to any time I'm feeling less than or any time I'm just questioning myself, I go back to gratitude. And gratitude is something I have practiced for many years now. It's a part of my daily routine and it really, really, really helps in situations like this to just go back to things that you're grateful for. And in this sort of situation, when I am thinking of a project that I'm working with or a client that I'm about to sign on, and I have these moments of, Oh, can I do this? I go back to feeling grateful for moments when I knew I could write. So I will read through old reviews from clients or customers and feel grateful for those moments. I will go back to those specific stories and situations of when I actually I actually did the work and help somebody and feeling grateful that that client or customer trusted me and feeling grateful for the hard work that I put into that person and to their business and knowing that I truly helped them and being grateful for the experiences that I've had that have led me to where I am today. Being grateful for all that I've learned, all of the knowledge that I have, that I can now use going forward with helping other business owners. So I start with gratitude always. Any situation of feeling self-doubt or imposter syndrome, whether it's personal or business, especially in business, I just go back to gratitude and start writing out a list of things that I'm grateful for. And right now, a lot of things that I'm going back to or a lot of moments that I'm going back to are moments of struggle, moments that I never thought I would overcome or get through. You know, when we're in these hard, difficult lessons, we can't see the outcome. We can't see the strength that we're being taught or we can't see the light at the end of that dark tunnel. But when you're out of that dark tunnel, you can look back and feel grateful for the lesson that you learned. And in moments of building my business, there were hard, hard lessons that I learned that I could have never imagined being grateful for. But now I truly am grateful for. So I will list those out and remind myself how strong I am. 

[00:07:11] Which leads me to number two of remembering my worth. And I personally struggle with being proud of myself. And this past summer, even my mom and I were sitting on the beach or we were watching the kids play and I had to hold her. And I think I sort of surprised her when I honestly I surprised myself with the words when they came out of my mouth. And I told her I was like, Well, I don't feel proud of what I've done. And she's like, What? Nick, how do you not feel proud of all that you've accomplished? I was like, I don't know. I just I want to keep building something that I'm even prouder of. And she had me list out, like all the things that I've done. And I needed that little reality check of remembering all that I've been through and remembering the worth that I have, the value that I bring, the strength that I've received through all of these moments. And I struggle with that, you guys. I struggle listing out things that I should be proud of or the moments that I've accomplished or proudest moments that I've accomplished. But what we're feeling, this lack of worth and this imposter syndrome creeps in. I go back to that and I start to literally just journal out the proudest moments of my life personal and business. And it's a huge gut check, a huge reality check of like, Oh shit, okay, I've been through some stuff and I made it and I'm good. And you know, I am worthy of continuing on this path that sometimes feels scary and difficult and unsure. You know, I'm unsure and uncertain of how it's going to turn out, but I felt that way before and I made it through and I can do it again. Another big one for me. 

[00:09:04] Number three is taking social media breaks. It's hard to see, but I think a lot of imposter syndrome moments come from scrolling on social media and comparing ourselves to somebody else, comparing our chapter, the chapter we're in right now to somebody else's chapter that is ahead of ours or somebody else's journey that is ahead of ours. We oftentimes feel like we should be in a different position or we compare our situation to somebody else's and not seeing the path that they've been on or not seeing or knowing the entire story, You know, we start to compare and feel like we're not good enough or that we're not as good as them. And I highly encourage a social media break when you're feeling this way, because it allows you to sort of tap back into your why? Why are you doing what you want to what you're doing or what you are trying to do, or reminding yourself that you are capable of it. And going back to those moments of your your proudest accomplishments and and sticking to your story versus comparing yourself to somebody else's on social media, we have to do that every now and then to just check out and regroup. 

[00:10:17] And number four, reevaluate, reevaluate your goals, your vision, your ideas, not somebody else's. Not being influenced by what somebody else is doing or what somebody else is building. Do I find inspiration in others? Absolutely. But when I am feeling not good enough, I often compare myself to others versus feel inspired by others. So that's what I know. I need a good social media break. You'll have to delete the app and announce that you're taking the social media break like now. That's silly. Just take the break. Take the social media a break. Stop scrolling. Stop looking at other businesses. Stop looking at other business owners who are ahead of you or other scenarios that are just not realistic to where you are right now. And it's okay. So check out from social media for a bit and really reevaluate your goals. What is your why reconnect with your why your why is allowed to change? My why right now is still the same as it was when I started my business, but I'm adding layers to it. I had to go through this sort of rehab. I don't know what the word is that I'm looking for, but my worry has always been about my daughter and my kids and our kids and making sure that I've always said a moment for me when I had Ellie and I was building my business and I had to make this decision of like, okay, am I giving up on my dream? Am I putting this dream aside so I can get a real job in quotations? A real job? And I just knew I had this overwhelming wave of strength come over me, and I just knew that I couldn't give up on my dream because I couldn't look her in the eyes one day and tell her to follow her dream. If I had given up on mine. And that has become my why. So when I was letting go of the boutique and and moving on to this next chapter of my life, I was feeling stuck with that y of like, Oh my gosh, I don't want her to think that I'm giving up. And I. Finally realize that, No, this is another layer to my Why now? I'm not giving up. I'm giving myself permission to start over. I'm giving myself permission to believe that I'm capable of more. And that's just a part of my Why now? I didn't realize it ten years ago when I was starting, you know, the boutique and everything. But now I can see that that y is evolving, and that's okay. And sometimes we need to reconnect with our why and reevaluate our goals and know that they can change over time. But we can't compare our why and our goals to somebody else's dream. We just can't. Even if it's a business that we look up to or an entrepreneur who you really aspire to be like, that's great. We can pull that inspiration from that, but we can't compare our situation to theirs. So reevaluating and reconnecting with your why is so important to do during that social media break so you can truly tap into what feels good to you? What means the most to you? What values do you have? What personal mission are you on and checking out in order to do that in a way that feels good to you and only you? It's so important. So, so important. 

[00:13:24] And I think most importantly, number five. Is trusting myself. I have to get back to this place of really believing in myself and knowing that if I do the work, if I do the hard work, and if I do what I set out to do and and accomplish what I say, I want to in a way that not necessarily accomplish, but the work that I'm doing, I know that I'm good at. I know deep down, I know that I'm capable. I know that I'm worthy of this. It's just reminding myself, reminding myself, but then trusting myself enough to know that when I say I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it and I'm going to do it wholeheartedly. I'm going to give myself grace, but I'm going to trust myself and believe in myself enough to know that I can get through this feeling of self-doubt because I trust myself. I trust myself enough to feel whatever it is that I'm feeling. Figure out where it's coming from. Go through these steps of finding gratitude, remembering my work, taking a social media break, reevaluating my goals and reconnecting with my why So I can ultimately trust myself in this situation and come out on the other side feeling confident, feeling you know that I know my value, I know my worth. I know the price that I put on my services and packages is aligned with my knowledge and all that I've been through and pricing packages and services and products and all that is a whole other conversation that we'll have on the podcast. 

[00:14:59] But it's a scary thing to to put a number a price on your worth like that is a really scary and difficult thing to do. But when you can connect with each of these things that I've talked about, that price will start to feel aligned with all that you are and all that you can do. And it'll be easier to talk about. It'll be easier to share with the a prospect, a client, a potential client or a customer. Like you will be so deeply rooted in knowing that this is what you bring to the table that you won't question it any more. And when you do start to question it, you'll have these tools in your back pocket to to kind of just slap yourself in the face a little bit like, Girl, get it together. We know what we're doing. We're going to be okay. We got this right. We've got this. I think it's important to have a community that you can rely on to you guys. 

[00:15:52] And this is why I created the Friendly Entrepreneurs. So that way when you're having these moments of like, Oh my God, what am I doing? Can I do this? Am I capable? Like, have somebody who can cheer you the F on, right? Like, don't go through this struggle alone. There are people who understand it. I understand it. I go through it. You are not the only one who is going through this. Sometimes it's on a daily basis and you get these bunks and you just can't get out of it. It's so frustrating. I get it. Trust me, I've cried more tears of self-doubt than I can even begin to describe. It's very real. It's a very real feeling, and it's hard to go through by yourself. And that's why I've created TV is for these moments, these moments to have somebody to lean on for support, you know? So you're going through this right now, you guys, we would love to lift you up inside of TV. If you're a member of TV, please post to the group. Tell us what you're struggling with and how we can support you. You do not have to go about this feeling alone, and if you need help, just kind of regrouping with your why or figuring out what your goals are, share that in the group and let us support you. Let us give you ideas and lean on us. Lean on me. Lean on the other members of the group to help you get through this. Because you can get through this. You can. You absolutely can. And don't skip any of these steps. Go through them. Really sit with each one, really think about it, really make a list, really journal on it, type it out, write it down, whatever you need to, but remind yourself that you're going to be okay and that you do know what you're doing. And on the days where you feel like you don't, it's okay. You're going to be okay. You're going to figure it out the same way you always have. You start trusting yourself again, start believing in yourself. 

[00:17:40] Lean on the TFE community for support if you need it. Lean on me for support if you need it. If you're ready to have a business coach, somebody in your corner cheering you on as soon as you join the friendly entrepreneur, you can you can consider me your business coach, somebody to help you through this type of situation, to learn from, to go from, to connect with. We would love to see you inside of this group. It is something so special and near and dear to my heart. I am in their daily looking for people who need this type of support. Join us inside you guys. But truly lean on these steps, these pieces of advice, whatever you want to call them, when this imposter syndrome creeps in. Because it will. It does. It happens to all of us. It happens to me more often than I can even begin to describe. Find that gratitude. Remember your worth. Take a social media break when you need to reevaluate your goals. Reconnect. With your why and trust yourself, my friend. You can do this. I believe in you. Start believing in yourself too, and go ahead and crush those goals. You got this. Hey, friend, real quick. I would love to stay connected through Instagram. You can follow me at more than Nicole J. When you get a chance, would you mind leaving a review? These reviews are so helpful for podcasts like mine. If you leave a review, send me a screenshot on Instagram when you do so I can personally Thank you. And one last thing your friendly reminder You get to choose what type of mood you want to be in. And today I hope you choose happy.

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